John Milton | Critical Essay by Keith W. Stavely

This literature criticism consists of approximately 40 pages of analysis & critique of John Milton.
This section contains 11,858 words
(approx. 40 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Keith W. Stavely

Critical Essay by Keith W. Stavely

SOURCE: "Sytax and Persuasion," in The Politics of Milton's Prose Style, Yale University Press, 1975, pp. 3-26.

Below, Stavely compares Milton's syntax and style with those of several contemporaneous political polemicists and demonstrates that his selective use of the Ciceronian model of rhetoricunfashionable at the time—aptly facilitated his millennial message.

In the studies of seventeenth-century prose style that have appeared since Morris W. Croll's pioneering work on the subject, Milton has usually either been ignored or classified as a Ciceronian.1 Milton indeed expressed his distaste for both the "loose" and "curt" varieties of the prevailing anti-Ciceronian fashion:

He that cannot understand the sober, plain, and unaffected stile of the Scriptures, will be ten times more puzzl'd with the knotty Africanisms, the pamper'd metafors; the intricat, and involv'd sentences of the Fathers; besides the fantastick, and...

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This section contains 11,858 words
(approx. 40 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Keith W. Stavely
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