The Archetype of Revolt in John Milton's Paradise Lost Cover Image

The Archetype of Revolt in John Milton's Paradise Lost
The Archetype of Revolt in John Milton's Paradise Lost

Author(s): Marius Dumitrescu
Subject(s): Cognitive Psychology, Psychoanalysis, Sociology of the arts, business, education
Published by: Editura Lumen, Asociatia Lumen
Keywords: John Milton; Paradise Lost; psychoanalytic approach; archetype of revolt; obedience; freedom;

Summary/Abstract: John Milton (1608-1674) was one of the main advocates of the reform policy initiated by Oliver Cromwell in England. The texts written by him during the conflict between the Parliament and the King determined the new Republic to offer him high-ranking positions. In the last part of his life, however, after Charles II restoration, Milton fell into the disgrace of the new king. It is the period of time when he wrote the great epic poem Paradise Lost, published in a first edition in 1667 and consisting in ten books. The present paper aims to capture the way Milton developed a theory on the right to rebellion in his poem Paradise Lost. Using the instruments of a psychoanalytic approach, we want to capture the archetype of the revolt, revealing the deep meaning of the concrete history in which it is projected. For Milton, rebellion is justified. This idea was later confirmed by John Locke as the right to rebellion in The Second Treaty on Governance. For Milton, revolt is an archetype, but for Locke it becomes a true philosophical concept. Milton's main hero, the fallen angel Lucifer, becomes an archetypal symbol for the spirit of revolt. However, the text was meant to provide its creator with rehabilitation in front of the Crown, who finally recognized his genius. Using psychoanalysis, we identified subtle links between Milton's life and his work. We can even consider that Milton's life and his work intertwine; they are one and the same thing.

  • Issue Year: VII/2019
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 1-9
  • Page Count: 9
  • Language: English