Milton Basics

Early Life



  • St. Paul's School - Learnt Latin and Greek culture
  • Cambridge Christ College - Prepared himself to be a poet, learnt french, italian and read deeply into classical literature

Father expected him to become a clergy man - However he was rejected due to his ideas seen as too independent and anti-royalist for church under Charles

Therefore Milton wrote a stream of Pamphlets to help change Government policy

  • Aimed at the Church - First to free from the tyranny of bishops
  • His political writings reflect his increasing involvement in the opposition to King Charles
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  • Defends freedom of the press - Central issue in PL is the nature of freedom
  • Reader should be exposed to both good and badin what they read
  • Comparision between books and Fruit from the tree of knowledge forbidden to man - In PL Milton is still defending the right for every creature to have the freedom of choice even if they choose evil.

Milton supported the commonwealth however he was becoming increasingly dissatified with it

  • instead of giving men great political responsibility, Cromwell's authority (Military dictator), curtailed their freedom - Satan has much in common with the flawwed leader.
  • Eloquent rebel 
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Pamphlet Quotes


"it was from out of the rind of one apple, that the knowledge of good and evil...leapt forth into the world"

"Doom that Adam fell into, by only knowing evil"

Of the Tenure of Kings and Magistrates

"all men naturally were born free, privilege above all the creatures, born to command and not to obet"

"Till from the root of Adam's trangression, [they fell] among themselves to do wrong"

Samson Agonistes

" Nations grown corrupt by their vices brought to servitude"

"Than to love ******* more than liberty, ******* with ease than strenuous liberty" - in Satan's speeches are they embracing this or whether they are free in Hell away from God?

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