CULTURAL AND POLITICAL FACTORS THAT LEAD TO MILTON’S EPIC POETRY

Renaissance is a religious movement and as such it relates not only to literary revival but it has grassroot connections with political and social movements also. Literature flourished during the period of Tudor Monarch. After the death of Henry VII, King Henry came to power who was a great lover of art, music and literature and love lyrics were composed. As such, Renaissance left a great influence on the social political and religious front. The unrest in England prevailed at large, the authority of king was questioned by Parliament. The existing system with regard to each and every spheres of life was being questioned. Even women intervened in the existing social and cultural status.

John Milton studied deeply the political and social order of his contemporary and wrote a lot about the pathetic state of affairs. He had drawn public opinion on all major or public issues. Milton’s epic ‘Paradise Lost’ is a common theme on Renaissance and reformative course on individual and state. The poetry during the Renaissance expanded into three main channels: the sonnet, heading the lyric and the satire. The literary forms of Milton’s period highlight religious issues and humanist thoughts.

Milton’s poems ‘L’ Allegro’ and ‘II Penseroso’ reveals the fact that the Milton has favoured ‘short lyric’. He also followed classical forms and themes. Thus, short lyric was the major elements in the poetry of Milton’s contemporary. Milton has justified his sense of religion when he writes in ‘Paradise Lost’ that his epic was the ways of God to man. This epic of Milton also has detailed narration of conflicts on the behaviour of the king and the rest of Parliamentarians Milton has also highlighted the issue of women and their individual status by means of his epic and other poetic form.

The use of epic form of poetry in English started with some failed attempts by poets like Patrick Hannay, D’Avenant and W. Chamberlyne. One of the main and important factors that led to the success of Milton’s epic poetry was he used the epic to represent the essence of the age, the contemporary struggle between religion and the state rather than simple reconstruction of the classical matrix.

Another issue which has raised for the Puritan Patriarchy. It not only promoted the issue of individualism but also questioned the women’s individuality and autonomy. Thus, engaging itself in the old age biblical argument of free will and predetermination. These issues are apparent in the conversation between Adam and Eve.

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