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Spiritual Reading in Milton's Eikonoklastes
Abstract

This essay argues that Milton's Eikonoklastes succeeds as an educative polemic, though not as a piece of political propaganda. In Eikonoklastes, Milton advances a strenuous and suspicious mode of reading Charles I, which seeks variance between the king's words and his deeds. Furthermore, Milton includes his readers in the process of demolishing Eikon Basilike. This essay examines Milton's process of spiritual reading and argues that Eikonoklastes attacks the very idea of uncritical reading. Milton successfully presents a critical process guided by the spirit within as a preferable alternative to the unquestioning acceptance of a comforting civil and spiritual servility.



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