In the course of his forty-year career John Milton evolved from a prodigy to a blind prophet, from a philosophical aesthete to a Puritan rebel, and from a Latinist poet who proclaimed the triumph of reason to an epic poet obsessed with the intractability of sin. A master of almost every verse style -- from the pastoral, devotional, and tenderly lyrical to the supreme grandeur of his great epic, Paradise Lost, and his biblical "Greek tragedy, " Samson Agonistes -- Milton left a body of work unrivaled in literary history. Although he wrote Comus and "Lycidas" shortly after leaving Cambridge University, Milton devoted much of his adult life -- and even sacrificed his eyesight -- to defending the cause of Oliver Cromwell's Commonwealth. Milton's later poetry, produced after Charles II's restoration led to the defeat of the Commonwealth, contains not only personally achieved theological insights but also a deep firsthand understanding of politics and power.
This edition presents Milton's complete English, Latin, and Greek poems, modernizing spelling, capitalization, and any punctuation likely to cause confusion. Fully annotated with glosses on the poems' biblical, classical, and historical allusions, this is the best place to start for readers wanting to come to grips with this giant in English literature.
About the Author
John Milton was born in London on December 9, 1608, and studied at the University of Cambridge. He originally planned to become a clergyman, but abandoned those ambitions to become a poet. Political in his writings, he served a government post during the time of the Commonwealth. In 1651, he went completely blind but he continued to write, finishing Paradise Lost in 1667, and Paradise Regained in 1671. He died in 1674.