Milton's epistemology, embodied in the image of the warfaring Christian who dialectically struggles with truth and error alike, informs all arguments in Areopagitica. The wisdom-and-strength topos provides a model for understanding a range of images which support this theme. For Milton, complete wisdom and strength is man's dedicated struggle to know God's truth, and the occasion of the treatise clearly manifests the topos: Books (wisdom) are fighting (strength) to exist in England. The book metaphor admits the full epistemological scope of a free press: Society has all options for positive or perverted wisdom and strength. Censorship, however, is both a violent act (perverted strength) and a fear of ideas (intellectual weakness). His own heroic wisdom and strength is revealed in Milton's courage in voicing Areopagitica, which itself affirms the wisdom and strength of language and celebrates the power of the word.

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