The Doctrine And Discipline Of Divorce Analysis

1918 Words 8 Pages
In his lifetime, Milton wrote four different tracts on divorce. The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, The Judgment of Martin Bucer, Tetrachordon, and Colasterion. Of these, only The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce was drastically rewritten, nearly doubling it between the first and second editions. These changes go beyond reformatting and adding headnotes to each chapter, to the additions of completely new sections and other significant changes. In "Milton Rewrites The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce," Thomas Kranidas compares the two editions in order to show the differences in tone and rhetoric between the editions. While his paper addresses some important changes throughout the tract, I will be focusing on the title page and address, and various chapters throughout the tract. Using Kranidas and the two editions of The Doctrine and Discipline and Divorce, I plan on showing that while Milton does shift the message and tone of his paper, as Kranidas asserts, it is not for the …show more content…
In the first edition, the wife appears as a “limp non-entity” (Kranidas 128), but in the second edition she is aggressive and controlling. One significant change comes after implying the uxorious husband is an inherently bad thing; Milton asks, “Who can be ignorant that woman was created for man, and not man for woman, and that a husband may be injured in marriage as a wife?” (Milton 168), which Kranidas sees as reinforcing the image of the shrew wife. Kranidas explains this change stems from the difference in Milton's state of mind in relation to his wife, Mary. At the time Milton wrote the first edition he suffered a combination of the distress of being deserted with the thought that he had written the solution. For him to have this solution rejected made him react angrily as he wrote the second

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