Professor Robert Oventile
25 September 2014
Milton’s appeal to Pathos, Logos, and Ethos
Areopagitica and Of Education, written by English poet John Milton in 1664, is a prose, non-fictional book concerning the protest of people in England regarding the licensing policy. During the English Civil War Era, the period where this book was written, the British Parliament established the licensing and censorship policy to prevent any corruption of the minds to the people of England. Milton, on the contrary, disagrees with these policies addressing them as a form of violation toward the freedom of speech. Because of these policies, Milton and many others writers felt the difficulties in expressing their ideas because the Parliament requires writers to get license approval by the officials before getting their writings published. It was a long, complicated process, not to mention how sometimes publishing rejection might occur. These policies gave Milton and his fellow writers a hard time in their work process, when the freedom of speech were supposed to give them the freedom to write whatever they want. These issues encourages him to write Areopagitica and Of Education. He argued on so many points of why licensing and censorship should be revoked, appealing to pathos, logos, and ethos to persuade his readers. He also uses the rhetorical style to state his opinions, emphasizing on his ideas using various subordinating style sentences.
In Milton’s Areopagitica, he displays pathos, an approach of convincing audiences/readers by creating an emotional response, to express his disappointment to the book publishing regulation. Milton used to feel that he was “happy to be born in such a place of philosophic freedom, as they supposed England was” (34). He was very disappointed because other European countries used to admire England for its honesty and how the nation really corroborates the freedom of speech rights. England used to be free from any
Cited: Fish, Stanley. How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One. New York: Harper Collins, 2011. Print. Milton, John. Areopagitica and Of Education. Ed. George H. Sabine. Wheeling: Harlan Davidson, 1951. Print.