Dragon's Teeth: Literature in the English Revolution

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9780198128816: Dragon's Teeth: Literature in the English Revolution

"Books", said Milton, "are like dragons' teeth that spring up armed men." This study looks at some of the armed men that Milton, Marvell, Browne, and Butler sent off to fight, and offers a series of readings of 17th-century literary texts in the historical and political context of the English Revolution. Confronting the formalist taboo on historical and political context, these essays offer challenging new readings, exploring issues of war and peace, of economic exploitation, social repression and the radical politics of the Levellers and Diggers. "Religio Medici", usually read as a retired and impartial meditation upon eternal verities, is shown to be a combatively reactionary text, partisan in the press controversies on the eve of the Civil War. "Comus" is seen to be permeated with explosive political and religious tension. Instead of the ambivalently poised Marvell, we see a calculating Cromwellian propagandist. Milton's radicalism is demonstrated in its continuity, with studies of the early poems, "Comus", "Paradise Lost" and "Paradise Regained" and "Samson Agonistes". As T.S. Eliot said, the Civil War of the 17th century has never been concluded. The issues that resulted in revolution three centuries ago have their part and their relevance in the issues confronting us today, as these essays readably and persuasively demonstrate. This is a book for students of 17th-century English literature and history and political scientists of the period.

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Michael Wilding
Editore: Oxford University Press, USA (1987)
ISBN 10: 0198128819 ISBN 13: 9780198128816
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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press, USA, 1987. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0198128819

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