TOLERANCE OR A WAR ON SHADOWS: JOHN MILTON’S PARADISE LOST, THE ENGLISH CIVIL WAR, AND THE KALEIDOSCOPIC EARLY MODERN FRONTIER
Author: Tadd Graham Fernée
New Bulgarian University, Sofia, Bulgaria
This article comprises two sections. The first analyses John Milton’s Paradise Lost in terms of the frontier dividing Providence and Chaos. Chaos is represented in violent images of the colonial world, the English Civil War, and Scientific Revolution cosmology. Providence intends to justify the ways of God in history. Milton’s retelling of the traditional Biblical Fall allegorises the 17th century Scientific Revolution, English society overwhelmed by market forces, and early modern nation-building wars. The second section analyses the English Civil War, focusing on Providence and Natural Rights. The Natural Rights defence of pluralism was the work of political refugees, attempting to curtail atrocities done in the name of Providence. Providence, meanwhile, was a political weapon, amidst new forces of capitalism, dynastic rivalry, and nationalism. This article examines Milton’s poetic visions, and the institutions and actions that characterized his political life in the English Revolution, and their interconnection.
Keywords: John Milton, Paradise Lost, English Civil War, Scientific Revolution, colonialism, religious wars, state building, Natural Rights, Providence, secularism, revolution
Received: 5 December 2017;
Reviewed: 28 December 2017;
Accepted: 30 December 2017;
Published: 31 December 2017
Fernée, T. G. (2017). Tolerance or a War on Shadows: John Milton’s Paradise Lost, the English Civil War, and the kaleidoscopic early modern frontier. English Studies at NBU, 3(2), 53-73. https://doi.org/10.33919/esnbu.17.2.1
Copyright © 2017 Tadd Graham Fernée
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1. Boris Naimushin, New Bulgarian University
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