John Milton Examples
John Milton is an English poet who lived in the 1600's. He was born into a middle class family and chose the life of a poet over entering the clergy. What is notable about Milton is the amount of time that he spent "studying" to become a poet. After college, he spent six years adhering to an independent course of study and reading to prepare for writing poetry.
During the six years that he spent reading and studying, Milton wrote poetry, including "On Shakespeare":
What needs my Shakespeare for his honoured bones,
The labor of an age in pilèd stones,
Or that his hallowed relics should be hid
Under a star-ypointing pyramid?
Dear son of Memory, great heir of fame,
What need'st thou such weak witness of thy name?
Thou in our wonder and astonishment
Hast built thyself a live-long monument.
For whilst to th' shame of slow-endeavouring art,
Thy easy numbers flow, and that each heart
Hath from the leaves of thy unvalued book
Those Delphic lines with deep impression took,
Then thou, our fancy of itself bereaving,
Dost make us marble with too much conceiving;
And so sepúlchred in such pomp dost lie,
That kings for such a tomb would wish to die.
Milton's most famous work Paradise Lost was completed in 1667 and is a blank verse epic poem that details the Biblical story of Adam and Eve and the battle of good and evil. Milton wrote this epic while living in seclusion after being arrested for supporting Oliver Cromwell in the English Civil War. This is an excerpt from the opening of Paradise Lost:
OF Mans First Disobedience, and the Fruit
Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal tast
Brought Death into the World, and all our woe,
With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat,
Sing Heav'nly Muse, that on the secret top
Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire
That Shepherd, who first taught the chosen Seed,
In the Beginning how the Heav'ns and Earth
Rose out of Chaos: or if Sion Hill
Delight thee more, and Siloa's brook that flow'd
Fast by the Oracle of God;
Literary Terms Examples