Book Series Cursor Mundi , vol. 6

'Paradise Lost' and Republican Tradition from Aristotle to Machiavelli

William Walker

  • Pages: 332 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Language(s):English, Latin
  • Publication Year:2009

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  • ISBN: 978-2-503-52877-9
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  • ISBN: 978-2-503-56059-5
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Summary

This major interdisciplinary study re-examines the political thought of John Milton, one of the celebrated proponents of the ‘Commonwealth and Free State’ that was established in England in the mid-seventeenth century. Walker shows that in his epic poem, Paradise Lost (1667), Milton presents a heterodox Protestant vision of politics. This vision differs radically from the vision of politics presented by republicans from Aristotle to Machiavelli, and by Milton himself in his major political prose. The study is based on close readings of primary texts and scholarship in literary criticism, philosophy, theology, and the history of political thought. It is thus a powerful challenge to the current consensus on Milton’s republicanism, his Christian humanism, and the shape of his oeuvre. It is, in addition, an important contribution to our understanding of a tradition of political thought that continues to inform modern republics.

Dr William Walker is Senior Lecturer in the School of English, Media & Performing Arts at the University of New South Wales. He completed an Honours BA and MA in English literature at the University of Western Ontario, and a PhD in English literature at The Johns Hopkins University. His research is focused on Locke, Milton, and the history of republican political thought.