Sunday, December 9, 2012
“Better to reign in Hell, than to serve in Heaven.” … English poet and scholar John Milton was born on December 9, 1608. He wrote with fierce conviction at a time of upheaval in Britain. During the English Civil War, he wrote tracts serving the Puritan and Parliamentary cause, advocating radical topics that included the morality of divorce, sanctioned regicide and, in Areopagitica (1644), freedom of speech and the press. While serving Cromwell he steadily lost his eyesight and was blind by 1651. His vast epic poem, “Paradise Lost” (1667), one of the greatest works of the English language, tells the Fall of Man: Satan’s tempting of Adam and Eve and the expulsion from Eden. Milton's purpose was to "justify the ways of God to men" and debate fundamental issues of freedom, free will and self-determination.