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What did Johnson say about Milton's political ideology?

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mumroy | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 22, 2010 at 1:27 AM via web

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What did Johnson say about Milton's political ideology?

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lprono | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted August 22, 2010 at 2:33 AM (Answer #1)

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The divergences between Milton and Johnson are well documented. Johnson, who extensively wrote on Milton, is often described as an antagonist to the author of Paradise Lost. He certainly disapproved of Milton's anti-monarchist stance which had led the poet to justify the execution of Charles I and to become directly involved with the Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell. In his writings on Milton, Johnson challenged the poet's perceived political idealism, highlighting his quest for status and financial security. Writing at the end of the 1770s, Johnson particularly feared the appropriation of Milton's writing for revolutionaly purposes and sought to revise Milton's image as chamption of civil liberties.

A well-reserched and interesting book on the topic is Johnson's Milton by Christine Rees, Cambridge University Press, 2010.

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