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‘Due libertie and proportiond equalitie’: Milton, democracy, and the republican tradition

Foxley, R. (2013) ‘Due libertie and proportiond equalitie’: Milton, democracy, and the republican tradition. History of Political Thought, 34 (4). pp. 614-639. ISSN 0143-781X

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John Milton’s political thought has been interpreted in strikingly divergent ways. This article argues that he should be seen as a classical republican, and locates key aspects of his political thought within an ancient Greek discourse critical of democracy or extreme democracy. Milton was clearly familiar with the ancient texts expounding this critique, and he himself deployed both the arguments and the characteristic discourse of the anti-democratic thinkers across the span of his writing. This vision of politics emphasized the rightly-ordered soul of the masculine republican citizen, in contrast to the unruly passions seen both in tyrants and in the democratic rabble.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Early Modern Research Centre (EMRC)
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Language Text and Power
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Humanities > History
ID Code:33972
Uncontrolled Keywords:John Milton; ancient Greece; classical republicanism; democracy; equality; liberty; tyranny
Publisher:Imprint Academic

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