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Where does it come from?
· `A speech of Mr. John Milton for the Liberty of
Unlicensed Printing to the Parliament of
England'
· 1644 prose argumentative pamphlet by John
Milton against censorship
· First published at the height of the English
Civil War
· It was distributed via pamphlet, defying the
same publication censorship he argued against…read more

Slide 3

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What is it?
· Defends freedom of the press - Central
issue in Paradise Lost is the nature of
freedom- Milton constantly arguing for
freedom
· Reader should be exposed to both good
and bad in what they read
· Argued against the Licensing Order of
1643, in which parliament required all
authors to have a license approved by the
"Give me the liberty to
government before their work could be know, to utter, and to
published argue freely according
to conscience, above all
liberties".…read more

Slide 4

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Critical Response
· Areopagitica did not persuade the Presbyterians in
Parliament to invalidate the prepublication censorship
component of the Licensing Order of 1643; freedom of
the press was not achieved until 1695
· Milton's ideas were ahead of his time in the sense that
he anticipated the arguments of later advocates of
freedom of the press by relating the concept of free will
and choice to individual expression and right.
· Influence on the US Constitution, includes the
prohibition against prior restraint, or prepublication
censorship…read more

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