Cover: Is Milton Better than Shakespeare?, from Harvard University PressCover: Is Milton Better than Shakespeare? in HARDCOVER

Is Milton Better than Shakespeare?

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$41.00 • £35.95 • €37.95

ISBN 9780674028326

Publication Date: 05/31/2008


240 pages

5-1/2 x 7 inches


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The title is silly but it is fair to say that the book is not… Smith is moved by the allegorical quest in Areopagitica for the lost body of Truth, by Milton’s exalted notions of the purpose of true poetry, and by the identification of the heroic poet as ‘national redeemer.’—Frank Kermode, The New York Review of Books

This engagingly informal but thoroughly informed volume answers the title’s question in the affirmative: Milton is better for Americans today in that he stands for political liberty… This book deserves the attention of a broad audience.—E. D. Hill, Choice

Is Milton Better than Shakespeare? offers a fresh, accessible, and beautifully written introduction to the major achievements of the greatest seventeenth-century poet. Bringing a wealth of insight and original learning to his subject, Nigel Smith successfully makes the case that the endeavor of reading Milton is not merely interesting, but actually relevant, and perhaps even urgent.—John Rogers, author of The Matter of Revolution: Science, Poetry, and Politics in the Age of Milton

Is Milton Better than Shakespeare? asks a fundamental question that, like all such questions, is hard to answer but richly rewarding to consider. This is a lively, fast-paced and engaging book relating Milton to the political events and struggles of his day.—Gordon Teskey, author of Delirious Milton

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