Give a critical analysis of the poem  “On His Blindness.”

A critical analysis of the poem “On His Blindness” could include the poem’s formal elements and the relationship of formal elements to the themes and the author’s goals. The poem’s speaker has generally been accepted as representing the author, who was blind. Milton uses the sonnet to present a problem and its solution. His strong faith and the tests it endured are emphasized by the frequent use of allusion.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

On His Blindness” is written as a Petrarchan sonnet, with fourteen lines in two stanzas; the first, which has eight lines, is called the octave, and the second, of six lines, is the sestet. The poem also employs abba rhyme repeated once in the octave and cde repeated once in the sestet, which is typical of this sonnet form. The meter is iambic pentameter.

Milton uses figurative language to explore his theme of blindness, including the now well-known line “When I consider how my light is spent,” in which “light” is a metaphor for “sight.” Similarly, the darkness of the world offers a metaphor for the dangers of mortal life.

Allusion figures prominently...

(The entire section contains 347 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on