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The Legal Epic – Paradise Lost and the Early Modern Law - Chicago Scholarship Online
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The Legal Epic: Paradise Lost and the Early Modern Law

Alison A. Chapman


The first sustained study of the poet John Milton’s considerable involvements with and knowledge of law, this book argues that Milton's great epic poem Paradise Lost sits at the apex of the early modern period’s long fascination with law and judicial processes. Readers have overlooked the crucial role that law plays in Milton’s poem because they bring to bear specifically modern, positivist ideas about law as an imposition of the secular state. But seventeenth-century Natural Law adherents, like Milton, regarded law and religion as linked disciplines, and so in different ways, both law and rel ... More

Keywords: John Milton, Paradise Lost, law, religion, jurisprudence, natural Law, common law, Romano-canon law, early modern England, positivist, justice

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780226435138
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226435275.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Alison A. Chapman, author
University of Alabama at Birmingham