John Milton's use of logic in 'Paradise lost'
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The thesis pioneers a new methodology for the analysis of early modern literature: it embarks on a stylistic appreciation of Paradise Lost using early modern methods of interpretation and comprehension, specifically logic. In doing so it engages in the contest between historicist and stylistic criticism, providing a new methodology by which these two approaches are united to perform historically appropriate stylistic analysis of literary texts. Logic formed the bedrock of all early modern intellectual operations, including the literary, and it was the art used for all forms of analysis and interpretation. Yet in modern studies, logic has suffered from its own interdisciplinary dexterity: it is comparatively seldom studied, and when examined this tends to be in connection within a specific field of interest. As such there is a lack of a comprehensive developmental understanding of this subject in line with its original pragmatic purposes. This thesis addresses this quandary by examining a wide range of texts from the period to produce a syncretic appreciation of this art, similar to that acquired by early modern students. Having extrapolated the principles of early modern logic the second half of the thesis applies these in a practical way to analyse Milton’s style in Paradise Lost, reaching a new appreciation of the poem in accordance with the logical precepts that enabled its original production. The overarching aim of the thesis is to produce an innovative methodology enabling historically appropriate stylistic analysis of early modern texts, uniting the customarily disparate approaches of historicist and stylistic criticism in a literal and pragmatic way to open the possibility for future application of this methodology to other early modern literary texts.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Embargo Date: 2019-11-12
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations. Print and electronic version restricted until 12th November 2019
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