John Milton

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“Who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God’s image; but he who destroys a good book kills reason itself, kills the image of God, as it were in the eye.”
– Milton

b. 1608 CE – d. 1674 CE

John Milton, the great English poet who was also a schoolmaster, urged students to turn to the ancient writings of Greece and Rome and study them, not for their form but because they contained all that man needed for a happy life. He believed that the best possible education was to be obtained from the study of these classical writings.

Milton, as a Londoner, lived in the heart of London during the 17th century, when London was the center of immense political turmoil, with violent swings from monarchy to republicanism to restoration. He was a major advocate for political liberty. He possessed an encyclopedic knowledge of history and myth and had closely read the classics of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew literature in their original languages.

He was a poet rivaled only by Chaucer and Shakespeare, a gifted linguist and scholar, a political man of immense skills, an uncompromising polemicist who wrote pioneering essays on divorce and freedom of the press, a sophisticated Puritan theologian, and a political thinker who believed passionately in liberty.