National Poetry Month 2009, which takes place during the month of April, offers a month to reflect and honor poets and their poetry. AC would like to help celebrate, and to do that, here is an analysis of classic poetry by John Milton.
John Milton was educated at St Paul’s School and Christ’s College, in Cambridge. After 1657, Milton began to write Paradise Lost. Paradise Lost was published in 1667. The sequel to Paradise Lost, Paradise Regain’d, was published in 1671, along with Samson Agonistes.
Paradise Regained is composed of four books, each book containing approximately 443-639 lines of text.
The first book discusses the ‘highth or depth of natures bounds’, as the flight through paradise, rediscovered, and retold, reiterates the loss of paradise. Prophets gather harbingers to conquer the two grand foes, and permanent fixtures in Heaven stand to light upon Heaven’s doors. The last 10 lines write of the narrator being forbidding lack of access to encouragement from the prophet.
The second book continues, with disciples of apostles in full swing, and the discussion of lawful limits of Nature, which leads into the idea of temperance. Speeches are addressed to those bred from the city, court, or palace. Virtue, valor, and wisdom sit in want, knowing that they may guide Nations, by saving Doctrine from ‘errour’. The last line ‘To gain a Scepter, oftest better miss’t.’ alludes to the doctrine of self-control in that to purposely miss an opportunity to gain an item of wealth is better than prolonging an assumption. The extended guess is not as clear a sign of temperance as the continuation of self-control.
The third book tells the tale of counsel, who count the intelligent and wise among them, and the neighbors of peaceable nations. Through counsel and the idea of man seeking glory; the reception into grace, the harbour, and the attainment of shelter, as penitence is revealed as a result of counsel reflected upon the idea of man seeking glory. Towards the end of this book, the relationship between those that worship truly, and those that worship amiss similar to the way that truth is contended by falsehood.
The fourth book talks of the movement of penitence, and the description of that journey. On this journey, many items and joys are discovered, as angels and men are compared as tetrachs of the elements within the world. Along this journey, the cities and suburban areas are visited, with doves and nightingales. This is a memory of Athens; home to Plato, Homer, Socrates, and the Sect Epicurean. The Stoic is a metaphor of the severity of philosophic pride as the temptation of the Son of God continues. Terrors foretell the return of the prophets, while the comparison between men, the Sons of Adam, and the Sons of God continue. At this leg of the journey the story reaches the celestial food, which, in part, had been prepared with ‘fruits fetcht from the tree of life.’ With the Son of God’s mastery of temperance and vanquishing of temptation, a newfound Paradise provides dwelling without fear. The book ends with a return to the mother of the Son of God, sung with praise, and full of Heavenly Feast.