Type of Submission

Podium Presentation

Campus Venue

Dixon Ministry Center, Room 101


Cedarville, OH

Start Date

4-10-2013 1:40 PM

End Date

4-10-2013 2:00 PM



This article examines John Milton's perception of tyranny in his 17th-century context as expressed in his poetry and prose works and applies it to the 21st-century. Using the theories of Guy Debord, Jonathan Beller, and Jean Baudrillard, this article explores how images can act to control the perceptions and desires of the masses. The governing thesis is that in the 17th-century, Milton exposes the tyrant's ability to manipulate the masses through imagery, whether the pompous ceremony of the Renaissance king or the glamorous advertisements of the postmodern corporation, but he also offers hope for the individual to pursue truth despite society's enslavement. The article compares Milton's critique of monarch's use of imagery to control the political loyalty of the masses to the 21st-century corporations' use of images to control the consumerist desires of the masses. The article specifically draws from Charles l's manipulation of pompous spectacles to hide his tyrannical actions and modem corporations' dependence upon advertisements to create new needs that their products can satisfy, such as the international water bottle organization FIJI and the musical cable network MTV. Yet while condemning the tyrant's abuse of imagery in order to fashion a more desirous perception, Milton also suggests that the individual has the power to resist the tyrant's deception through relying upon Divine guidance and reason.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


Apr 10th, 1:40 PM Apr 10th, 2:00 PM

Yesterday and Today: Milton and the Tyrant's Image

Cedarville, OH


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