Expressions // Idolatry in Paradise Lost
Milton wrote Paradise Lost in 1667, and, as with much of his prose, it is driven by what has been referred to as an ‘obsession with idolatry.’ Idolatry had long been an accusation levelled at Catholic worship by Protestants, but in the eyes of Milton and other nonconformists it was also becoming increasingly associated with the Church of England, first under the direction of Archbishop William Laud before his execution in the English Civil War, and then under the Uniformity Act of 1662, following the restoration of the monarchy and the accession of Charles II.
Expressions // Thoughts on feminism in Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea
I was originally going to write a piece about Charlotte Brontë’s 1847 novel entitled ‘Why Jane Eyre will always be relevant’ but upon reflection decided that such an effort would not exactly be futile, but, well, frankly unnecessary. That Jane Eyre is still taught to students from KS4 right up to postgraduate level, that it is still pitched to film executives for ever more adaptations, that figures like the brooding Rochester, and ‘plain’ Jane have each entered our collective consciousness, enshrined among the greatest symbols of our literary heritage, that the literature tags of Tumblr and Instagram are utterly saturated with photographs of stylised quotes from Jane’s great ‘I am no bird’ speech, this – all of this – renders completely redundant the task of attempting to account for, or justify the text’s endurance. The novel can, and will, speak for itself, as it has for generations.