Slides in this set
It is a secondary epic:
An epic poem which self-consciously imitates the
earlier epic poetry of Greeks i.e. Homer.
Makes use of epic similes:
"in bulk as huge as whom the fables name of
Shares similarities with earlier epics:
Satan's shield "hung on his shoulders like the moon"
the detailed description of a hero's shield also appears
in The Iliad.…read more
Milton referred to blank verse as "English Heroic Verse"
which could be seen to emphasise the heroic nature of his
Milton used alliteration and rhythm in order to try and revive
the poetic style of early English poetry.
The first part of Book II is structured as a debate, the
democratic nature of which contrasts with "the tyranny of
Heaven" which is often described.
The story begins in media res, like many other epics, and
this also increases the Gothic sense of uncertainty.…read more
Milton played a part in the English Civil War, signing the
death warrant of Charles I himself. This has led many to
believe Books I and II are an allegory for the Civil War, with
Satan in the role of Cromwell.
Milton was also a devout Puritan, the simplistic beliefs of
which come through in his warning against creating lavish
temples, that "strength and art are easily outdone by spirits
Satan has often been likened to Machiavelli's ideal Prince,
as a ruler who is cruel and ruthless.…read more
Milton was "of the Devil's party without knowing it"
Milton "will put some glorious thing in Satan's mouth,
and then, anxious about the effect of it, will pull us
gently by the sleeve, saying `Do not be carried away by
this fellow; he sounds splendid, but take my word for
A.J.A. Waldock…read more
"There is no doubt that Milton influenced many texts which
can be classed as Gothic"
"It is a mistake to suppose that [Satan] could ever have
been intended for the popular personification of evil."
The Romantic Poet Shelley
Satan bears "a striking resemblance to Machiavelli's ideal