Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts

Degree Discipline




Most great writers achieve immortality because they cherish a single idea or story and make it the focal point for all their literary efforts. For Shakespeare, it was the stage, and the anticipation of hearing his lines spoken to appreciative audiences; for Tennyson, it was Sir Thomas Malory and His Arthurian Legend; for John Milton, it was the Holy Bible. Having become obsessed with the Hebrew story in childhood, his soul clinging to its language and thought, Milton spent almost an entire lifetime exploring its mysteries and gathering inspiration for poems which were to expound some of its most essential teachings.

The recent works of John Milton deal with his political and theological ideas and with the cultural backgrounds of both the poetry and prose. Such studies tend to emphasize the position which Milton holds as the representative of Christian humanism in its English manifestations in a period of conflict and upheaval. It is clear, nevertheless, that he was both a conservative and a great reformer.

A study of a reformer's views in any field should logically begin with the status quo. Usually, something has influenced him to make him want to alter existing conditions.

it may have been some experience, belief, practice, bis early life, parentage, environment, or even a mere idea suggested by a predecessor. Whatever the case, some light on any one of these factors will aid in an understanding as to why certain existing conditions needed changing. This being true, a logical beginning, in any study of Milton, is with what may be called a "background," for the purpose of discovering fundamental causes that prompted Milton to believe that certain religious and political changes were necessary for human progress.

Committee Chair/Advisor

Anne L. Campbell

Committee Member

Frankie B. Ledbetter

Committee Member

J. L. Echols

Committee Member

J. D. Singletary

Committee Member

S. W. Spalding


Prairie View Agricultural And Mechanical College


© 2021 Prairie View A & M University

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Date of Digitization


Contributing Institution

John B Coleman Library

City of Publication

Prairie View





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