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Milton & Politics Questions And Notes

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PAPER

5

QUESTIONS:

MILTON

+

POLITICS


Just

are

the

ways

of

God,

And

justifiable

to

men

...

Yet


more

there

be

who

doubt

his

ways

not

just

As

to

his


own

edicts,

found

contradicting.


MILTON

+

DOUBT


'The

corrupting

of

innocence

begins

with

a

corrupting


of

language'

(JOHN

LEONARD).


MILTON

+

LANGUAGE


'The

true

impetus

behind

Milton's

later

poetry

is

not


creation

but

apocalypse.'


MILTON

+

APOCALYPSE


'An

intense

re--evaluation

of

heroic

behaviour

is


central

to

the

Miltonic

argument

but

the

adequacy

of


conventional

heroism

is

questioned

by

many

writers


in

the

period.'


MILTON

+

HEROISM


'The

vehement

nature

of

Milton's

defense

of

liberty

is


best

experienced

through

close

study

of

his

prose


works.'


MILTON

+

LIBERTY

+

PROSE


The

Works

of

Milton

cannot

be

comprehended

or


enjoyed

unless

the

mind

of

the

reader

co--operate


with

that

of

the

writer


MILTON

+

READER


"Paradise

Lost,

of

course,

belongs

to

a

different

genre


of

discourse

from

republican

pamphlets.

The

epic's


declared

topic

of

justifying

God's

way

to

men

is

far


more

general

than

the

concerns

of

republican

tracts.


The

poem

spans

a

bewildering

variety

of

political


registers

from

the

absolutist

to

the

republican.


MILTON'S

FORM

+

POLITICS


Literature

could

shape

political

events

because

it


spoke

political

languages'

(KEVIN

SHARPE).


MILTON

+

POLITICAL

LANGUAGE


"The

light

of

humane

minds

is

Perspicious

Words,

but


by

exact

definitions

first

snuffed,and

purged

from


ambiguity;

Reason

is

the

Pace,

Encrease

of

Science

the


way,

and

the

benefit

of

man--kind,

the

end.

And

on

the


contrary,

Metaphors

and

senseless

and

ambiguous


words,

are

like

ignes

fatu;

and

reasoning

upon

them,


is

wandering

amongst

innumerable

absurdities


(Hobbes,

Leviathan).


HOBBES

+

KNOWLEDGE


Man

shall

not

quite

be

lost,

but

saved

who

will,


Yet

not

of

will

in

him,

but

grace

in

me

Freely

vouchsafed.


MILTON

+

WILL

+

GRACE


Milton's

true

Character

as

a

Writer

is

that

he

is

an


Ancient,

but

born

two

Thousand

years

after

his

Time.


All

his

Images

are

Pure

Antique'


MILTON

+

ANTIQUITY


Finding

it

impossible

to

realize

his

own

aspirations,


either

in

religion,

or

politics,

or

society,

he

gave

his


heart

up

to

the

living

spirit

and

light

within

him,

and


avenged

himself

on

the

world

by

enriching

it

with

this


record

of

his

own

transcendent

ideal'

(COLERIDGE)


MILTON

+

ROLE

IN

SOCIETY


Oh

how

comely

it

is

and

how

reviving


To

the

spirits

of

just

men

long

oppressed!


When

God

into

the

hands

of

their

deliverer


Puts

invincible

might


To

quell

the

mighty

of

the

earth,

the

oppressor


MILTON

+

REVOLUTION


May

I

express

thee

unblamed?

(PL)


MILTON

+

BLAME

+

PRESENTATION


This

is

true

Liberty

when

free

born

men

Having

to


advise

the

public

may

speak

free,

Which

he

who

can,


and

will,

deserv's

high

praise,

Who

neither

can

nor


will,

may

hold

his

peace;

What

can

be

juster

in

a

State


then

this?


MILTON

+

LIBERTY

+

FREEDOM


Remove

their

swelling

epithets

thick--laid

As

varnish

on

a

harlot's

cheek,

the

rest,


Thin--sown

with

aught

of

profit

or

delight,


Will

far

be

found

unworthy

to

compare


With

Sion's

songs,

to

all

true

tastes

excelling..

.


MILTON

+

VERBAL

ORNAMENT


'He

who

can

write

a

prophane

Poem

well,

may

write

a


Divine

one

better;

but

he

who

can

do

that

but

ill,

will


do

this

much

worse'

(COWLEY).


MILTON

+

PROPHANE

V

DIVINE


In

a

letter

to

John

Evelyn,

John

Beale

commented

on


Milton's

'sharpe

checks

&

sowre

Instructions.'


MILTON

+

INSTRUCTION


EXAM

THEMES:


DOUBT

/

RELIGION


LIBERTY


USE

OF

PROSE

AND

POETRY

/

EFFECTS

OF

FORM


POLITICAL

LANGUAGE


INFLUENCE

OF

CLASSICS


FREE

WILL

AND

EDUCATION

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