Milton, Marriage, and the Politics of Gender

Rosanna Cox

in John Milton

Published by British Academy

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780197264706
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734557 | DOI:

Series: British Academy Original Paperbacks

Milton, Marriage, and the Politics of Gender

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This chapter investigates the seventeenth-century cultural and historical context of Milton's portrayal the relationship of Adam and Eve in Paradise Lost. This approach aims to bring the intellectual, doctrinal, and political debates with which he engaged in his portrayal of the relationship between the sexes. The chapter examines Milton' understanding of the ideas of woman, womanhood, and the cultural debates about the relationship of man and woman in marriage and in the household, and the ways in which these conceptions formed his political and theological outlook. Milton's thoughts on gender and marriage, which were grounded in reformation and seventeenth-century Puritan teachings, in political debates on family and political obligation, and in the ideological and imaginative relationships between politics and gender, formed his prose and poetry on the relationship of man and woman.

Keywords: marriage; seventeenth century; historical context; cultural context; Adam and Eve; Paradise Lost; portrayal of relationship; woman; womanhood; Milton's political outlook

Chapter.  8747 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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