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Henderson 1 Tony Henderson Dr E V Seko Eng 408 Milton 10 October 1999 Miltons Notion of Virtue in Areopagitica What is the meaning of virtue Milton answers this question in his speech Areopagitica Milton will dicuss his meaning of virtue and show his anger at Parliament in the speech He knows by their actions that Parliament does not know the true meaning of virtue To understand Areopagitica you must first understand the reasoning behind the writing Milton being a Puritan did not agree with the beliefs upheld by the Roman Catholics Free will and free speech was the center of his soul and to have them governed and censored by Parliament was an outrage He knew that they did not truly understand what virtue was and did not want to hear any explanation In Areopagitica he definitely adopts the doctrine of free will and turns against the predestination of the Presbyterians Tillyard 136 Miltons beliefs at the time of his writing was that man is born with the seeds of good and evil and if the opportunity arises some men will choose the evil way He wants everyone to understand that man no matter who the person is has a choice in determining which road to take Milton is realistic when he Henderson 2 writes because he knows he is fighting a battle that is weighted against him He feels the power of the Parliament but he knows the possibility for victory is evident Even this possibility does not deter him from realizing that he is still dealing with man who has the choice to do good or evil But in Areopagitica beneath the excitement of hope there can be detected the whisper of doubt Tillyard 135 Milton tries to explain the meaning of virtue in his writing with the hopes that Parliament will heed what he is saying Milton explains to them that good and evil walk hand in hand
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