Areopagitica: A Speech for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing to the Parliament of England

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Createspace Independent Pub, 2014 M01 21 - 68 páginas
Areopagitica: A speech of Mr. John Milton for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing, to the Parliament of England is a 1644 prose polemical tract by the English poet and polemical author John Milton opposing licensing and censorship. Areopagitica is among history's most influential and impassioned philosophical defenses of the principle of a right to freedom of speech and expression. It is regarded as one of the most eloquent defenses of press freedom ever written because many of its expressed principles form the basis for modern justifications of that right.

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John Milton (1608-1674) was an English poet, polemicist, and civil servant for the Commonwealth of England. He is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost. He was a scholarly man of letters, a polemical writer, and an official serving under Oliver Cromwell. He wrote at a time of religious flux and political upheaval in England, and his poetry and prose reflect deep convictions and deal with contemporary issues, such as his treatise condemning licensing, Areopagitica. As well as English, he wrote in Latin and Italian, and had an international reputation during his lifetime. After his death, Milton's critical reception oscillated, a state of affairs that continued through the centuries. At an early stage he became the subject of partisan biographies, such as that of John Toland from the nonconformist perspective, and a hostile account by Anthony à Wood. Samuel Johnson wrote unfavourably of his politics as those of "an acrimonious and surly republican"; but praised Paradise Lost "a poem which, considered with respect to design may claim the first place, and with respect to performance, the second, among the productions of the human mind". William Hayley's 1796 biography called him the "greatest English author". He remains generally regarded "as one of the preeminent writers in the English language and as a thinker of world importance.

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