On His Arrival at the Age of Twenty- Three Poem Analysis

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On His Arrival At The Age Of Twenty-Three Poem Analysis

Mr. Hodson

Wyatt Grant

English30H

Friday April 12th, 2013
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On his arrival at the age of twenty-three, written by John Milton was created during the puritan period. John Milton was born in cheapside, London, in 1608, he grew up in a wealthy family that gave Milton all the opportunity’s to be well educated and attend Cambridge University one of the most highly decorated schools in Europe and the World. Milton grew up during the puritan age, literature during the puritan age shows the effects of social and religious conflicts, these thoughts effect how Milton wrote poetry and in this poem he reflects on his religious beliefs. At the age of 43 Milton was completely blind which affected his writing after that period, although he wrote this poem before that time allowing a different view of the world and religion. One thing to understand about Milton’s sonnets is their topical range was that he was not a writer of love sonnets. Milton writes political sonnets, occasional sonnets, elegiac sonnets, and sonnets of personal meditation, like this one. The result of the puritan period was a loss of freedom, severe persecution for all and a decline in literary progress (Hodson, February, 2013). On his arrival at the age of twenty-three was most likely written in 1632 at a crucial time in Milton’s life, just after his graduation from Cambridge. Milton here acknowledges that he may not seem as mature as some of his contemporaries but expresses a desire to use his talents well and his trust in God’s will for him over time. On his arrival at the age of twenty-three comments on how a man’s life has gone by, what he’s done and achieved and what role God plays into the life of humanity. The poem shows the concerns that Milton had about his career when he was young and still hadn't chosen his own way in life. In this famous work of his we don't see a celebration of a birthday but a problem that the young gentleman faces as time passes by. The author uses many metaphors and symbols in order to give a more vivid image of his problem, and at the end he gives a solution to this problem. In fact, this problem is relevant even today, when young people have to decide on a career. Also as time goes by people ask them more often what they have done in their life. Milton places a tone of despair and hope all into one poem, he’s aware he hasn’t done anything worthwhile in his life yet but believes God has still given him time to, the theme of the novel is that time goes quickly and if you leave your time in to the hands of God he will be on the right path in life, but also the crisis of faith and putting your life into Gods hands. Grant-3

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Milton worries that time has passed too quickly. He has been at Cambridge studying, but has had little time to fulfill what he sees as his destiny. Milton is aware he is a talented poet, but instead of writing poetry, he has been studying. This precipitates a crisis of faith for the poet, who worries he has wasted precious time. But maybe the poet's talent, which "be it less or more," (Milton line 9) will be less when he is mature. He worries, although he is still confident of his future. About fifty years after Milton’s death, however, this poem was named “On His Having Arrived at the Age of Twenty-Three.” This title was immediately popular and has endured the time since his death, even if some scholars of Milton wonder whether in saying that “Time” has “Stolen” his “three-and-twentieth year” Milton is actually saying that he is commemorating in this poem his twenty-fourth and not his twenty-third. (Poetry for Students, ©2013 Gale Cengage). Milton wrote in a Sonnet that had an a,b,b,a c,d,d,c rhyme style. The Petrarchan Sonnet was used during this time period, a Petrarchan sonnet into two distinct parts: the octave (the first eight lines) and the sestet (the last six lines). The octave usually poses a problem, depicts a...
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