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Mention the name of John Milton and someone is bound to immediately think of Paradise Lost, perhaps the greatest epic poem in the English language. We read some of his poetry in class but I wish I could devote much more paper to writing about his work.

John Milton- Lycidas

This somber poem, written in rhyming couplets of iambic pentameter, is of mixed content. On the one hand, the poem laments the death of a close friend and bids nature mourn for him. To me this is somewhat metaphysical because you would ever address a sorrowful poem to trees and bushes to sacrifice their buds and growth for his friend. Furthermore, it seems that his lament for his friend is only half of the poem. The rest of it condemns, in elaborate allegory and metaphor, the clergy of the Church of England. He uses classical language and imagery in this poem as he does in all his poetry.

Paradise Lost Book 1

I did not know until now that Milton was planning on writing some epic poem on English history but instead wrote it on The Fall, man’s sin and redemption. As I read this poem, the blank verse really captivated me, especially with the classical imagery instilled in it. Although his lines seem a bit convoluted to me at times, due to the streams of thought that go on for a few lines, they are still very beautiful. As I read book 1, the amount of Greek mythological influence amongst the heavily Protestant Christian theology was quite surprising and almost reminded me of Beowulf where the author mixed pagan and Christian elements together.

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