Milton and the Politics of Public Speech: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Milton and the Politics of Public Speech

1st Edition

By Helen Lynch

Routledge

302 pages

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Description

Using Hannah Arendt’s account of the Greek polis to explain Milton’s fascination with the idea of public speech, this study reveals what is distinctive about his conception of a godly, republican oratory and poetics. The book shows how Milton uses rhetorical theory - its ideas, techniques and image patterns - to dramatise the struggle between ’good’ and ’bad’ oratory, and to fashion his own model of divinely inspired public utterance. Connecting his polemical and imaginative writing in new ways, the book discusses the subliminal rhetoric at work in Milton’s political prose and the systematic scrutiny of the power of oratory in his major poetry. By setting Milton in the context of other Civil War polemicists, of classical political theory and its early modern reinterpretations, and of Renaissance writing on rhetoric and poetic language, the book sheds new light on his work across several genres, culminating in an extended Arendtian reading of his ’Greek’ drama Samson Agonistes.

Table of Contents

Milton and the idea of public speech. 'Two twins cleaving together': rhetoric and 'knowing good by evil'. 'Enchanting tongues persuasive': rhetoric and gender. Samson the orator and the redemption of public speech. Samson Agonistes and the temptations of romance.

About the Author

Helen Lynch is Lecturer in Early Modern Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Aberdeen, UK.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LIT000000
LITERARY CRITICISM / General
LIT014000
LITERARY CRITICISM / Poetry
LIT019000
LITERARY CRITICISM / Renaissance