Milton's Grand Style

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Comment on Milton’s grand style.

John Milton was highly ambitious to be the rival poet of all the classical masters namely – Homer, Virgil, Tasso, Boccaccio, and Dante. With this end in view, he mastered all poetic arts to write his long desired epic poems, Paradise Lost, and Paradise Regain. Though he was completely blind at the time of writing these epic poems, his poetic faculty was quite aright. During his prose period, he already achieved necessary learning of poetic style for which his prose style is also highly poetical and it has the poetical sublimity. To speak the truth, Milton excelled almost all the Literary Giants in respect of the sublimity of his language and poetic style. Even his poetical master, Edmund Spenser, lacked the sublimity, grandeur, and variety of style. In general, Milton’s style may be described as almost uniquely literary and intellectual. It is loaded with learning and bookish phrases; elaborate in construction and often alien in vocabulary. It is a perfect medium for the restrained and elevated, yet it is intensely expressive of the passionate personality of the poet.

Paradise Lost is written in blank verse which is the traditional style of writing epic poem. As a learned poet, Milton exploited all devices to make the use of blank verse gorgeous, sonorous, grave, and verbatim. In version of the natural order of words and phrases, parenthesis, an apposition, archaism and Latinism, use of the exotic proper names, unusual compound epithets, use of allusions, myths, legends, history, literature, science, geography, classical and biblical references etc. have gone into making Miltonic verse exceedingly sublime. Rhythm, vocabulary, and imagery have mingled to form the majestic garment of Milton’s thought, imagination, ideas and feelings. Again, Milton used some highly technical terms to add a special grace to his style. References of nautical science, military exploits, sporting, architectural, musical, biological,

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