Milton's <i>Defences</i> and the Principle OF ‘<i>Sanior Pars</i>’

Elizabeth Sauer

in The Oxford Handbook of Literature and the English Revolution

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199560608
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

Milton's Defences and the Principle OF ‘Sanior Pars’

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This article examines the ways in which John Milton imagined socio-political and notably religious reformation. In castigating Claudius Salmasius and Alexander More in his respective Defences, Milton himself confronted the haphazardness of the revolution — ‘conversio’ (a turning around) — and the question about the limited representation and participation of the populace in what came to be known as ‘the good Old Cause’ of liberty. The article situates his post-revolutionary Defences in philosophical contexts in light of Milton's own privileging of the moral disposition of the Protestant nation over its political, republican character, which has been the focus of much of the best scholarship on the treatises.

Keywords: John Milton; religious reformation; Defences; liberty; Protestant nation; moral disposition; revolution

Article.  8088 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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