John Milton: A Great Poet
John Milton was a profound scholar. He was born in London on 09 December 1608 and died there on 08 November 1674. He was one of the greatest poets of England in the 17th century. He was not only a poet but a great pamphleteer and historian. He is considered the most significant author after William Shakespeare. He was well versed in the scriptures and the Classics. He fearlessly expressed his views on politics, religion, morality and governance.
Milton's literary career can be divided into three periods. Most of his shorter poems Like L'Allegro, Il Penseroso, Lycidas and Comus were composed during the first period from 1625 to 1637. A number of hymns, psalms and his English Sonnets were also composed during the same period.
During the second period from 1635 to 1659, Milton deeply involved himself in the puritan reaction against Charles I. In this period he started his career as a pamphleteer and turned his attention from poetry to prose. He published his several tracts on various subjects.
The third period of Milton's career begins with the restoration of Charles II in 1660. Puritan rule was replaced by monarchy again. Almost in political exile, Milton concentrated on composing his great epics. He completed his most famous epic Paradise Lost in 1665 and published it in 1667. 'The Fall of Man' is the subject of this popular epic. The second epic Paradise Regained and his poetic drama Samson Agonistes were published in 1671 and with them the third period comes to an end.