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figure – labeled a political radical with return of Charles II and imprisoned and became blind in 1651; socially withdrawn; published his 3 major poems: Paradise Lost (epic poem), Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes.

Puritan Beliefs:

·       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