John Milton, Englishman (Classic Reprint)
Fb&c Limited, May 16, 2017 - 292 pages
Excerpt from John Milton, Englishman
Actually, Milton's fame, which is said always to have been more or less a matter of politics, is as much so today as It ever was. If seventeenth century Puritanism and the English civil war seem more remote to us than they did to Johnson or Macaulay, it is only that the debate has been transferred to a larger and more philosophic stage. There are three reasons for Milton's remaining a controversial figure: He gave such eloquent answers to questions that still divide mankind. He made his own charac ter an issue in the public causes for which he fought. And as a poet he did not detach himself from his imaginative creation. The present writer is less interested in evaluating Milton as an artist, a thinker, or a man than he is in explaining the processes of a creative personality, but he does not expect or particularly wish to escape what others have failed to escape: the betrayal of an attitude. As an American, familiar with England and English tradi tion chieﬂy through books, he sees Milton with a difference. As an ob server of the current world of revolution and reaction, peace and war, he interprets the great protagonist of the struggles of another age in the light of behavior he has observed.
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