Working Thesis: Though Milton fights vehemently for freedom and liberty of the people in The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates, his later ruler-subject interactions in Paradise Lost show that the ideals of liberty and freedom have limits and can become rhetorically dangerous, hindering one's real freedom and the freedoms of others under the same government.
1. Social Graph
- David Gatenby, one of my closest friends and a fellow literary nut. He started college as a comparative literature major and then got bored because he had already read and written papers for fun about all the books he was asked to read for his classes. Also one of my most politically interested friends, always up to date. Great to discuss ideas with about anything literary or political.
- My father, who I actually bounced some ideas off of today to tighten my thesis a bit.
- Greg, Heather, and Chelsea all have a lot in common with what I am writing about and found some great sources and ideas through their research and blog posts. Hopefully I can return the favor.
- William Kennedy. A fellow English Major who is graduating next semester. He just wrote a few papers on Paradise Lost so his mind is fresh on the subject.
- Dave Sewell. My boss and CEO the company I work for. He just got elected to the Provo City Council. I'm interested to see how someone directly involved in local government has to say about freedom, liberty, and the responsibility of citizens.
2. New Media
The first place to go when researching perspectives on freedom and liberty in today's politics? Stephen Colbert of course! Sometimes satire can speak underline very real and very pressing problems with perspectives on a subject and get you thinking about them in a different way.
From there I searched for other opinions on freedom, liberty, and what our role in regards to the government is from both religious and non-religious perspectives.
I looked at everything from LDS church perspectives on government interaction and rights to yahoo answers about questions like this one, "Are our freedoms really being taken away?"
I found some good blogs too, like this one from Paul Nevins, a lawyer who has been a part of Federal District Courts in Massachusetts.
http://www.politicsofselfishness.com/2013/11/should-government-protect-the-interests-of-the-few-or-the-many.html He discusses the dangers of the free reign of individualism and argues the importance of recognizing that the self is a social being and what the responsibilities are of being part of a political community. The post is very recent too, which is a bonus, written last Friday.
3. Social Networks
- Paul Nevins. Finding his blog posts so recent and frequent, I think I might contact him to see if he has any insight on some of the ideas of liberty and individualism I have that are related to the subjects he has written on.
- John Kerr - Face to face conversation is always a plus and I am really interested to talk to someone who has an LDS perspective on Milton's work and the ideas of Liberty and Freedom as a whole.
- Middle Tennessee hosts a conference on Milton every other year and one of them happened to be last month. That's a lot of minds with Milton fresh on the brain. I haven't looked too much into it yet but I hope to find someone I could try to connect to who participated. There was even a category directly about Milton and Legal Issues that might yield something interesting. http://www.mtsu.edu/english/milton/
4. Traditional Scholarly Sources
- Bennett, Joan S. "God, Satan, and King Charles: Milton's Royal Portraits." PMLA 92.3 (1977): 441-57. JSTOR. Web. 25 Nov. 2013. Connects Milton's portrayal of Satan to the politics of his time. Not sure if I will end up using this one, but it points out some aspects of Satan's character in a political sense that I might draw from.
- Fish, Stanley. "There Is No Such Thing As Free Speech." This Is No Such Thing As Free Speech. New York: Oxford UP, 1994. 102-19. Print. Highlights the main idea of how freedom and liberty are uses as tools for people to get what they want even at the cost of the freedom of others. Shows that certain things we think are "free" really aren't
- Lovett, Frank. "Milton's Case for a Free Commonwealth." American Journal of Political Science 49.3 (2005): 466-78. JSTOR. Web. 23 Nov. 2013. Great discussion of Milton's case for liberty and rule of the people in his political tracts.
- Madigan, Patrick. "Expressive Individualism, the Cult of the Artist as Genius, and Milton's Lucifer." The Heythrop Journal 54.6 (2013): 992-98. Wiley Online Library. Web. 25 Nov. 2013. This is the one I found from Greg's post. I haven't read the entire thing yet but the connection between Satan and destructive individualism is exactly what I am trying to portray in my connection.
- Stock, David M. "Educating for Democracy: Reviving Rhetoric in the General Education Curriculum." Diss. Brigham Young University, 2005. Print. A great dissertation about teaching students how to properly participate in the democratic process. Outlines the differences between "Negative Freedom" and "Positive Freedom" and how they each affect others under the same government.