The Poetical Works of John Milton

Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009 - 300 páginas
This historic book may have numerous typos, missing text or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1903. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... ESSAY ON MILTON'S ENGLISH AND VERSIFICATION. The following remarks relate to Milton's Poetry only, any references to his Prose being but incidental. The remarks may arrange themselves under five heads: -- I. Milton's Vocabulary. II. Spelling and Pronunciation. III. Peculiarities of Grammatical Inflection. IV. Syntax and Idiom. V. Milton's Versification, and his Place in the History of English Verse. I. MILTON'S VOCABULARY. It has been computed that Milton's total vocabulary in his poetry, to the exclusion of his prose-writings, consists of about 8000 words. In this computation all separate parts of speech are counted as distinct words, but inflections of any one part of speech are not so counted. By a similar computation it is found that Shakespeare's vocabulary in his Plays and Poems consists of about 15,000 words. The greater extent of Shakespeare's poetical vocabulary, as compared with Milton's, may be accounted for partly by the greater bulk of the poetical matter from which the vocabulary is gathered; but it is, doubtless, owing in part also to the greater multifariousness of that aggregate of things and notions amid which Shakespeare's imagination moved for the purposes of his dramas. An interesting question with respect to any English writer the extent of whose total vocabulary may have been ascertained is the question what proportion of that vocabulary consists of words of the old native English or "AngloSaxon" stock, and what of words derived from the Latin 01 other non- Saxon sources that have contributed to our matured and composite English. "In the vocabulary of the English Bible," says Mr. Marsh in his Lectures on the English Language, "sixty per cent are native; in that of Shakespeare the proportion is very nearly the same; while of the stock of wo...

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John Milton, English scholar and classical poet, is one of the major figures of Western literature. He was born in 1608 into a prosperous London family. By the age of 17, he was proficient in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. Milton attended Cambridge University, earning a B.A. and an M.A. before secluding himself for five years to read, write and study on his own. It is believed that Milton read evertything that had been published in Latin, Greek, and English. He was considered one of the most educated men of his time. Milton also had a reputation as a radical. After his own wife left him early in their marriage, Milton published an unpopular treatise supporting divorce in the case of incompatibility. Milton was also a vocal supporter of Oliver Cromwell and worked for him. Milton's first work, Lycidas, an elegy on the death of a classmate, was published in 1632, and he had numerous works published in the ensuing years, including Pastoral and Areopagitica. His Christian epic poem, Paradise Lost, which traced humanity's fall from divine grace, appeared in 1667, assuring his place as one of the finest non-dramatic poet of the Renaissance Age. Milton went blind at the age of 43 from the incredible strain he placed on his eyes. Amazingly, Paradise Lost and his other major works, Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes, were composed after the lost of his sight. These major works were painstakingly and slowly dictated to secretaries. John Milton died in 1674.

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