Milton and the Drama of History: Historical Vision, Iconoclasm, and the Literary Imaginationby David Loewenstein
Pub. Date: 11/28/2006
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
This first book-length study explores the relationship between Milton's vision of history and his literary imagination in the revolutionary prose and great poems. It focuses on Milton as a controversial writer actively engaged in shaping, representing, and participating in the drama of history of his age. Highlighting the apocalyptic and iconoclastic components of Milton's historical vision, the book examines the more turbulent dimensions of his polemic and poetic works. Loewenstein stresses the importance of Milton's less canonical texts (such as Eikonoklastes and the History of Britain) and shows how they illuminate the sense of history dramatized in Paradise Lost and Samson Agonistes. Analyzing the literary expressions of Milton's radicalism, this study reveals a complex interaction among historical consciousness and figurative expression, political vision and textual effects.
- Cambridge University Press
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Table of ContentsAcknowledgments; A note on texts; Introduction; 1. The drama of history in the early revolutionary prose; 2. 'The wars of truth': Areopagitica and the dynamics of history; 3. 'Casting down imaginations': iconoclasm as history; 4. 'Great acts and great eloquence': the historical imagination in the later revolutionary prose; 5. Paradise Lost and the configurations of history; 6. Spectacle of power: Samson Agonistes and the drama of history; Notes; Index.
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