John Milton Background for Paradise Lost, Book I By John Milton
Intent to be a Poet • At 21 Years of Age
School • Milton attended Christ College in Cambridge
30 Years Old • When John Milton was about 30 years old he left his father’s estate and traveled to Italy to meet artists, scholars, philosophers, and scientists whose works he had been studying.
For Twenty Years • Milton neglected his poetry because during the Civil Wars in England he wrote pamphlets on behalf of Parliament. After the wars, he served as Latin Secretary to the State Council for the Puritan Commonwealth.
Tragedies • Deaths of his first two wives • The deaths of all but three of his children • At the age of forty-four the loss his eyesight
1660 • Milton was free to devote himself to writing the epic poem he had planned so many years earlier.
Arrested • When the Puritan government was dissolved and King Charles II ascended the throne, Milton was arrested as a traitor. • Influential friends managed to save him from probable hanging, but he was forced to retire and pay heavy fines that left him nearly penniless.
Before Milton’s Death • In the years before his death, he dictated to his daughters not just one epic masterpiece, but two: Paradise Lost and its sequel, Paradise Regained.
Sonnets • Milton wrote twenty-four sonnets between 1630 and 1658.
Epic Poetry • The epic is a long narrative poem that tells the story of a hero and reflects the values of a culture. For seventeenth-century English writers, the ancient Greek and Roman epic poets, such as Homer, set the standard for literary greatness.
Age • Milton was blind and around 53 years old when he first began composing his 10,565 line epic poem Paradise Lost.
Blank Verse • Blank verse, or unrhymed iambic pentameter, is one of the simplest forms, in that each line is essentially a new stanza. Shakespeare used blank verse for the poetry in his plays (although not for his sonnets, which were rhymed). • Unrhymed Iambic Pentameter is five iambs per line, which is a metrical foot in verse in which an unaccented syllable is followed by an accented one, as in “a-rouse” and “a-cat.” The meter of Paradise Lost (1667) is a form so flexible and natural that even among the verse experiments of the modernist period it remains a favored structure. • (Handbook of Literary Terms: Second Edition)
Felt about Rhyme • Milton thought it was unnecessary.
1600-1642 • Paradise Lostwas written as the dust was settling after years of war and turmoil. From 1642 to 1660, the government of England went from a monarchy to a commonwealth (rule by Parliament) to a protectorate (rule by one man, Oliver Cromwell) to a monarchy.
Two Decade Period • During this two decade period, no matter which side a person was on, he or she experienced both defeat and triumph. Milton sensed the nation needed an anchor, a literary work that would once again help define and unite a culture.
God’s Reason • Milton’s explanation of God’s reason for allowing suffering in the world, and the dark, proud figure of the rebel Satan pitted against God in civil war, must have led readers to reflect on England’s own civil war.
Gabriel (Casey Affleck) Archangel Michael (Benjamin Walker)
Adam (Diego Bonita) Eve (Camilla Belle)
Abdiel (DjimonHounsou) Raphael (Sam Redi) • URIEL (Callan McAuliffe)
Literary Terms for Paradise Lost, Book I By John Milton
Point of View • The point from which the story is told. Usually the narrator, character or outside observer who tells the story. http://cctvimedia.clearchannel.com/ktvf/car%20accident.jpg
First Person Point of View • When a character in the story tells the story. • Example: When “I” or “Me” is used in a story or movie to tell the story. http://www.worth1000.com/entries/42000/42129AFhe_w.jpg
Third Person Limited Point of View • The narration does not use “I” or “me”. Only he/she/it. • The narrator focuses on the thoughts and feelings of just one character. http://www.3d-screensaver-downloads.com/images/harry-potter-screensaver/big3.jpg
Third Person Omniscient Point of View • The all knowing narrator can tell us about the past, present and future of all the characters (godlike). http://landru.i-link-2.net/shnyves/God.creating.stars.jpeg
Narrator • The person that is telling the story. http://www.unca.edu/housing/images/services/video-game-lending-library/videos/covers/forest-gump.jpg
Setting • The time and place of a literary work. • Example: The setting for “The Cask of Amontillado” is “Early evening in an Italian city during a carnival immediately preceding Lent.” http://cummingsstudyguides.net/Guides2/PoeTales.jpg
Theme • A central message of a literary work. It is a generalization about people or about life that is communicated through the literary work. Readers think about what the work seems to say about the nature of people or about life. http://www.militarymuseum.org/Resources/saving%20private%20ryan%20poster.jpg http://victoryatseaonline.com/war/otherwars/images/patriot.gif
Character • A person or an animal who takes part in the action of a literary work. Characters are sometimes classified as round or flat, dynamic or static. http://web.mit.edu/kayla/Public/Backgrounds/LOTR%20Frodo.JPG http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.numberonestars.com/movies/images2/cars.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.madeinatlantis.com/movies_central/2006/cars.htm&h=829&w=560&sz=96&hl=en&start=4&tbnid=Y6EU5SvonuLBTM:&tbnh=144&tbnw=97&prev=/images%3Fq%3DCars%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official_s%26sa%3DG
Dynamic Character • This character develops and grows during the course of the story. http://www.eurpac.com/hepicts/tsdvd/princess%20diaries%20dvd.jpg
Round Character • This character shows many different traits--faults as well as virtues. http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/malcolm/gallery/images/340/malcolm4.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/malcolm/gallery/season3/malcolm4.shtml&h=255&w=340&sz=10&hl=en&start=16&tbnid=XhkiSujuGSyOkM:&tbnh=89&tbnw=119&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dmalcom%2Bin%2Bthe%2Bmiddle%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official_s%26sa%3DG
Static Character • This character does not change much in the story. http://static.flickr.com/39/82639167_4bdae091fd_m.jpg
Flat Character • Has only one or two traits. http://members.tripod.com/~film_circle/rushhour.jpg http://www.darrenfrodsham.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/images/batman.jpg
Stock Character • A stereotypical character that occurs frequently in literature. • Examples are the mad scientist, the battle-scarred veteran, and the strong silent cowboy.
Protagonist • The main character in a literary work. http://www.tribute.ca/tribute_objects/images/movies/napolean_dynamite/napoleandynamite3.jpg
Antagonist • A character or force in conflict with a main character or the protagonist. http://www.tvcrazy.net/tvclassics/wallpaper/superman/smallville/lex-luthor.jpg
Plot • The sequence of events in a literary work. http://www.cast.org/teachingeverystudent/toolkits/images/TMP_plotdiagram_large.jpg
Exposition Exposition • Is a writing or speech that explains a process or presents information. In the plot of a story or drama, the exposition is the part of the work that introduces the characters, the setting, and the basic situation.
Rising Action Rising Action • All the events leading up to the climax.
Climax Climax • The conflict reaches a high point of interest or suspense.
Falling Action Falling Action • Follows the climax and leads to a resolution.
Resolution Resolution • The end of the central conflict.
Conflict • A struggle between opposing forces, usually it will form the basis of stories, novels, and plays. http://www.warnerbros.co.uk/movies/troy/img/troy_main.jpg
Internal Conflict • Involves a character in conflict with himself or herself. http://www.sfrevu.com/ISSUES/2002/0201/Film%20-%20A%20Beautiful%20Mind/beautiful%20mind.jpg
External Conflict • The main character struggles with an outside force. Usually the outside force consists of: • man vs. man • man vs. nature • man vs. society • man vs. supernatural (God or gods)