Samson Agonistes, and Shorter Poems - Study Guide Shorter Poems, Last Four Summary & Analysis

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"Il Pensoroso," whose title is Italian for a thoughtful or pensive person, is a kind of mirror image of "L'Allegro," in that it begins by casting away joyfulness as so much idleness and delusion. Instead, the poet hails melancholy, which he likens to wisdom. Milton invokes Saturn, the Roman father of gods, and Vesta, the goddess of purity, as progenitors of melancholy. He bids melancholy to bring along its companions: peace, quiet, and contemplation. He alludes to Plato, who used pagan demons as symbols of the soul's future, and he writes that tragedy is beautiful. The poem proceeds through summations of various myths, praising their solemnity, including the story of the Trojan war. He hopes melancholy will lead him to a secluded brook, where he can sleep and dream, waking to sweet music from woodland spirits. The poet wishes to spend...

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This section contains 940 words
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Buy the Samson Agonistes, and Shorter Poems Study Guide
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