THE MAIN CHARACTERISTICS OF MILTON'S POETRY
- SENSE OF BEAUTY,
- STATELINESS OF MANNER,
- MILTON'S HIGH SERIOUSNESS,
- A GREAT POETIC ARTIST,
- MILTON'S SUPERB IMAGINATION,
- MILTON'S SUGGESTIVE POWER,
- THE AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL ELEMENT,
- MILTON'S VERSIFICATION, and,
- STYLE AND DICTION.
Sublimity is the supreme quality of Milton's poetry. His poetry elevates and uplifts us. Milton lived a life of purity and his life bears the stamp of the nobility of his character. Milton's subject is sublime, and he could never come down to the cheap love poetry. Not lovers and lasses but God, Satan, Adam, Eve and Christ are the characters that Milton has introduced in his poetry. In the "Nativity Ode" the subject is Christ who brought about religious regeneration in Europe. In "Comus", Milton presents sublime thoughts about virtue. 'Paradise Regained' is an expression of the sublime thoughts that Milton had about God and Religion.
SENSE OF BEAUTY
The chief characteristics of Milton's poetry is his profound love of beauty in its various forms. He is deeply sensitive to the beauties of external nature. He shows the beauty of the countryside in 'L' Allegro'. In 'Il Penseroso' he presents many landscapes of beauty for our delight. In 'Paradise Lost' his sense of beauty is supreme. In Book Four, he gives a glowing description of the beauty of Adam and Eve.
STATELINESS OF MANNER
With this sense of beauty is combined a stateliness of manner which gives a high dignity to Milton's poetry. English poetry between the time of Shakespeare and Milton had many qualities. But the quality of stateliness is imparted to it by the poetry of Milton. Milton is always majestic. The subjects he chooses are stately and the treatment too is stately. His problems are of external interest and his genius can find full scope in dealing with grand themes; the problems of man, the redemption of humanity by Christ, and of the way of God to Man.
MILTON'S HIGH SERIOUSNESS
High seriousness marks both Milton's character and poetry. There is a lack of humour in Milton's writing. His poetry never bothers about a big audience of admiring readers. His desire is to have "fit audience though few."
A GREAT POETIC ARTIST
Milton is convinced that the vocation of the poet is lofty and to keep true to that vocation he writes poetry of great sublimity. The artistic workmanship of the poet comes out everywhere.
MILTON'S SUPERB IMAGINATION
Only, a man of Milton's imagination could have shaped the Paradise Lost. The theme of the epic is vast. The poet creates a world of heaven and hell which could only have been possible with the superb imagination that he has. He has an imagination that can soar above time and space, and be at home in infinity.
MILTON'S SUGGESTIVE POWER
Milton's suggestive power is the most striking characteristic of his poetry. The effect of his poetry is produced, not by what it expresses, but by what it suggests. We often hear of the magical influence of poetry. This expression is most appropriate when applied to the writing of Milton.
THE AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL ELEMENT
STYLE AND DICTION