Synopses & Reviews
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.
"I may assert Eternal Providence
And justify the ways of God to men"
John Milton was a master of almost every type of verse, from the classical to the religious and from the lyrical to the epic. His early poems include the devotional 'On the Morning of Christ's Nativity', 'Comus', a masque, and the pastoral elegy 'Lycidas'. After Cromwell's death and the dashing of Milton's political hopes, he began composingParadise Lost, which reflects his profound understanding of politics and power. Written when Milton was at the height of his abilities, this great masterpiece fuses the Christian with the classical in its description of the fall of Man. InSamson Agonistes, Milton's last work, the poet draws a parallel with his own life in the hero's struggle to renew his faith in God.
In this edition of theComplete Poems, John Leonard draws attention to words coined by Milton and those that have changed their meaning since his time. He also provides full notes to elucidate Biblical, classical and historical allusions and has modernized spelling, capitalization and punctuation.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators."
In this edition of Milton's poetry, John Leonard has modernized spelling, capitalization and any punctuation likely to cause confusion. He calls particular attention to words invented by Milton and provides full notes to elucidate biblical, classical and historical allusions.
Includes bibliographical references (p. [xxv]-xxix) and indexes.
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.