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is an epic poem in blank Life of john milton

Milton, John (1608-1674), English poet, whose rich, dense verse was a powerful influence on succeeding English poets, and whose prose was devoted to the defense of civil and religious liberty. Milton is often considered the greatest English poet after Shakespeare.

Life

Milton was born in London on December 9, 1608, and educated at Saint Paul's School and Christ's College, University of Cambridge. He intended to become a clergyman in the Church of England, but growing dissatisfaction with the state of the Anglican clergy together with his own developing poetic interests led him to abandon this purpose. From 1632 to 1638 he lived in his father's country home in Horton, Buckinghamshire, preparing himself for his poetic career by entering upon an ambitious program of reading the Latin and Greek classics and ecclesiastical and political history. From 1638 to 1639 he toured France and Italy, where he met the leading literary figures of the day. On his return to England, he settled in London and began writing a series of social, religious, and political tracts.
In 1642 he married Mary Powell, who left him after a few weeks because of the incompatibility of their temperaments, but was reconciled to him in 1645; she died in 1652. In his writings, Milton supported the parliamentary cause in the civil war between Parliamentarians and Royalists, and in 1649 he was appointed foreign secretary by the government of the Commonwealth. He became totally blind about 1652 and thereafter carried on his literary work helped by an assistant; with the aid also of the poet Andrew Marvell, he fulfilled his government duties until the restoration of Charles II in 1660. In 1656 he married a second wife, who died two years later shortly after giving birth to a daughter who lived only a few months. With the Restoration, Milton was punished for his support of Parliament by a fine and a short term of imprisonment. He married a third time in 1663, and until his death on November 8, 1674, he lived in seclusion.
Of the poet's personality, memoirs written by Milton's contemporaries indicate that his was a singular blend of grace and sweetness and of force and severity amounting almost to harshness. In some of his own writing he reveals his arrogance and bitterness. Although isolated and embittered by blindness, he fulfilled the tasks he had set himself, lightening his dark days with music and conversation.

Works

John Milton's work is marked by cosmic themes and lofty religious idealism; it reveals an astonishing breadth of learning and command of the Greek, Latin, and Hebrew classics. His blank verse is of remarkable variety and richness, so skillfully modulated and flexible that it has been compared to organ tones.
Milton's career as a writer may be divided into three periods. The first, from 1625 to 1640, was the period of such early works as the poems written while he was still at Cambridge, the ode "On the Morning of Christ's Nativity" (1629), the sonnet "On Shakespeare" (1630), "L'Allegro" and "Il Penseroso" (both probably 1631), "On Time" (1632?), "At a Solemn Musick" (1632-1633?), the masques Arcades (1632-1634?) and Comus (1634), and the elegy Lycidas (1637).
His second period, from 1640 to 1660, was devoted chiefly to the writing of the prose tracts that established him as the ablest pamphleteer of his time. In the first group of pamphlets, Milton attacked the institution of bishops and argued in favor of extending the spirit of the English Reformation. The first published of this group was Of Reformation Touching Church Discipline in England (1641); the one most deeply pondered and elaborately reasoned was The Reason of Church Government Urged Against Prelaty (1641-1642), which also contains an important digression in which Milton tells of his own early life, education, and ambitions. (Such autobiographical digressions are found scattered throughout his prose works.) The second phase of his devotion to social and political concerns yielded, among others, The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce (1643), in which he argued that since marriage was instituted for intellectual as well as physical companionship, divorce should be granted for incompatibility; and his most famous prose work, Areopagitica (1644), an impassioned plea for freedom of the press. In ... more

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Wilfred Owen's Anthem For Doomed Youth

Notes for students Anthem for doomed Youth
1 Anthem - perhaps best known in the expression The National Anthem; also, an
important religious song (often expressing joy); here, perhaps, a solemn song of
celebration
2 passing-bells - a bell tolled after someone's death to announce the death to the world
3 patter out - rapidly speak
4 orisons - prayers, here funeral prayers
5 mockeries - ceremonies which are insults. Here Owen seems to be suggesting that
the Christian religion, with its loving God, can have nothing to do with the deaths of so
many thousands of men
6 demented - raving mad
7 bugles - a bugle is played at military funerals (sounding the last post)
8 shires - English counties and countryside from which so many of the soldiers came
9 candles - church candles, or the candles lit in the room where a body lies in a coffin
10 pallor - paleness
11 dusk has a symbolic significance here
12 drawing-down of blinds - normally a preparation for night, but also, here, the
tradition of drawing the blinds in a room where a dead person lies, as a sign to the world
and as a mark of respect. The coming of night is like the drawing down of blinds.
1 DULCE ET DECORUM EST - the first words of a Latin saying (taken from an ode
by Horace). The words were widely understood and often quoted at the start of the
First World War. They mean It is sweet and right. The full saying ends the poem:
Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori - it is sweet and right to die for your country. In
other words, it is a wonderful and great honour to fight and die for your country
2 rockets which were sent up to burn with a brilliant glare to light up men and other
targets in the area between the front lines (See illustration, page 118 of Out in the
Dark.)
3 a camp away from the front line where exhausted soldiers might rest for a few days, or
longer
4 the noise made by the shells rushing through the air
5 outpaced, the soldiers have struggled beyond the reach of these shells which are now
falling behind them as they struggle away from the scene of battle
6 Five-Nines - 5.9 calibre explosive shells
7 poison gas. From the symptoms it would appear to be chlorine or phosgene gas. The
filling of the lungs with fluid had the same effects as when a person drowned
8 the early name for gas masks
9 a white chalky substance which can burn live tissue
10 the glass in the eyepieces of the gas masks
11 Owen probably meant flickering out like a candle or gurgling like water draining
down a gutter, referring to the sounds in the throat of the choking man, or it might be a
sound partly like stuttering and partly like gurgling
12 normally the regurgitated grass that cows chew; here a similar looking material was
issuing from the soldier's mouth
13 high zest - idealistic enthusiasm, keenly believing in the rightness of the idea
14 keen
Disabled
'He sat in a wheeled chair, waiting for dark' (L.1)
The immediate appearance of 'dark', 'grey' , and 'shivered' sets up the isolation of the wounded soldier. It strikes a
strong comparison to the warmth of the second stanza.
Return to poem
3.'used to swing so gay' (L.7)
The next few lines mirror the tone of such poems as 'The Ruin', an Old English poem, in which the poet
(anonymous) looks on a ruined building, now frost-bitten and decrepit, imagining the sound and warmth that once rang
through its walls.
Return to poem
4.'glow-lamps' and 'girls glanced' (L.8 & L9)
Both are linked effectively by the use of alliteration.
Return to poem
5.'before he threw away his knees' (L.10)
The implication that this was a needless loss (sacrifice) is reinforced by Ll.23-4 where the wounded soldier fails to
remember why he joined up, pointing only to a distant sense of duty, and euphoria after the football match. Fussell notes
that: 'Owen's favourite sensuous device is the formula 'his - ', with the blank usually filled with a part of the body.' (p.
292).
Return to poem
6.'Now he will never feel again how slim/Girls' waists are' (L.11 & L.12)
Showing not only the physical loss of his ... more

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