JOHN MILTON: 1668-1674
“God’s English Poet”
Life falls into 3 divisions:
1. Youthful education and apprenticeship – culminates in the writing of Lycidas (1637) and Milton’s foreign travels (1638-39)
2. Prose and controversy (1640-60) – all verse was the by-product of public or private events; major concerns were political and social; heavily wrote pamphlets on political, moral and religious issues of his time; as a supporter of Cromwell, published pamphlets attacking Church of England.
3. Poetry (1660-death) – mature and somewhat embittered figure – labeled a political radical with return of Charles II and imprisoned and became blind in 1651; socially withdrawn; published his 3 major poems: Paradise Lost (epic poem), Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes.
· The heart of Christianity equaled the individual’s relation to God.
· Everyone should read the Bible and interpret it for himself
· Only true king is God
· Rituals and institutions interfered with religion