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John Milton is one of the greatest poets and an important figure in English Literature. The study of English Literature is considered incomplete without reading his most famous composition ” Paradise Lost.” He was a poet par excellence, an intellectual, and a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under its Council of State and later under Oliver Cromwell.

He was born on 9 December 1608, Bread Street, Cheapside, London, England to composer John Milton  senior and his wife Sarah Jeffrey. John Milton senior got his son home tutored by tutor, Thomas Young, a Scottish Presbyterian with an M.A. from the University of St. Andrews. Later on, Milton (Jr.) attended St Paul’s School in London where he also studied Greek and Latin . Besides English, he also wrote in Latin and Italian. Famous poets like William Blake, William Wordsworth and Thomas Hardy revered him.

John Milton composed first two Psalms at the age of 15 at Long Bennington. In 1625, Milton joined Christ’s College, Cambridge and graduated with a B.A. in 1629, ranking fourth of 24 honours graduates that year in the University of Cambridge. Milton went on to achieve his Master of Arts degree on 3 July 1632. He had intermittent breaks in his studies because of a suspension due to a quarrel with his tutor, , Bishop William Chappell. It’s also believed that he might have been sent home due to plague which badly hit Cambridge in 1625.

After finishing his post graduation in 1632, Milton moved on to Hammersmith, his father’s new home since the previous year. He married Mary Powell in 1642 who died on 5th May, 1652 after giving birth to their fourth child, Deborah. They had three other children, Anne (born 29 July 1646), Mary (born 25 October 1648), and John (16 March 1651 – June 1652)

He tied the knot with Katherine Woodcock on 12 November, 1656 but she died on 3 February 1658 after giving birth to Katherine. The baby too passed away. Finally, he married Elizabeth Mynshull in 1663 who gave him company until his death. Milton lost his eye sight completely by 1652 due to bilateral retinal detachment or glaucoma. He composed one of his best sonnets, ‘ When I Consider How My Light is Spent’ later titled as ” On His Blindness “by editor John Newton during this period.

His works:

Poetry and drama

1629: On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity

1630: On Shakespeare

1631: On Arriving at the Age of Twenty-Three

1632: L’Allegro1632: Il Penseroso

1634: A Mask Presented at Ludlow Castle, 1634, commonly known as Comus (a masque)

1637: Lycidas

1645: Poems of Mr John Milton, Both English and Latin

1652: When I Consider How My Light is Spent (Commonly referred to as “On his blindness”, though Milton did not use this title)

1655: On the Late Massacre in Piedmont

1667: Paradise Lost

1671: Paradise Regained

1671: Samson Agonistes

1673: Poems, &c, Upon Several OccasionsArcades: a masque. (date is unknown).On his Deceased wife, To The Nightingale, On reaching the Age of twenty four.


Of Reformation (1641)

Of Prelatical Episcopacy (1641)

Animadversions (1641)

The Reason of Church-Government Urged against Prelaty (1642)

Apology for Smectymnuus (1642)

Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce (1643)

Judgement of Martin Bucer Concerning Divorce (1644)

Of Education (1644)

Areopagitica (1644)

Tetrachordon (1645)

Colasterion (1645)

The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates (1649)

Eikonoklastes (1649)

Defensio pro Populo Anglicano [First Defence] (1651)

Defensio Secunda [Second Defence] (1654)

A Treatise of Civil Power (1659)

The Likeliest Means to Remove Hirelings from the Church (1659)

The Ready and Easy Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth (1660)

Brief Notes Upon a Late Sermon (1660)

Accedence Commenced Grammar (1669)

The History of Britain (1670)

Artis logicae plenior institutio [Art of Logic] (1672)

Of True Religion (1673)

Epistolae Familiaries (1674)

Prolusiones (1674)

A brief History of Moscovia, and other less known Countries lying Eastward of Russia as far as Cathay, gathered from the writings of several Eye-witnesses (1682)

De Doctrina Christiana (1823)

He passed away on 8 November 1674 (aged 65) at Bunhill, London, England. True legends like him are immortal through their legacy of wonderful poems.

John Milton poem (

On His Blindness ( When I Consider How My Light is Spent)

When I consider how my light is spent,
   Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
   And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
   My true account, lest He returning chide;
   “Doth God exact day-labor, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, “God doth not need
   Either man’s work or His own gifts. Who best
   Bear His mild yoke, they serve Him best. His state
Is kingly: thousands at His bidding speed,
   And post o’er land and ocean without rest;
   They also serve who only stand and wait.”

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    Liked by 1 person

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