With his deep learning and the sensual immediacy of his language, Milton creates for us a unique bridge to the cultures of classical antiquity and medieval and Renaissance Christianity. This edition is a consummate work of modern literary scholarship. The edition is a model of its kind, well designed and attractively produced. There are scholarly but unintimidating footnotes and helpful introductions to the major works. Spelling and punctuation have been modernized — a difficult decision but the right one….
The Complete Poetry And Essential Prose Of John Milton (Modern Library)
A great deal has been packed in, but Milton has still been left room to breathe. The whole enterprise is meant to be reader-friendly, and it succeeds. You could take it to a desert island, or just stay home and further your education in a great writer. For the next generation this new Modern Library volume will be the standard: it is meticulously edited, full of tactful annotations that set the stage for his work and his times, and it brings Milton, as a poet and a thinker, vividly alive before us.
It is in the new Kerrigan-Rumrich-Fallon edition that I now find prompt rejoinders to questions, ready clarifications of problems, and a more intimate dimension of that formidable adjective Miltonic. This will surely be the edition of choice for teachers, students, and general readers too. It is a book to last a lifetime. Or wert thou that sweet smiling youth? See Nat Ode — Something apparently dropped out of this line when the poem was first printed, in It is missing a metrical foot, and the youth lacks his allegorical identity.
Words such as Mercy and Virtue have been inserted between thou and that, which saves the meter; but these allegorical figures are never male, and youth in Milton always refers to a male.
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Milton could be assuming that the birth of Anne Phillips did drive away that plague. She will be an even more effective advocate in Heaven. Then thou: The address has shifted from the dead child to its mother. See headnote. In keeping with the traditions behind such saturnalian occasions, he first of all delivered the two raucous Latin orations that constitute Prolusion 6. The speeches were peppered with boisterous jokes about gender, sex, farts, and the like.
Then the master of ceremonies broke into these pentameter English couplets. In graver minds, however, the hall must have kept on shimmering with the revelation of what this amusing student, if he were to choose, would rather be doing. The work was first printed in Some have taken Milton to be criticizing the metaphysical manner, but he might just as well be tweaking a form of expression cultivated by some of his fellow students.
The Complete Poetry and Essential Prose of John Milton
Here Milton digresses from the academic conviviality of the immediate occasion to reveal his literary ambitions. Hebe: goddess of youth, daughter of Zeus. Demodocus: minstrel who sang of the fall of Troy at the court of Alcinous Od. Aristotle, Categories 5. The knot to which the proverb alludes was originally tied by Gordius. The oracle declared that whoever untied it would rule Asia. Alexander cut it. The rest was prose. One of them played Relation, and is here called by his name.
The Complete Poetry and Essential Prose of John Milton
Milton proceeds to burlesque the catalogs of rivers found in Spenser FQ 4. The name of the river Humber supposedly came from a Scythian invader who drowned in it after being defeated by Locrine. Whenever Milton wrote this aubade or dawn song, it is a small gem. As he often does, Milton saves the most remarkable effect for the end. The effect anticipates what the mature poet will achieve with the endless spring of Paradise: represent it responsively and thoroughly while all the while making us ever more hopelessly aware of its having been lost too soon.
Thus we salute thee with our early song,10And welcome thee, and wish thee long. But the fact that we have no other examples of such studious translations unless we imagine that Milton was primarily tinkering with his style in the Psalm paraphrases argues for an earlier date, perhaps , on the assumption that the poem grew out of an academic exercise.
It was not unusual for teachers to have their students compete in translating or adapting a classical work. Benson [presumably William Benson — , who erected the Milton monument in Westminster Abbey] gave medals as prizes for the best verses that were produced on Milton at all our great schools. It is doubtful that Milton himself would have considered this vogue a sign of artistic health. For the language does not permit. English word order cannot approach the free arrangements possible in an inflected language.
Nor can Latin quantitative measures be imposed but for an enchanted moment on the accentual-syllabic system native to English. The poem affords us a brief look at an ideal English classicism that never happened. What slender youth bedewed with liquid odorsCourts thee on roses in some pleasant cave,Pyrrha? They were often commemorated by placing a votive tablet containing an inscription or a picture summarizing the vow on the wall of the temple.
Here the mature poet presents his calling card. For the first time we see him shift from a personal voice seeking inspiration in the opening four stanzas to a communal voice performing our human part in the celestial harmonies that accompany the Incarnation, and defining with authoritative ease the proportions of joy and sorrow, wonder and apprehension, pride and shame, appropriate to this watershed moment. Thanks for telling us about the problem.
Return to Book Page. William Kerrigan Editor. John Rumrich Editor. Stephen M. Fallon Editor. John Milton is, next to William Shakespeare, the most influential English poet, a writer whose work spans an incredible breadth of forms and subject matter. Edited by a trio of esteemed scholars, this volume is the definitive Milton for our time.
Among the newly edited and authoritatively annotated prose selections are letters, pamphlets, political tracts, essays such as Of Education and Areopagitica , and a generous portion of his heretical Christian Doctrine. With his deep learning and the sensual immediacy of his language, Milton creates for us a unique bridge to the cultures of classical antiquity and medieval and Renaissance Christianity. This edition is a consummate work of modern literary scholarship.
Get A Copy. Published October 28th by Modern Library first published January 1st More Details Other Editions 3. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Mar 05, Scott Kemper rated it it was amazing. I had to get this book for a John Milton seminar I took in University.
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I still read this book to this day. It's insightful, moving, beautiful. John Milton has forever left an impact on my life.
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