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Sidney writes the Defence of Poesy at a time of considerable anxiety over prophetic speech: Queen Elizabeth had recently suppressed prophesying exercises and banned the prophetic Familist movement. Sidney's continual references to the relationship between poetry and prophecy, therefore, seem provocative. This essay explores Sidney's engagement with late-sixteenth-century controversies over inspiration and argues that he seeks to rehabilitate prophecy as a useful form of moral instruction. Sidney establishes the prophetic character of "right" poetry and comes close to defending the spiritual freedom also claimed by contemporary sectarians and some moderate evangelical prophets.