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John Milton

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John Milton was a Human poet of Earth, from 17th century pre-Great Britain England. His works include the literary classic Paradise Lost, and its sequel, Paradise Regained.

In 2267, Khan Noonien Singh referred to Milton in reply to Captain Kirk's inquiry as to whether he could "tame a world." Unsure what Khan meant, Montgomery Scott later stated to Kirk, "It's a shame for a good Scotsman to admit it, but I'm not up on Milton." To which, Kirk replied, quoting from Paradise Lost a statement made by Lucifer when he fell into the pit, "It is better to rule in hell than serve in heaven." (TOS: "Space Seed")

In 2285, a copies of Milton's Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained were among the small collection of books found aboard the SS Botany Bay. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)

In 2368, Berlinghoff Rasmussen mentioned Milton to Geordi La Forge as a historical figure who was blind. (TNG: "A Matter of Time")

In 2370, when Maques was injured by a rose in the USS Enterprise-D's arboretum, Counselor Troi recited a verse from Milton's Paradise Lost to him: "Flowers of all hue and without thorn the rose." (TNG: "Dark Page")


Why Scotty should have found it shameful for a Scotsman not to be "up on Milton" is unclear. His country and England were not merged into the kingdom of Great Britain until the 18th century, and Milton is – in every sense of the word – an English poet. If not nationalist, then, Scotty's embarrassment may be religious: Milton was strongly influenced by Calvinism in his years over on the European mainland, and Calvinism is a prime ingredient in Presbyterianism, a powerful force in Scotland's culture.

However, this is most likely a plot device to give Kirk a reason to explain the comment, as it is very likely that the audience would not be familiar with the quote from Paradise Lost.

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