Read Aeropagitica: A Speech for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing to the Parliament of England (Forgotten Books) by John Milton Free Online
Book Title: Aeropagitica: A Speech for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing to the Parliament of England (Forgotten Books)|
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The author of the book: John Milton
Edition: Forgotten Books
Date of issue: October 14th 2008
ISBN 13: 9781606208496
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 2.84 MB
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Areopagitica: A speech of Mr John Milton for the liberty of unlicensed printing to the Parliament of England is a prose tract or polemic by John Milton, published November 23, 1644, at the height of the English Civil War. Milton's Areopagitica is titled after a speech written by the Athenian orator Isocrates in the 5th century BC. (The Areopagus is a hill in Athens, the site of real and mythical tribunals. Isocrates hoped to restore the Council of the Areopagus.) Like Isocrates, Milton had no intention of delivering his speech orally. Instead it was distributed via pamphlet, defying the same publication censorship he argued against.
Milton, though a supporter of the Parliament, argued forcefully against the Licensing Order of 1643, noting that such censorship had never been a part of classical Greek and Roman society. The tract is full of biblical and classical references which Milton uses to strengthen his argument. The issue was personal for Milton as he had suffered censorship himself in his efforts to publish several tracts defending divorce (a radical stance at the time and one which met with no favor from the censors).
Interestingly, Milton is not completely libertarian in Areopagitica and argues that the status quo ante worked best. According to the previous English law, all books had to have at least a printer's name (and preferably an author's name) inscribed in them. Under that system, Milton argues, if any blasphemous or libelous material is published, those books can still be destroyed after the fact.
Areopagitica is among history's most influential and impassioned philosophical defences of the principle of a right to free speech.
Some consider Areopagitica worth reading side-by-side with Paradise Lost; a juxtaposition of these texts may yield an intriguing window into Milton's non
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Read information about the authorJohn Milton was an English poet, polemicist, man of letters, and a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell. He wrote at a time of religious flux and political upheaval, and is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost (1667), written in blank verse.
Milton's poetry and prose reflect deep personal convictions, a passion for freedom and self-determination, and the urgent issues and political turbulence of his day. Writing in English, Latin, Greek, and Italian, he achieved international renown within his lifetime, and his celebrated Areopagitica (1644)—written in condemnation of pre-publication censorship—is among history's most influential and impassioned defenses of free speech and freedom of the press.
William Hayley's 1796 biography called him the "greatest English author," and he remains generally regarded "as one of the preeminent writers in the English language," though critical reception has oscillated in the centuries since his death (often on account of his republicanism). Samuel Johnson praised Paradise Lost as "a poem which...with respect to design may claim the first place, and with respect to performance, the second, among the productions of the human mind," though he (a Tory and recipient of royal patronage) described Milton's politics as those of an "acrimonious and surly republican".
Because of his republicanism, Milton has been the subject of centuries of British partisanship.