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Milton_Paradise Lost - John Milton(1608-1674 Born in London...

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John Milton (1608-1674) Born in London, son of the elder John Milton, a scrivener and composer; educated at St. Paul’s School and Christ’s College, Cambridge Milton first composed poetry in Latin and Italian, as well as English, while at Cambridge Instead of going into the ministry, Milton took up the life of a private scholar During the 1630s, Milton composed some of his most famous poetic works: the pastoral L’Allegro and Il Penseroso ; Comus (a masque); Lycidas (an elegy preoccupied with the fear of a premature death) From 1637 to 1639, Milton traveled to the continent, where he met the great Dutch philosopher Grotius and the astronomer Galileo Upon his return to London he became his nephews’ tutor and began contemplating an epic poem based on Arthur When civil war erupted in 1642, Milton became a notorious polemicist for the Parliamentary party Milton’s unhappy experience in his first marriage to Mary Powell, the daughter of royalist parents, contributed to his controversial views on divorce, in which he argued that divorce based on incompatibility was no sin Milton also penned a famous defense of freedom of the press, Areopagitica (1644), and a justification for regicide following the execution of Charles I, The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates (1649) The Lord Protector of England, Oliver Cromwell, appointed the now blind Milton Latin Secretary; in this role Milton translated and drafted diplomatic correspondence and engaged in pro-Republican pamphleteering against European monarchists At the Restoration in 1660, Milton was sentenced to death and went into hiding; he was subsequently jailed, fined, and released Died in London in 1674, one of the most revered poets in English
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Paradise Lost (1667) Although the idea of an “English epic” had been in Milton’s mind since possibly the late 1630s, Milton began work in earnest on the poem in 1658, completing the ten-book (later rearranged in the epic number of 12 books) poem in 1663 The poem is written in blank verse instead of the epic rhymed couplets of Homer and Virgil, Tasso and Ariosto; Miltin defended his choice, “Rime being no necessary Adjunct or true Ornament of Poem of good Verse, in longer works especially, but the Invention of a Barbarous Age, to set off wretched matter and lame Meeter” Milton associated structured rhymed poetry with the restored monarchy and is suppression of political and religious dissent Milton’s epic is intended both to precede and supercede all previous epic poems; it’s subject is the “first and greatest of all wars” and “the first and greatest of all love affairs” Like all epic poetry, Milton’s poem works on a number of levels, descending from the eschatological narrative of eternal time, through the historical, to the moral and domestic The poem’s subject, “justifying the ways of God to men,” is both a story of spiritual redemption and the power of forgiving love between individuals
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Paradise Lost , Book 1
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