Milton

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John Milton

England 1608 – 1674


Comments: Poet; Philosopher; Creator of Western concept of Lucifer; blind in later years, dependent on his daughters to write down his poetry; Puritan and Parliamentary supporter; Avoids dualism with Monism AKA animist materialism AKA the Atomism of Democritus and Leucippus; like Sir Isaac Newton, he believed in Arianism, not Trinitarian Protestantism; Angelic War over Heaven with Lucifer / Satan (Latin Morning Star /Hebrew prosecutor) and some Angels against their Creator; Death appears at line 666, Adam eats the apple and Man Falls at line 999; The Devils Mormon, Beelzebub, Satan have a Parliamentary debate on where Hell needs to go; One of the central puzzles of Milton is Rebellion - Satan's rebellion, Eve and Adam's rebellion, all are blasphemy and have negative consequences, but at the same time, Milton is not only supporting Cromwell in his rebellion against the King, and thus the Great Chain of Being and God himself, but writes the justification for beheading the King. Is Milton concerned that his later blindness and the Restoration of Charles the II are God's punishment for this Rebellion on Earth, as Adam is exiled from Eden for his Rebellion?;


Teachers: tutor, Thomas Young; Dante Alighieri; Virgil; Boethius; Giovanni Boccaccio; Francesco Petrarch; Edmund Spenser; Geoffrey Chaucer; Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas; John Aubrey; William Shakespeare; Sir Henry Vane; John Calvin, of Calvinism; Paulus Fagius; David Pareus ; Andreus Rivetus; Horace; Galileo Galilei, whom he saw as a youngster; Aeschylus, author of Prometheus Bound, a clear predecessor of Milton's Lucifer is Aeschylus' Prometheus ;

Students: John Dryden; Alexander Pope; Joseph Addison; Thomas Newton; William Hayley; Samuel Johnson; William Blake;John Toland;Barbara Lewalski; Anna Beer; Andrew Marvell, poet; Richard Bentley; Theodore Haak; Johann Jakob Bodmer ; Edmund Burke; Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley; George Eliot aka Mary Anne Evans; Thomas Hardy; C. S. Lewis; Gustave Doré ; Henry Fuseli; Salvador Dali; John Byrne, Roy Thomas & Chris Claremont whose Wolverine character got his Adamantium unbreakable bones & claws from the Adamantine chains in Paradise Lost; Lee Morgan, 2016;


Friends; Oliver Cromwell; Henry Lawes; Henry Oldenburg; Samuel Hartlib; Edward King, died young, inspired 1st major signed poem; Roger Williams; Henry Wotton; Ambassador John Scudamore; Hugo Grotius; theologian Henry Holden ; poet Patrick Cary; Lukas Holste, Vatican librarian; Cardinal Francesco Barberini; Hezekiah Woodward; Elizabeth (Betty) Minshull, 3rd wife; John Bacon the Elder; Marchamont Nedham; the Quakers; Henry Fuseli;

Enemies: Charles the I (beheaded); Charles the II, restored to the throne; Anthony à Wood; tutor, William Chappell; High-Anglican Church of England Archbishop William Laud, of Canterbury; Mary Powell, 1st wife and inspiration for his impassioned defense of DIVORCE!!!; Claudius Salmasius; Plato; Rene Descartes; Thomas Hobbes; William Wordsworth; John Keats; T. S. Eliot ; Ezra Pound; Harold Bloom; Sir Roger L'Estrange, 1616 –1704, author of “No Blinde Guides”;

Organizations; Oliver Cromwell's Puritan Revolution and Commonwealth during the British Civil Wars;

Author: Lycidas; Paradise Lost; Paradise Regained; Areopagitica (against Govt. censorship); On the Morning of Christ's Nativity; Epitaph on the admirable Dramatick Poet, W. Shakespeare ; Arcades; Comus; Defensio Secunda; Of Reformation touching Church Discipline in England (1641); Of Prelatical Episcopacy ; The Reason of Church-Government Urged against Prelaty; Of Education, 1644, after meeting Samuel Hartlib; The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates (1649) ; Eikonoklastes, in defense of regicide; On His Blindness; A Treatise of Civil Power, 1659; A Letter to a Friend, Concerning the Ruptures of the Commonwealth, 1659; Proposals of certain expedients for the preventing of a civil war now feared, 1659; The Ready and Easy Way to Establishing a Free Commonwealth; Art of Logic; History of Britain; Of True Religion, 1672; De doctrina christiana, unfinished; Samson Agonistes; The Doctrine & Discipline of Divorce, 1643;


Quotes: The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven; "Better to reign in Hell than to serve in Heaven"; Of Milton, Samuel Johnson said in Lives of the Poets, Paradise Lost is one of the books which the reader admires and puts down, and forgets to take up again. None ever wished it longer than it is." Where Milton has Lucifer say, "Better to reign in Hell than Serve in Heaven", Aeschylus has Prometheus say "Mistake me not; I would not, if I might, Change my misfortunes for thy vassalage." to Hermes, ie, he would rather be a Prisoner of Zeus bound forever than serve such a Master;


Comparing Aeschylus' Prometheus, Dante Alighieri's Satan with John Milton's Lucifer, the Catholic Devil to the Protestant, will be developed in a separate essay, along with the initiated version of the Old Testament story of Job, the Wicca theories of Margaret Murray; The transition from Horned God to Evil Power to Nature Freed; The influence on "Bad Boys" of the 17 and 18 th centuries (looking at you, William Blake and Aleister Crowley); Modern interpretations such as the Ann Randian Selfishness of Anton LaVey to dangerous Cthulhuoid invocations culled from the fiction of H. P. Lovecraft. This will tie in with the existing essay 0n the problem of Good and Evil;

Resources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Milton ; The Life and Writings of John Milton lecture series by Prof Seth Lerer; read him here - http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/20/pg20.html ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradise_Lost; or listen here - v, may be the best way to enjoy him; http://press.princeton.edu/chapters/i7376.html ;