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The Poet, John Milton Essay, Research Paper

John Milton

The poet, John Milton, has written books like “Paradise Lost” and “Paradise Regained” that are two of the greatest poems he ever wrote. He is an English poet and a political writer who is thought to be the next better poet than Shakespeare. John Milton, the author of “Paradise Lost” considered by many people to be the greatest epic poem in English language. Milton is also the author of “Paradise Regained” and “Samson Agonistes”. He wrote the first two of these works, and probably his last when he was totally blind by the year 1652. He wrote “Paradise Lost” to “justify the ways of God to man”(World Book, 556) Milton lived from the year 1608 to 1674 and became totally blind in 1652.

Milton was born in London on Dec. 9, 1608and attended St. Paul’s School.

After he graduated he went to Christ’s College at Cambridge University. He wrote some poems there like “On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity” in 1629, and the companion poems “L’ Allegro” and “ll. Penseroso” both in 1631. Even though his early training prepared him for a religious career, he came top believe “tyranny had invaded the church” (World Book, 557) So he instead chose to dedicate to God’s service as a poet. Upon graduating from Cambridge in 1632, he went to Horton, his father’s country home, to study and write.

At Horton, Milton wrote two major pieces, “Comus” and “masque”. These were dramas with music. He wrote the words, and the noted Henry Lawes wrote the music. Milton left Horton in 1638 for a 15 month European tour. Well some time during the tour, he heard there was some skirmish between the bishop’s and the Puritans. He went back to England to support the Puritan cause through some political writings.

Civil conflicts divided England for 20 years. (1640-1660) During this time period he stopped writing poems to work on be half of Parliament and the Commonwealth through his writing. In all of them he defended basic political and religious views. He wrote 3 pieces. One says, that criticizing the church. Another, complaining that King Charles the II might come back to the throne. The third that he defended people’s right’s against the higher class.

In 1642, Milton married Mary Powell who was a 16-year-old woman, but she left Milton because they weren’t able to live peacefully together because of their relationship. That was why she left him after a month, but she returned two years later. Milton gained fame by writing a couple of pamphlets in favor of divorce in certain cases. Milton published his most famous prose, “Areopagitica” a defense of the freedom of the press.

Milton’s work and even his studies strained his weak eyes, which made him completely blind by 1652. When he was blind he wrote a sonnet about his blindness. His wife also died that same year. In 1656, Milton married another woman named Katherine Woodcock. When John Milton was blind, he was assisted with his work, with the aid of the poet, Andrew Marvell. His second wife died after the birth of a daughter that died two months after, He probably wrote a sonnet about her.

With the Restoration, John Milton was punished his support of Parliament by a fine and a short time in prison. Charles II was restored to the throne in 1660. Milton went into retirement and married Elizabeth Minshull in 1663. He wrote three of his three last pieces during his final years. The works are part in response to his own blindness and the collapse of the Puritans hopes for establishment of Christ’s Kingdom on Earth.

John Milton’s major poems fulfill his ambition to “leave something so written to aftertimes, as they should not willingly let it die”(Peter L. Rudnysky)

People justified his reputation as England’s foremost non-dramatic poet. Some people consider John Milton or considered the greatest English poet after Shakespeare. He was a powerful influence on succeeding English poets, and whose writings were devoted to the defense of civil and religious liberty. John Milton is considered one of the best English poets ever.


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