Abstract and Keywords
This article demonstrates aspects of the executive political culture to which John Milton belonged, and in which he was still immersed when he began sustained work on Paradise Lost towards the end of the 1650s, and suggests some ways in which it informed the poem. In doing so, it may be that a less familiar – and less congenial – image of Milton comes into view. Unlike Lipsius and Bacon, Milton was utterly averse to the idea of using violence to enforce religious belief. He was thus surprisingly at ease with a humanist ethos that tolerated violence, slavery, fraud, and falsehood. The language and the events of Defensio Secunda resonate with the politics of the 1650s.
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.