I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary but slinks out of the race, where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat. Assuredly we bring not innocence into the world, we bring impurity much rather; that which purifies us is trial, and trial is by what is contrary.
John Milton ‘The Areopagitica’ 1644 A.D.
It is true Liberty when free born men
Having to advise the public may speak free,
Which he who can, and will, deserv’s high praise,
Who neither can nor will, may hold his peace;
What can be juster in a State then this?
Euripides ‘The Suppliants’ c 423B.C.
He is the man the scholar Christopher Hill called “a more controversial figure than any other English poet.” Heretic, revolutionary and supporter of regicide, outspoken defender of divorce, anti-Catholic, vitriolic political pamphleteer, John Milton was also one of the supreme poets in the English language.
Unique among writers of Ancient Athens, Euripides demonstrated sympathy towards the underrepresented members of society. His male contemporaries were frequently shocked by the heresies he put into the mouths of characters!