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Book Burning and Censorship - CENSORSHIP CONTINUES

John Milton, the famous British writer who believed in free speech and free thought, wrote Areopagitica. He opposed any effort by Parliament to create a board of censors to whom authors would submit their work. It is not up to the government, says Milton, to decide what a person can think, say, read or write:  “The State shall be my governors, but not my critics; they may be mistaken in the choice of a licenser, as easily as this licenser may be mistaken in an author; this is some common stuff.” And then—just to be sure that people understood his point—Milton also writes: “Such authorized books are but the language of the times.” Later, a British King—Charles II—ordered two of Milton’s books to be banned.

 

With the end of the Middle Ages, uncontrolled book burning ceased, but attempts to thwart people from developing new ideas—and writing about them—continued.

John Milton, the famous English poet and author of Paradise Lost, gave an impassioned speech to the British Parliament in 1644, urging freedom of expression:

...(W)ho kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God's image; but he who destroys a good book kills reason itself.

Milton's words were themselves condemned by Parliament. So was the book that contained them: Areopagitica.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5183stories and lessons created

Original Release: Aug 01, 2000

Updated Last Revision: Jul 04, 2019


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"CENSORSHIP CONTINUES" AwesomeStories.com. Aug 01, 2000. Sep 19, 2019.
       <http://www.awesomestories.com/asset/view/CENSORSHIP-CONTINUES-Book-Burning-and-Censorship>.
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