Areopagitica

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

John Milton,

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

Areopagitica: A speech for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing to the Parliament of England is John Milton's famous tract against censorship. Published in 1644, Areopagitica is named after a speech by Isocrates, a fifth century BC Athenian orator. The work is counted as one of the most influential and inspired defenses of the right to freedom of expression in history. It is also a personal issue for Milton who was submitted to censorship himself when he tried to publish his defenses of divorce, radical works for the time that gained no quarter with censors. Distributed as a pamphlet, Milton's powerful arguments against 1643's Licensing Order note that classical Greek and Roman society was never subjected to such censorship, and he uses many classical and biblical references to reinforce his argument.



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