John Milton's Life and Writing

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John Milton's Life and Writing

John Milton did not just write poetry. He put his life, his thoughts, into words. Milton began his life in Cheapside, England, because his father’s wealthy family was Roman Catholic and John Milton Sr., Milton’s father, decided to become Protestant, therefore he was disinherited (Muir). However, the Milton family did not remain poor, John Milton Sr. was able to establish a wealthy family once more. He became a scrivener, which is a law writer, and was also a music composer on the side (Liukkonen). After money was no longer a threat, Milton attended Christ’s College in Cambridge (Browning). Milton’s works seem to be split into four distinct phases; these phases are a direct result of events taking place in his life.

The first phase that Milton’s life went through was virtually nothing. Literally meaning that Milton did nothing, “he adopted no profession but spent six years at leisure in his father's home”(Muir). Milton’s first works were done in ancient languages, such as Latin, Greek and Italian, but these were done before he graduated when he was not considering a profession in writing. The first phase of his writings were done during the time he had no job. The works best reflecting this period of his life are L’Allegro, Il Penseroso and Lycidas, which were written up to year 1637. These poems were not specifically focused on what was occurring in the world at that time, because at that time Milton was not very involved with the world. These poems had themes focused on thoughts that ran through Milton’s mind. Among Milton’s most famous first works are L’Allegro and Il Penseroso, which are companions to one another. He uses these poems to focus on two different lifestyles. L’Allegro is the...

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... a completely majestic lifestyle, but he used his poetry to express himself, and expression can always help to lighten any morbid emotions. Not only was Milton able to express himself, writing granted him a goal, and having a goal to strive for makes life worth living no matter how bad it seems to get. As soon as Milton realized what he wanted to do with his life, write, his goal was to create such an exemplary piece of work that it would never be forgotten, and he succeeded.

Works Cited

Browning, Mark. “John Milton (1608-1674).” 1 Dec. 2003


“The Dream of the Rood.” The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Seventh Edition. Volume 1. Ed. by M.H. Abrams, et al. W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2000. 100-102.

Liukkonen, Petri. “John Milton (1608-1674).” Books and Writers.1 Dec. 2003 .

Muir, Kenneth. “John ‘The Lady’ Milton.” Incompetech. 1 Dec. 2003 .
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