Milton’s Nimrod and the Renaissance Debate.
Titlestad, P J H
The Southern African Society for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (SASMARS)
Milton`s presentation of Nimrod at the beginning of Book XII of Paradise Lost is a crucial part of the political theme that runs through Paradise Lost. It is also a late seventeenth century statement of a key political debate that dominates the English Renaissance and, in fact, the Renaissance as a whole. This is the debate between the two models of natural law, the one propping up monarchical authority, the other sanctioning revolt against tyranny. The latter is related to the tradition of reformed theology but also to Jesuit thought. The former is the favoured model of Tudor and Stuart autocracy. The later portion of the article discusses how certain of the New Historicists are deficient in claiming that religion in the Renaissance is a tool of Machiavellian authority without acknowledging that it is also one of the prime sources of politically revolutionary ideas and the growth of democracy. An analysis of aspects of New Historicist methodology is attempted.
Milton’s Nimrod and the Renaissance Debate,1017-3455,The Southern African Society for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.