An Analysis of Milton's On His Having Arrived At the Age of Twenty-Three

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An Analysis of Milton's On His Having Arrived At the Age of Twenty-Three


John Milton is one of the most famous poets of the English language. Even though his works are not many, he is considered the greatest writer in English literature. In John Milton' s works we can see the problems of the English society and his own too. Such a poem is " On His Having Arrived At the Age of Twenty-Three" because it 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.


The structure of " On His Having Arrived At the Age of Twenty-Three" is typical for John Milton. This is a fourteen-line lyric poem also called Italian sonnet. T is called Italian because it was invented in Italy in the thirteenth century and later English writers began using it. The Italian sonnet consists of an eight-line octave and a six-line sestet. In the first eight lines the author introduces a problem and in the sestet he gives a solution to the problem. The poem has a rhyme scheme typical for the Italian sonnet. The octave has a rhyme  ABBAABBA and the sestet's rhyme scheme is CDECDE. " On His Having Arrived At the Age of Twenty-Three" is a poem whose lines are all with ten syllables and with five beats per line. In this poem John Milton has not used techniques such as parallelism, assonance, and alliteration but even despite of this fact this is considered a great work of his.



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...thor his fate is in the hands of God, and it is Him that chooses the way Milton has to follow. The author has no other choice except to become a poet. He must not worry about the other poets who till now have produced many works, and the only thing he has to do is to follow God.


In the poem " On His Having Arrived At the Age of Twenty-Three" John Milton introduces a problem and gives a solution to this same 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. The figurative language that the author uses contributes a lot for the building of the image of the problem in the poem. The metaphors and the symbol of time make the poem a really good piece of literature, which discuses problems that we have even today.


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