John Milton was an English poet and author born in London on December 9th, 1608. Best known for his epic work “Paradise Lost” which has been called one of the greatest works written in the language of English, Milton’s prose and poetry reflected his own ideals and conviction during a time of religious and political change in England. He was a great supporter of the free press and fought for equal religious rights for all. The poem which is the central focus of this paper “When I consider how my Light is Spent,” was written by Milton following the loss of his sight in 1652 (Jokinen). This paper will offer a biographical and historical Criticism of this poem by relating how its meaning alludes to the Milton’s own life and the experiences of the author of this paper.
It is said that Milton would spend nights forming these very verses in his head following his blindness and have aides dictate his verses for him (Jokinen). It would be easy to consider that the first line which speaks of how his life is spent, if the reader is reflective of his loss of sight. But such a statement may also be referring to death, death which occurs when that which characterizes life is lost (Milton).
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