Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Legal EpicParadise Lost and the Early Modern Law$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Alison A. Chapman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226435138

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226435275.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 04 April 2020

The Traitors of Heaven and Earth

The Traitors of Heaven and Earth

Chapter:
(p.65) 3 The Traitors of Heaven and Earth
Source:
The Legal Epic
Author(s):

Alison A. Chapman

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226435275.003.0003

This chapter argues that Milton taps contemporary early modern debates about the nature of treason for his depiction of sin in Paradise Lost. Political upheavals in the middle of the seventeenth century, including the English Civil War, had put the definition of treason under immense pressure. In prose works such as Eikonoklastes, A Defense of the English People, and Brief Notes upon a Late Sermon, Milton champions an emerging idea of treason as an attack on the law rather than as an attack on the king. This definition of treason informs his treatment of both Adam and Eve's and Satan's rebellion in Paradise Lost. Milton's reliance on an impersonal idea of treason has important stakes for how he depicts God. Milton shows Heaven to be a thoroughly legal order, and the chapter discusses what this legality says about the nature of God.

Keywords:   treason, English Civil War, Eikonoklastes, Defense of the English People, Brief Notes upon a Late Sermon, Adam and Eve, Satan, God, traitors

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.