The Tyranny of Heaven: Milton's Rejection of God as King

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University of Delaware Press, 2004 - Literary Criticism - 208 pages
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The Tyranny of Heaven argues for a new way of reading the figure of Milton's God, contending that Milton rejects kings on earth and in heaven. Though Milton portrays God as a king in Paradise Lost, he does this neither to endorse kingship nor to recommend a monarchical model of deity. Instead, he recommends the Son, who in Paradise Regained rejects external rule as the model of politics and theology for Milton's fit audience though few. The portrait of God in Paradise Lost serves as a scathing critique of the English people and its slow but steady backsliding into the political habits of a nation long used to living under the yoke of kingship, a nation that maintained throughout its brief period of liberty the image of God as a heavenly king, and finally welcomed with open arms the return of a human king. Michael Bryson is a Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Northwestern University.
 

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This is an excellent and well researched book, re-establishing for modern readers what potentially is Milton's original political intention in writing Paradise Lost (which is also the obvious interpretation of the text that unfortunately has been subjugated by literary criticism's attempt to enjoy Milton while 'de-thorning' him as it were, by ignoring his revolutionary agenda and ideology). The Tyranny of Heaven is perhaps a beacon in the modern humanistic effort to reclaim Milton out of orthodox readings which continue to ignore the 'majesty' of Satan. 

Contents

Of Miltons and Gods
9
His Tyranny Who Reigns The Biblical Roots of Divine Kingship and Miltons Rejection of Heavns King in Prose and Poetry
42
Who durst defy th Omnipotent to Arms Satans Fall from Hero to King
77
That far be from thee Divine Evil Justification and the Evolution of the Son from WarriorKing to Hero
112
Tempt not the Lord thy God The End of Kingship and the Awareness of Divine Similitude in Paradise Regained
148
Notes
171
Works Cited
195
Index
201
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