Time, Life, and God in John Milton's Poetry Essay

Time, Life, and God in John Milton's Poetry Essay

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Time, Life, and God in John Milton's Poetry


John Milton's poems, "How Soon Hath Time" and "When I Consider How My Light Is Spent" both focus on life and how the time we are given is or should be spent. Milton uses the word "How" in both the titles and I cant help but wonder "Is there something to examine there?" How by itself is a question of is it possible, and if so then what needs to be done to make it possible. It, in this case is time: Is time possible or better yet, is it possible to stop time? If so then how will it be accomplished? What needs to happen to cause time to stop? Milton uses the speaker in this poem to explain a way of looking at time and how quickly time really does fly by. In these two poems the speakers refer to God as the, "Taskmaster", "Maker", and "Patience." The importance of God in the speakers' life is reflected in these two poems. The way both these poems are written it seems as if the speaker is the same person and also as if these poems were written to be read in an order as if, "When I Consider How My Light Is Spent", is a continuance of the poem, "How Soon Hath Time." Because of the similarities of these two poems it seems as if the speaker for each of these poems was Milton himself. In the two poems Milton explains that time is short and for him (the speaker), he wants to live by the will of God. The speaker explains how he believes God wants him to live and even though he doesn't like time going by so quickly he has accepted it and he respects what God wants for his life. Milton uses personification and references to God in both poems to not only set a mood, but also to show the reader a perspective of how one man, looks at the time that has passed him by and how he believes he should live ...


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...ly set a mood but also to show the reader a perspective of how one man looks at the time that has passed him by and how he believes he should live his life. The essential messages to take away from these two poems are: life and time go by faster than one might think and to live your life by what's important for you, only you know what's important for you whether it be God in your life, or something else. For these speakers, the way they lived their lives was for God and that for them seemed to be most imperative.

Works Cited

Dictionary.com. Lexico Publishing Group. 18 Oct. 2005 <Dictionary.com>.

Milton, John. "How Soon Hath Time." Literature A Pocket Anthology. Ed. Gwynn. New York: Penguin Acadenics, 2005. 489.

Milton, John. "When I Consider How My Light Is Spent." Literature A Pocket Anthology. Ed. Gwynn. New York: Penguin Acadenics, 2005. 490.

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