Presentation on theme: "The seventeenth century offers a variety of stirring historical settings, including the Civil Wars in England between the Royalist supporters of King."— Presentation transcript:
The seventeenth century offers a variety of stirring historical settings, including the Civil Wars in England between the Royalist supporters of King Charles I and the Puritan Parliamentarians; the Thirty Years War that engulfed Germany and its neighbors; the migration from the Old World to the American Colonies and Canada; the last of the witch persecutions, especially the hysteria in the Puritan colony of Salem; and major advances in science led by mathematicians like Kepler and alchemists like Isaac Newton. Historical setting (VII)
The first part of this work is devoted to the arts as an expression of cultural attitudes CULTUTURAL SETTING (VII CENTURY )
Milton was born in Cheapside, London, England, The United Kingdom December 09, 1608 diedNovember 08, 1674 His father was a Puritan-leaning Protestant, and seems to have been disinherited by his own father for abandoning Catholicism In 17 th -Century Britain, Catholics are generally associated with conservative politics: the land-owning aristocracy, rural society, the House of Lords, and absolute monarchy. Protestants are associated with progressive politics: merchants and the urban middle-class, a radical fringe of proto-communist. Milton was educated at Cambridge, the Protestant-leaning University (Oxford was more Catholic-leaning) In 1638 Milton traveled in Europe, especially Italy He returned home in 1640, concerned about the political turmoil that would lead to the outbreak of the Civil War
During the 1650s, Milton was “Latin Secretary” (something like our Secretary of State) for Cromwell’s government, the “Protectorate” From 1655-1660 Milton wrote De Doctrina Christiana, in which he set forth his individualistic theology In 1660 he published The Free and Easy Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth In 1660, when monarchy was restored with Charles II (son of Charles I) on the throne, Milton was in danger of being executed for treason; he went into hiding After a short time, he was assured that he would be safe, and he came out of hiding, but remained in retirement, and began to write his great epic, Paradise Lost Paradise Lost was first published in 1667; revised version in 1674
Milton had long imagined himself as someone who would be come the great national poet of his country; he had planned to write an epic to celebrate a great “British” hero like King Arthur Instead, he wrote an epic poem that celebrates “Christ” as a hero This causes problems, because Christ doesn’t act like a typical “human” hero Many readers—most famously the poet William Blake—have seen Satan as the actual hero Many readers have seen the poem as a political allegory about Milton’s experience in the Civil Wars, with Cromwell as “Christ” and King Charles I as “Satan,” or, sometimes, with Cromwell as “Satan” and King Charles I as “Christ” Alternatively, Adam and Eve can be seen as the “everyman” heroes of the poem, although in a “tragic” rather than “epic” heroic sense
Paradise Lost was a successful poem, but Milton was more well- known during his lifetime for his political pamphlets than his poems In the early 18 th Century Joseph Addison wrote a series of essays on Paradise Lost in one of the first English newspapers, The Spectator Addison’s essays encouraged middle-class readers to read Paradise Lost as a supplement to Bible-reading Milton’s reputation: During 17 th century, he was seen as a dangerous rebel After 1800, he was associated by most people with Bible-reading Historians associate Milton with humanism, republican revolution, individualism, the rejection of censorship and religious intolerance Feminists see him as a misogynist, but one who produces a complex view of gender relations between Adam and Eve
Family Milton and Mary Powell (1625–1652) had four children: Anne (born 7 July 1646) Mary (born 25 October 1648) John (16 March 1651 – June 1652) Deborah (2 May 1652 – ?) His first wife, Mary Powell, died on 5 May 1652 from complications following Deborah's birth. Milton's daughters survived to adulthood, but he had always a strained relationship with them. On 12 November 1656, Milton was married again, to Katherine Woodcock. She died on 3 February 1658, less than four months after giving birth to a daughter, Katherine, who also died. Milton married for a third time on 24 February 1662, to Elizabeth Mynshull (1638– 1728), the niece of Thomas Mynshull, a wealthy apothecary and philanthropist in Manchester.
In college, and during the 1630s, Milton had written several poems: Il Pensaroso, L’Allegro, Lycidas, Comus During the 1640s, Milton wrote and published several pamphlets arguing for radical causes: Of Reformation (1641), defending religious liberty The Reason of Church Government (1642) Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce (1643) Of Education (1644), against strictly vocational education Areopagitica (1644), against censorship before publication The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates (1649), arguing that Kings could be overthrown Eikonoklastes (1649), arguing against King Charles’ Eikon Basilike
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