조현영 /Hyunyoung Cho
2018, vol.28, no.2, pp. 267-287
John Milton’s statements that seemingly attack humanist learning have long posed a perplexing question to literary scholars. In Paradise Regained, for example, rejecting Satan’s offer to study at the illustrious schools of classical antiquity, the Son of God calls humanist curriculum “little else but dreams, / Conjectures, fancies, built on nothing firm.” One might wonder if Milton is undermining his own authority as a poet by criticizing humanist learning and its efficacy as the medium of education. This study examines Milton’s engagements with the educational reform promoted by the Hartlib Circle. Utilizing our present vantage point, while situating Milton’s ideas in the early modern period, a time of crisis and transition that seems to suggest an eerie analogy to our own time, this study attempts to trace the ways in which Milton’s ideas lend us ammunition as we communicate the crucial importance of the humanities in our time.