Book Review of Paradise Lost

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Milton's style was not modified by his subject; what is shown with greater extent in Paradise Lost may be found in Comus. One source of his peculiarity was his familiarity with the Tuscan poets; the disposition of his words is, I think, frequently Italian; perhaps sometimes combined with other tongues. Of him, at last, may be said 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. Grand style of "Paradise Lost"

The greatest work of Milton is Paradise Lost, and when we speak of the style of Milton, we usually think of the majestic style of this great epic. When Wordsworth wrote: "Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea, "he had in his mind the grand style of Paradise Lost. When Tennyson spoke of Milton as being the "God-gifted organ-voice of England," he was no doubt referring to the majestic blank verse of Paradise Lost. Essentials of Miltonic Style

Since style is the expression of personality, we have to find the peculiar quality of Milton's style in his personality and character. In the first place, Milton's mind was "nourished upon the best thoughts and finest words of all ages", and that is the language, says Pattison, of one "who lives in the companionship of the great and the wise of the past." Secondly, Milton was a man of lofty character, whose "soul was like a star that dwelt apart, and who in all that is known about him, his life, his character, and his power of poetry, shows something for which the only fit words is Sublime." Thirdly, Milton was a supreme artist. "Poetry", says Bailey, "has been by far our greatest artistic achievement, and he ( Milton) is by far our greatest poetic artist. Tennyson truly called him "God gifted organ-voice of England." "To live with Milton," says Bailey,...
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