By Belinda Roberts Peters
This examine strains the decline of marriage as a metaphor for political authority, subjection, and tyranny in Seventeenth-century political suggestion. a picture that certain consent and agreement with divine correct absolutism, and irrevocably attached royal prerogatives with topics' liberties, its disappearance within the heart a long time of the century coincided with the whole emergence of patriarchalist and social agreement theories. If either those approved the significance of 'fathers of families', neither might recommend that political govt might be corresponding to 'marriage'.
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Additional info for Marriage in Seventeenth-Century English Political Thought
The classical connection between conquest, marriage, and legitimate government was to be found in the Roman abduction of the Sabine women, the legendary event that gave rise to history’s greatest empire. Early seventeenth-century versions included playwright Thomas Heywood’s “translation” of Ovid in his Apology for Actors, in which the ﬁrst Roman theater distracted Sabine men and seduced their daughters and sisters: Thou noble Romulus ﬁrst playes contrives To get thy widdowed souldiers Sabine wives.
However, she assumes that Royalists introduced the marriage contract into the debate, forcing their opponents to address the issue; instead, both sides clearly inherited a set of assumptions regarding the connection between household and kingdom that in some measure supported their positions on rightful government. ”5 Instead Parliamentarians began, in a pattern that would eventually transform conceptions of the political contract, to represent marriage not as a guide for limiting the power of the monarch, but as a sign of the difference between marital authority and the power exercised in a polity.
27 Although marriage might remain a foundation for a man’s position as subject within the body politic, contracts of political government established relations of authority that were quite different from those existing between husband and wife. At the same time, though not necessarily in direct response, the defenders of monarchy also began to abandon contractual issues represented by marriage in order to argue not only that all government was ordained by God, but that subjection, not freedom, was the natural condition of all men.
Marriage in Seventeenth-Century English Political Thought by Belinda Roberts Peters