How Is John Milton Democratic

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In his immortal classic Paradise Lost, John Milton writes that it is; “Better to reign in Hell, than to serve in Heaven” (Milton, i.263). While he wrote these words in the later years of his life, it is a philosophy which Milton held throughout his life. Along with Paradise Lost, Milton also published dozens of other essays and poems, and served as the official Secretary for Foreign Tongues under Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England. Although these illustrious positions may seem to paint the picture of a politician and advocate of democracy however, MIlton was more anarchistic than democratic. John Milton did not necessarily believe in people having power over their lives, but rather recognized the flaws in the current system of monarchies …show more content…
The Powell family declared their support for King Charles I, however Milton was a vocal proponent of Oliver Cromwell and his roundheads. Milton was not a fighter, far from it. Instead, he helped Cromwell by writing a series of essays and pamphlets discussing the shortcomings of monarchies. Milton's primary argument against monarchies was that if a monarch only answers to God, then he himself is equal to God, which goes against all of the teachings of the church, as well as a few commandments. (Roberts) Only very rarely however did Milton publish articles praising Cromwell, begging the question; did Milton really support Cromwell, or did he just hate monarchies? While may have deceived others, and perhaps even himself, into believing he was supporting Cromwell, in reality he was just supporting the idea that monarchies are ruinous for the people who live under them. The end of the civil war was not the end of Milton’s political involvement though, in fact it was only the …show more content…
Paradise Lost details Adam and Eve’s days in the Garden of Eden, and how Satan persuaded Eve into eating from the tree of knowledge. But Milton’s depiction of the Devil is different from all others that had come before it. Prior to Milton, every version of Lucifer was as a monstrous figure, often with decaying flesh or leathery bat-wings. But Milton had Satan seen as a sympathetic antagonist. Milton’s Devil was God’s most beautiful angel, who was powerful and great, God’s second in command. When he rose up against his creator however, God sentenced Satan and all of his followers to an eternity in Hell. Not only is Milton’s depiction of Lucifer described as almost perfect, as a character he is seen to be more relatable and kind than even God. This version of the Devil is less like the embodiment of pure evil, and more like the ancient Greek figure Prometheus, who was a revolutionary deity that fought the other immortals on behalf of humans. Milton’s Satan is so compelling, that he can even be seen as an embodiment of the American Dream. (Simon) In the beginning of Paradise Lost, the Devil has just lost a rebellion against God, and been punished for fighting against the powers that be. He rose through the ranks to become a leader, and fought for greater freedom, even when he knew that he could be punished for it. Over the course of Paradise Lost, he never shirks

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