John Milton 1608-1674 Presented by; Mehwish Rana
Who was Milton? Milton is one the greatest poets of English language. Paradise Lost. Influence on 18th century verse. Pamphlets defending civil and religious rights.
Background Born in London on December 9 in 1608. Born into a middle class family, son of a composer and musician. Home tutored till the age of 12-13. Mastered Greek, Latin and Hebrew. He was determined to be a priest but gave up the idea. Stanch puritan. Unsuccessful marriage. Married thrice.
Poet, author, civil servant for Commonwealth of England. Wrote treatise defending the execution of Charles I. Lost eyesight while serving as Secretary of State for Foreign Tongues. 1660: Monarchy restored; hard times (imprisoned, stripped of his property). Died 1674 and buried next to his father in Giles Church in London.
Influences BIBLE. Puritan upbringing. Roman poets. Greek poets. Italian poets. Traditional epic poetry. Lucifer, a play by Joost van den Vondel.
Milton as a Puritan Published many pamphlets. Episcopacy (1642) Divorce (1643) Liberty of press (1644) Regicides (1649) Peoples rights to punish tyrants.
Influences on Miltons themes before blindness Sister’s miscarriage.(1626) Shakespeare. (1632) Invention of gunpowder. First marriage. (1643) Death of Katherine 2nd wife. (1658)
Work after blindness Returned to his first desire; poetry. Late poems dedicate to daughter. Nephew, disciples and friends. Influence of the political scene. Paradise lost. Paradise regained.
Miltonic Sonnet The Miltonic sonnet keeps the Petrarchan length and rhyming scheme, but does away with the stanza break between the octave and the sestet. Otherwise, the Miltonic sonnet is a normal sonnet. Milton kept the distinction between the octave and sestet in terms of function, but merged them into one 14-line stanza.
WHEN I consider how my light is spent,Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,And that one talent which is death to hideLodged with me useless, though my soul more bentTo serve therewith my Maker, and presentMy true account, lest He returning chide,Doth God exact day-labor, light denied?‘ I fondly ask. But patience, to preventThat murmur, soon replies, God doth not needEither mans work or his own gifts.Who best Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best.His state Is kingly: thousands at his bidding speed,And post oer land and ocean without rest;They also serve who only stand and wait
Grand style and Sublimity The subject matter, the imagination, outstanding expression and sublimity of though mark a great style. The lofty tone is maintained in the speeches of Satan. One can not help noting the rhetorical eloquence with which Satan encourages the fallen angels. The same sublimity of style marks all the descriptions in the book.
Style Extensive use of enjambments (the continuation of a sentence from one line to the next) Use of Latinisms, inversions Darkness and light to depict hell and heaven. Elevated style, some critics gave the poem a political dimension.
Blank verses blank verse requires no rhyme scheme, the poet is more likely to choose words because of meaning rather than what fits the rhyme scheme. Also blank verse which usually is fitted to iambic pentameter provides the rhythm most suited to English sentences.
Of man’s first disobedience, and the fruitOf that forbidden tree whose mortal tasteBrought death into the world, and all our woe,With loss of Eden, till one greater ManRestore us and regain the blissful seat,Sing, Heavenly Muse, that, on the secret topOf Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspireThat shepherd who first taught the chosen seedIn the beginning how the Heavens and Earth
Conclusion “Miltons style can be described as; what Jonson says of Spenser, that "he wrote no language," but has formed what Butler calls a "Babylonish dialect," in itself harsh and barbarous, but made by exalted genius and extensive learning the vehicle of so much instruction and so much pleasure, that, like other lovers, we find grace in its deformity. Whatever be the faults of his diction, he cannot want the praise of copiousness and variety. He was master of his language in its full extent; and has selected the melodious words with such diligence, that from his book alone the Art of English Poetry might be learned.”
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