"Sad friends of Truth": Reading and Restoration in John Milton's 1671 poems

  • Author / Creator
    Dyck, Jonathan A
  • In this study I use John Milton’s notion of the “fit” reader as a guide to the theology and politics of reading in his early prose and late poetry. Throughout, I suggest that this reader functions as a site of contradiction within Milton’s writing, one that is indebted to a Protestant tradition of biblical hermeneutics, to the changing conditions of early modern book production, and to a burgeoning public sphere. These sources of tension reemerge in Milton’s post-Restoration poetry to inform a strategy of reading that resists state surveillance and helps to discipline a faithful remnant of readers. In conclusion, I argue that both Paradise Regain’d and Samson Agonistes involve their audience in a process of reading that is finally incompatible with the conditions and effects of England’s Restoration.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2012
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.