John Milton Writing Styles in Samson Agonistes, and Shorter Poems

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Point of View

Most of this volume is written in the third person, through which the poet assumes the role of an omniscient storyteller. Even when he writes about personal matters, such as his attraction to joyfulness in "L'Allegro" and to melancholy in "Il Pensoroso," he addresses these moods directly for the most part, rather than using first person to discuss their impact on him. In both those poems, he finally breaks from this declamatory tone into first person at the very end, achieving the dramatic impact of turning what seemed to be a philosophical rumination into a personal conviction. The most consistent use of first person in the book is in "Lycidas," when Milton writes about the death of a close friend. In this case, it seems he cannot avoid bringing himself into the poem, because the impact of the death of Lycidas was too personal to address...

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This section contains 1,054 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Samson Agonistes, and Shorter Poems Study Guide
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