John Milton

Topics: John Milton, Paradise Regained, Paradise Lost Pages: 5 (1619 words) Published: October 12, 2013


“Milton! thou shouldst be living at this hour; England hath need of thee” are the words of William Wordsworth in his poem “London, 1802” (Wordsworth). Wordsworth believed England was falling apart and needed John Milton. John Milton was a seventeenth-century author, poet, critic, Bible scholar, and political leader. John Milton is famous for his many creative books and poems about what he believes and defends. John Milton's works were influenced by the knowledge he obtained, the hardships he endured, and the truth he knew.

The works of John Milton were influenced by the knowledge he obtained over his lifetime. Blessington wrote that when Milton was young he became very knowledgeable in Latin and Greek (Blessington). Milton had a acumen of language that appears in the incredible vocabulary and his historical and political references used in his writings. Throughout Milton’s book Paradise Lost, he makes references to the Roman gods, Greek liturgy, and many other books he read and studied. Milton’s knowledge grew as he became older too. In fact, one of the reasons Milton wrote Paradise Lost was because of the epics he had already read. Blessington said that Milton influenced by Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, Virgil’s Aeneid, Tasso’s Jerusalem Delivered, and Milton's predecessor Spenser’s epic The Faire Queen. Milton’s works were influenced by the knowledge he obtained throughout his life (Blessington, 2). In Milton’s later life, he meet with Galileo and appreciated his work very much. Labriola said, “Galileo became for Milton a symbol of the adversity that a spokesperson of the truth underwent” (Labriola). Milton believed that Galileo was a man to be admired and even wrote about him. Milton's knowledge were one of the most important tools for his writings.

Milton’s works were also affected by the knowledge of the Bible. Throughout Milton’s entire life, he continually studied the Bible. Milton's love for the Bible is extremely clear in his writings. Milton studied the Bible thoroughly to write poetry or a book such as De Doctrina Chistiana. To write an epic such with a topic such as Paradise Lost, Milton spent years studying his foundation-the Bible-for his epic Paradise Lost. Hillier argues that De Doctrina Christiana describes the love of God towards man, how the law was abolished in the gospels, and how we are under a new law; this further shows Milton's knowledge in the Bible and also how much he studied it to write an in-depth book such as De Doctrina Christiana. (Hillier). Milton’s knowledge of the Bible is evidential in his writings.

Not only were Milton’s works affected by his knowledge, they were also affected by the hardships he endured. Milton became totally blind at an early age. His blindness should have discontinued him from writing anymore. But, although this was a major obstacle, Milton conquered his hardship of blindness. It is not only amazing that Milton wrote blind, but he wrote his major works blind too. Labriola wrote: “Imprinted in the epic are Milton's personal and political circumstances: his blindness, on the one hand, and the dissolution of the Protectorate, on the other.” (Labriola). Milton’s blindness was to him a motivation to prove that a man with a disability could still write amazing works. Milton truly did reach his goal to prove that. Milton himself said: “To be blind is not miserable; not to be able to bear blindness, that is miserable” (Milton). The accomplishment of Milton overcoming blindness sculpted his writing for the better.

Milton’s works were also influenced by his marriages. Milton struggled with his wives during his life. His first wife Mary Powell, who he married in 1642, separated with him shortly after marriage. Labriola claims that the reason why Milton wrote The Doctrine and Disciple of Divorce was because of this separation (Labriola). Demaray says that despite Milton being separated from his wife, he still treated the role of the woman reverently in...
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