ABSTRACT

Anti-tyranny literature typically focuses on rulers who war against their subjects. This article wonders if that same literature might offer insights on the tyrant who wars against the environment. Starting with consideration of the recent film First Reformed (2017), it then glances at the Nimrod passage in Paradise Lost before turning to The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates as a place where tyrannicide and environmental concern are, briefly, aligned. Milton's proximities to the Huguenot tract Vindiciae, contra tyrannos make clear that a monarch's destruction of his domain, which remains the property of the people, can trigger the right of resistance. But in both The Tenure and the Vindiciae the property rights of “the people” are located in their corporate personhood, which rights-bearing corporate entities proliferate in later modernity with destructive consequences.

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