Bloom, Harold, ed. John Milton. New York: Chelsea House, 1986. Contains a selection of some of the best Milton criticism from the previous thirty years. Includes a bibliography and an index.
Bradford, Richard. The Complete Critical Guide to John Milton. New York: Routledge, 2001. An accessible, comprehensive guide to Milton for students. Bradford brings Milton to life in an overview of his life and work and provides a summation of the main critical issues surrounding his work. Includes bibliographical references and an index.
Cummins, Juliet, ed. Milton and the Ends of Time. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003. A collection of essays that examine Milton’s focus on the millennium, eternity, and the apocalypse in his works.
Fish, Stanley. How Milton Works. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2001. Argues that all of Milton’s work can be seen from the poet’s firm belief that the value of his (or any) work lay in its author’s commitment to divine truth, not in the tools and devices—plot, narrative, representation—of his aesthetic craft.
Hunter, G. K. Paradise Lost. Boston: Allen & Unwin, 1980. The great advantage of this short study is its ability to make the poem enjoyable. It suggests ways of reading the text that still take full account of Milton’s art, complexities, and contradictions. Contains a bibliography and an index.
Jordan, Matthew. Milton and Modernity: Subjectivity in Paradise Lost. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000. Sees Milton’s works as essentially revolutionary, necessarily understood in a context of the author’s belief in individual human freedom. Includes bibliographical references and an index.
Lewalski, Barbara Kiefer. The Life of John Milton: A Critical Biography. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell, 2000. A detailed account of Milton’s life and career. Lewalski provides a close analysis of Milton’s prose and poetry and shows his development of a revolutionary prophetic voice. Includes bibliographical references and an index.
Martz, Louis L. Poet of Exile: A Study of Milton’s Poetry. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1980. Sixteen chapters center on Paradise Lost as a poem of exile. Two separate sections cover the rest of the poetry, and a fourth section looks closely at the interaction with Ovid in Paradise Lost in terms of heroic and pastoral love. Contains appendices and an index.
Silver, Victoria. Imperfect Sense: The Predicament of Milton’s Irony. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2001. Silver engages the central question of Milton readers: Why do we hate Milton’s God? She argues that Milton deliberately presents a repugnant deity, one divided from himself, in an effort to reveal the human experience of a divided or self-contradictory universe driven by our own, ironically limited, vantage.