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'DUE LIBERTIE AND PROPORTIOND EQUALITIE': MILTON, DEMOCRACY AND THE REPUBLICAN TRADITION

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John Milton's political thought has been interpreted in strikingly divergent ways. This article argues that he should be seen as a classical republican, and locates key aspects of his political thought within an ancient Greek discourse critical of democracy or extreme democracy. Milton was clearly familiar with the ancient texts expounding this critique, and he himself deployed both the arguments and the characteristic discourse of the anti-democratic thinkers across the span of his writing. This vision of politics emphasized the rightly-ordered soul of the masculine republican citizen, in contrast to the unruly passions seen both in tyrants and in the democratic rabble.
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Keywords: John Milton; ancient Greece; classical republicanism; democracy; equality; liberty; tyranny

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2013-01-01

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