John Milton, Areopagitica

Neil Forsyth (Université de Lausanne)
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Areopagitica is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential of all works of English prose. One of its many famous phrases is still prominently displayed over the entrance to the Main Reading Room of the New York Public Library: “A good book is the precious lifeblood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life.” Published on November 23, 1644, it is constructed as an oration to Parliament, and its title alludes to the discourse of the Greek orator Isocrates who had written “from his private house” to the popular assembly on the hill called Areopagus in Athens; the full title is A Speech for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing to the Parliament of …

2155 words

Citation: Forsyth, Neil. "Areopagitica". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 December 2011 [, accessed 03 October 2023.]

6536 Areopagitica 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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