John Milton 1608/1674

Barbara10Broek By Barbara10Broek, 24th Jul 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
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Discusses the middle ages writer and poet John Milton 1608/1674

John Milton 1608/1674

In his parents cultured Puritan home Milton began to write poetry at the age of ten. After finishing his formal education with an MA from Cambridge, he returned to hid families country home at Horton to study under his own direction. There he read almost everything available in Latin, Greek, Italian, and English. He wrote the elegy Lycidas and the masque Comus during this time also. After five years at Horton Milton started a two year tour of Europe where he found his literary reputation had already spread. With the outbreak of the Civil Wars he returned to England where he worked as a tutor and wrote pamphlets. When his first marriage went bad he became an early and vehement advocate of divorce on the grounds of incompatibility. This was a cause he championed in his pamphlets and which many people in Puritan England found reprehensible. Milton was married three times and widowed twice.

Under the new Commonwealth, Milton was appointed Latin Secretary, a post comparable to Secretary of Foreign Affairs today. While he held this office eye strain from years of reading late into the night caused him to become totally blind.
Despite a brief imprisonment, the seizure of most of his property and the destruction of some of his pamphlets Milton survived the Restoration essentially unharmed. He and his daughters retired to a quite life. Accounts tell of tension between the stern and dictatorial Milton and his unsympathetic daughters who resented having to read aloud in languages they did not understand and take diction for hours on end. The final years of Milton’s life were productive, if not peaceful. In his last decade he wrote, through dictation, Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes.

Selected List of Works:
• 1631: L'Allegro
• 1631: Il Penseroso
• 1634: A Mask Presented at Ludlow Castle, 1634 commonly known as Comus (a masque)
• 1638: Lycidas
• 1645: Poems of Mr John Milton, Both English and Latin
• 1655: On the Late Massacre in Piedmont
• 1667: Paradise Lost
• 1671: Paradise Regained
• 1671: Samson Agonistes


Middle Ages, Milton, Poetry, Writer

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