John Milton Biography

John Milton Biography

John Milton lost paradise, but in doing so he gained worldwide fame and influenced generations of writers. Though he died more than a hundred years before its inception, John Milton is considered one of the forefathers of the Romantic period. His seminal work, the epic poem Paradise Lost, influenced Romantic and Gothic writers such as Mary Shelley, whose novel Frankenstein even features a quote from Milton’s masterpiece. Throughout his life, he had strong opinions about government, religion, education, and society, and his pamphlet campaigns on these matters led to his incarceration and nearly cost him his life. Though Paradise Lost is a reflection of the failure of the Commonwealth period that Milton supported so ardently, it succeeded in catalyzing two centuries of English poetry.

Facts and Trivia

  • Early in his career, Milton wrote court masques, which were short, musical, and dramatic interludes that often featured performances by royalty and members of the court.
  • The famously contrary Milton was abandoned by his wife just a few months after their marriage. Shortly thereafter, he wrote a treatise in support of divorce.
  • Milton was much maligned for his Republican status. He supported Oliver Cromwell during the interregnum period and defended the execution of Charles I.
  • Milton went blind due to glaucoma and for the last two decades of his life had to write all of his works by dictation. In the 1920s, Helen Keller named an interfaith society for the blind after him.
  • Though Paradise Lost earned Milton his reputation in posterity, it is actually a two-part work. Milton wrote a sequel, Paradise Regained, shortly before his death.
Additional Content
  • Biography (History of the World: The 17th and 18th Centuries)
  • Biography (Critical Guide to Censorship and Literature)
  • Biography (British and Irish Poetry, Revised Edition)
  • Biography (Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)
  • Biography (Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)
  • Biography (Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)
  • Biography
  • Biography

(The entire section is 7814 words.)