Persona and decorum in Milton's prose (Book, 1997) [WorldCat.org]
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Persona and decorum in Milton's prose

Author: Reuben Sánchez
Publisher: Madison, NJ : Fairleigh Dickinson University Press ; London ; Cranbury, NJ : Associated University Presses, ©1997.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"In this study, Reuben Sanchez, Jr. examines the kinds of persona and decorum strategies Milton uses in his prose. Preliminary discussion includes the background of the prophetic Milton in both the poetry and the prose, the significance of "history" and "biography" to a study of the prose, and the description of the protean nature of the terms persona and decorum during the Renaissance. Although recent schools of  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Persona (Literature)
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Sanchez, Reuben.
Persona and decorum in Milton's prose.
Madison, NJ : Fairleigh Dickinson University Press ; London ; Cranbury, NJ : Associated University Presses, ©1997
(OCoLC)644046391
Named Person: John Milton; John Milton; John Milton; John Milton; John Milton
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Reuben Sánchez
ISBN: 0838636802 9780838636800
OCLC Number: 35262503
Notes: Based on the author's thesis.
Description: 251 pages ; 24 cm
Contents: 1. "I might perhaps leave something so written to aftertimes": Historicizing the Prophetic Milton --
2. "the main consistence of a true poem": Persona and Decorum in Milton's Prose --
3. "And joyn thy voice unto the Angel Quire": Of Education and the "subsequent, or indeed rather precedent" Relationship of the Prose to the Poetry --
4. "as a burning fire shut up in my bones": From Polemic to Prophecy in The Reason of Church Government and The Readie and Easie Way --
5. "the middling temper of nourishment": Biblical Exegesis and the Art of Indeterminate Balance in Tetrachordon --
6. "So that from hence we shall not need dispute": Toward the Temple in The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates --
7. "so mindfull of Decorum": The Cultic Prophet in Eikonoklastes and Observations upon the Articles of Peace --
8. "the search for a more exalted manner of expression": Returning to the Wilderness in the Second Defense. 9. "sound doctrine diligently and duely taught": Teacher Education and the Pastoral Letters in A Treatise of Civil Power in Ecclesiastical Causes and Considerations Touching the Likeliest Means to Remove Hirelings Out of the Church --
10. "with new acquist / Of true experience": The Failed Revolutionary in the Letter to Heimbach and Samson Agonistes --
11. "the worst of superstitions": Persona and the Issue of Religious Tolerance in Of True Religion --
12. "the benefit which may be had of books promiscuously read": The "functional ambiguity" of Areopagitica.
Responsibility: Reuben Sánchez, Jr.

Abstract:

"In this study, Reuben Sanchez, Jr. examines the kinds of persona and decorum strategies Milton uses in his prose. Preliminary discussion includes the background of the prophetic Milton in both the poetry and the prose, the significance of "history" and "biography" to a study of the prose, and the description of the protean nature of the terms persona and decorum during the Renaissance. Although recent schools of literary criticism have tended to remove the author from the text, thereby calling into question the value of persona criticism, Sanchez points out that Milton himself argues against the separation of author from persona and against the subordination of author to persona. As literary critic and dramatist in the preface to Samson Agonistes, as bard in Paradise Lost, as orator in Areopagitica, as autobiographer in the prologue to Book II of The Reason of Church Government, as "Author" of Lycidas distinguishing himself in the coda from "th' uncouth swain"--The author inside each of these and other works is clearly observed by the author who stands for a time outside the work. The theatrical, literary, psychological, and biographical implications of the term persona are essential to a discussion concerning literary self-presentation in Milton's work because the seventeenth century is precisely marked by the literary emergence of modern notions of selfhood." "Sanchez shows how and why Milton fashions persona after a biblical model appropriate to the occasion to which a given prose tract responds, the model therefore varying from tract to tract. But Milton's self-presentation is also a manifestation of his changing perception of the source of his authority to speak - from power validated by the persona's attachment to a secular or religious group, to power validated by the persona's assertion of his special relationship with God. Sanchez traces the movement in Milton's thought and self-presentation from dependence on public covenant to revaluation of public covenant as dependent on private covenant." "Through analysis of selected tracts spanning Milton's career as prose writer, Sanchez describes Milton's persona as the result of the "labour" involved in fashioning various personae for various occasions, and of the "divine inspiration" involved in the prophet's calling. While Milton partly fashions persona according to his immediate and practical goals in a given tract, persona must also be considered as it manifests Milton's biography and his conviction that he is a prophet through whom God communicates to the nation, albeit an increasingly unattentive nation. The less Milton relies on the authority vested in the group and the public covenant, the more authority he appropriates for himself and the more he relies on the private covenant. It is perhaps only by strongly relying on the private covenant that Milton can, toward the end of the Revolution and then again in 1673, speak to and for a nation that does not heed him."--Jacket.

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