The Ideology of Puritanism in John Milton’s Paradise Lost

Parisa Hamidizadeh, Yazdan Mahmoudi, Amir Hamidizadeh


John Milton can be considered one of the key figures who was not satisfied with the dominant religion and struggled to intensify the essence of Protestantism in form of Puritanism. Through a minute analysis of John Milton’s Paradise Lost and the religious context he lived in, his Puritan ideology in his masterpiece can be traced. It is believed that there are a number of puritan elements embedded in book IX of Paradise Lost. Therefore, the authors try to reveal, enumerate and explain these elements. In doing so, Louis Althusser’s symptomatic reading of ideology will be applied as a background theory so as to justify the main idea of the study. Moreover, the will show how book IX of Paradise Lost can be viewed as the epitome of misogyny; so it makes an effort to nullify McColley’s claim regarding Milton’s equality of sexes.


Puritanism, Milton, Ideology, Althusser, Sexes

Full Text:



Bremer, Francis, J. Puritanism: A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.

Bremer, Francis, J. and Webster, Tom. Puritans and Puritanism in Europe and America: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2006.

Elliott, Gregory. “Analysis Terminated, Analysis Indeterminable: The Case of Louis Althusser.” In Althusser: A Critical Rader. Ed. Gregory Elliott. Cambridge: Blackwell, 1994.

Hughes, Ann. “Puritanism and Gender.” In The Cambridge Companion to Puritanism. Eds. John Coffey and Paul Lim. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008.

Lewis, Clive, S. A Preface to Paradise Lost. London: Oxford University Press, 1969.

Loewenstein, David. Representing Revolution in Milton and His Contemporaries: Religion, Politics, and Polemics in Radical Puritanism. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004.

McColley, Diane K. “Milton and the Sexes.” The Cambridge Companion to Milton Ed. Dennis Danielson. New York: Cambridge UP, 1999. 175-192. Print.

Milton, John. Paradise Lost. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Payne, Michael and Barbera, Jessica, R. A Dictionary of Cultural and Critical Theory. Sussex: Blackwell, 2010.

Spurr, John. English Puritanism: 1603-1689. New York: Palgrave, 1998.

Zafirovski, Milan. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Authoritarianism: Puritanism, Democracy, and Society. New York: Springer, 2007.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2012-2023 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD

International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the journal emails into your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.