Daniel Defoe: Jure Divino (3271 words)


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Jure Divino comprises over 7,500 lines, mostly of heroic couplets, organised into twelve books, as well as explanatory annotations in prose. It is Defoe’s intended magnum opus in poetry, though it has never enjoyed the popularity of The True-Born Englishman (1701). The subject is the divine right theory of kingship. The Whig Defoe was perturbed that Tories and Jacobites clung to that political doctrine, which he regards as a veil for tyranny and slavery, conditions to which vitiated human nature tends but which the divine gift of reason, properly exercised, shows to be demeaning. Defoe’s satire is a “verse essay”, an Augustan mode of philosophical poetry that comprehensively examines a topic …

Citation: Seager, Nicholas. "Jure Divino". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 April 2021 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=28790, accessed 07 May 2021.]

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