How does Samuel Johnson describe the life of John Milton in his Lives of the Poets?

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Samuel Johnson carefully and at length examines Milton's poetry in his Lives of the Poets. He can be critical of Milton's work, as Johnson often is of seventeenth century figures (it seems common for writers to criticize those of the century preceding them) but at the same time is filled with a sometimes grudging admiration for his greatest achievements.

Johnson rejects Milton's more radical seventeenth century politics, born of the English Civil War and his Protestant religious beliefs, because Johnson adhered to the more conservative Church of England and supported the monarchy. Unlike Milton, Johnson was more of a pragmatist than a visionary in his political thinking. He is, therefore, critical in Lives of the Poets of Milton's...

(The entire section contains 370 words.)

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