Reflection: Politics and Revolution
A modern day reader cannot overlook the importance and significance of religion and God in classic literature. Religion was a fundamental part of people’s lives. People seemed to find answers to the problems they were facing in religion. They also found their belief in God to be applicable in many situations. The authors highlight this in their discussion. Religion formed a major part of the authors’ content. Hobbes, Milton, Philips, and Wilmot found ways of including different aspects of religion in their work. Milton’s work, Paradise Lost, used religious concepts exclusively. This is evident in the mention of God, hell, heaven, angels, and sin among others. He depended on the creation story and other biblical accounts to write his work. While other works of literature might not have used religion to such an extent, they still included different aspects of God.
It is clear that the authors’ lives were intertwined with religious beliefs, especially Christianity. The integration of religion in daily life was so intense that people could not separate their ideas and sentiments from it. They had to include different aspects of God in their work to make it relevant to the rest of the society. In her discussion concerning politics at the time, Philips observes that the death of King Charles was against God. “Upon the Double Murder of King Charles” is a political poem. However, this does not deter the author from including religion in it. This shows the integration of religion into diverse aspects of people’s lives at the time. The people justified the decisions they made by looking towards religion. In a similar vein, Hobbes believed that it was possible to achieve a Christian commonwealth. He advocated for the adoption of the right Christian teachings, and he spoke against false teachings. Milton’s work Areopagitica may have been about censorship, but the author found ways to reference biblical texts. He used faith to argue that Parliament should reconsider its decision. He believed that censorship would have been a drawback to people’s faith.
I struggled to understand most of the concepts discussed in this class. This was mostly because of the different language used in most of the works we covered. I am not a native English speaker. I found that I am not familiar with some of the words used in classic literature since they are not frequently used today. This was evident in almost all the work covered. I had to look up the words to understand their meaning as used in the literature. In addition, there is a lot of poetry in the work. This adds to the challenges I experienced when reading the literature. It would have been impossible for me to understand any of these works had I engaged in self-study. My decision to attend classes and to seek clarification from the lecturer paid off eventually. As an English major, I realize the task ahead of me. The lectures are very helpful because they are engaging. When I read the poetry with the rest of the class, I am able to understand it at a deeper level compared to when I read the literature alone. The instructor explains everything. He looks at the literature from a different perspective, and he gives a historical background. This helps in the reading experience since one can identify with the different issues that the authors were facing at the time.