Humanism of John Milton's "Paradise Lost"
John Milton’s epic poem “Paradise Lost” is one of the outstanding examples of world literature of the 17th century. Diverse and contradictory at the same time, it influenced many writers and artists of future generations.
Milton took as his basis the basic biblical text of the creation and fall of humanity, which had taken such hold in the English-speaking world that many images had attained in the popular mind an almost biblical truth to them. The text of Genesis was very popular in the mid-1600 and “Paradise Lost” attained an almost instant acclaim. Only in the beginning of 19th century English Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley expressed his doubts about Milton’s piety, but neither he nor other critics who noticed the digression from the religious dogma in Milton’s poem were able to restrain the existed opinion. Only in the beginning of 20th century it was found out that “Paradise Lost” not only digressed from the religious dogma but also contradicted it.
In order to understand the complicated content of the poem it is necessary to clarify its historical background. In the English-speaking countries Milton is considered as the second famous poet after Shakespeare. Milton’s verse is intellectually complex, yet flexible, using inversions, Latinized words, and all manner of stress, line length, variation of pause help to reveal the theme chosen by the poet. The theme that Milton reveals in his poetry is the sense of human’s life.
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