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8. Charles I and Paradise Lost
About this Lecture
In this module, Diane discusses how the reign of Charles and the events of the English Civil War impacted John Milton in his writing of 'Paradise Lost'. In the first instance, she discusses the impact of gunpowder (including heavy artillery) in the Civil War, something which led to death on a much larger scale. Indeed, it is striking that Milton has Satan discover gunpowder and attack the massed ranks of angels with heavy artillery. A more profound impact on Milton, however, was the idea of Charles as a rebel tyrant - an idea that is represented in 'Paradise Lost' through the character of Satan.
This course provides key historical context for John Milton's 'Paradise Lost', looking in particular at the figure of Charles I. The course is divided into nine parts. The first seven look at Charles' early years (1600-25), his early reign (1625-29), the period of Personal Rule (1629-40), his problems in Scotland (1639-40) and Ireland (1641), and the English Civil War (1642-51). The last two look at the impact of Charles' reign on Paradise Lost, as well as Milton's own politics in this period.
Diane Purkiss is a Professor at Keble College, Oxford. She has published two books on the English Civil War - 'The English Civil War: A People's History' (2006) and 'Literature, Gender, and Politics during the English Civil War' (2005).
Cite this Lecture
Purkiss, D. (2018, August 15). Milton and the English Civil War: Charles I - Charles I and Paradise Lost [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/milton-and-the-english-civil-war-charles-i/charles-i-and-paradise-lost
Purkiss, Diane. "Milton and the English Civil War: Charles I – Charles I and Paradise Lost." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018, https://massolit.io/courses/milton-and-the-english-civil-war-charles-i/charles-i-and-paradise-lost