[Milton-L] The War in Heaven

alan horn alanshorn at gmail.com
Wed Jul 12 12:39:22 EDT 2006


> 1) It's hardly useful to be informed that to rebel against a tyrant
> is good, whereas to rebel against God is bad-- when the whole issue
> is whether God (as represented in the poem and perhaps in the bible)
> is a tyrant.  (Note:  Tyrants think their will is law; tyrants are
> capricious; tyrants enjoy exercising their power.)

A tyrant, according to Milton, is one who:

"aspire[s]
Above his brethren, to himself assuming
Authority usurped, from God not given:
He gave us only over beast, fish, fowl
Dominion absolute; that right we hold
By his donation; but man over men
He made us not lord; such title to himself
Reserving, human left from human free...." (XII, 64f.)

Nothing about exercising authority per se, but rather authority over
fellow creatures that rightfully belongs only to God.

Not Cromwell but Charles (like Nimrod, the tyrant's type, who "from
rebellion... derive[d] his name, / Though of rebellion others he
accuse[d]") was the true rebel.

Alan H.


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