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Milton and the Jews

Overview

The issue of the Jews deeply engaged Milton throughout his career, and not necessarily in ways that make for comfortable or reassuring reading today. While Shakespeare and Marlowe, for example, critiqued rather than endorsed racial and religious prejudice in their writings about Jews, the same cannot be said for Milton. The scholars in this collection confront a writer who participated in the sad history of anti-Semitism, even as he appropriated Jewish models throughout his writings. Well grounded in solid ...

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Overview

The issue of the Jews deeply engaged Milton throughout his career, and not necessarily in ways that make for comfortable or reassuring reading today. While Shakespeare and Marlowe, for example, critiqued rather than endorsed racial and religious prejudice in their writings about Jews, the same cannot be said for Milton. The scholars in this collection confront a writer who participated in the sad history of anti-Semitism, even as he appropriated Jewish models throughout his writings. Well grounded in solid historical and theological research, the essays both collectively and individually offer an important contribution to the debate on Milton and Judaism. This book will be of interest not only to scholars of Milton and of seventeenth-century literature, but also to historians of the religion and culture of the period.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'The essays in this volume richly document the productive ambivalence of Milton's thinking about the Jews. On the one hand the suffering Jew who endures the Babylonian captivity and remains faithful to his God is a model for God's Englishman. On the other, the literalist, surface-loving Jew - the outer Jew - exemplifies the idolatrous materialism that links him with the Turk and with Asian cybarites. Milton's complex deployment of these two figures of the Jew, the contributors show, is a key to the structure of his thinking about almost every issue that arises in both the poetry and the prose. All this and the incidental pleasure of learning that Sin is Jewish. Who knew.' Stanley Fish
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781107404694
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 2/23/2012
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author

Douglas A. Brooks is Associate Professor of English at Texas A & M University.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Milton and the Jews: 'A Project never so seasonable, and necessary, as now!' Douglas A. Brooks; 2. England, Israel, and the Jews in Milton's prose, 1649–60 Achsah Guibbory; 3. Milton's peculiar nation Elizabeth Sauer; 4. Making use of the Jews: Milton and philosemitism Nicholas von Maltzahn; 5. Milton and Solomonic education Douglas Trevor; 6. 'He is imitating nobody, and he is inimitable': T. S. Eliot and the anti-Semitic aesthetics of the Milton controversy Matthew Biberman; 7. A metaphorical Jew: the carnal, the literal and the Miltonic Linda Tredennick; 8. 'The people of Asia and with them the Jews': Israel, Asia, and England in Milton's writings Rachel Trubowitz; 9. Returning to Egypt: 'the Jew', 'the Turk', and the English Republic Benedict Robinson; Select bibliography; Index.

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