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Excerpt from Milton's Minor Poems: L'allegro, IL Penseroso, Comus, And, Lycidas
In the preparation of the introduction and notes I have freely consulted the work of previous editors, especially Masson, Verity, Browne, and Trent, and detailed acknowledgment of obligations to these and others will be found in the appropri ate places. To Professor Masson, as author of the Life of Milton, every modern student of Milton owes an immense debt, and I have to add to this general recognition that of the more personal Obligation which a student owes to an inspiring teacher. I also wish to thank, for suggestions in connection with the treatment of the masque, my friends Dr. A. H. Thorndike of Western Reserve University, and Dr. John Lester, recently of Harvard, and, for helpful. Criticisms throughout, Mr. L. T. Damon of the University of Chicago.
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John Milton was a seventeenth-century English poet, polemicist, and civil servant in the government of Oliver Cromwell. Among Milton s best-known works are the classic epic Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, considered one of the greatest accomplishments in English blank verse, and Samson Agonistes.
Writing during a period of tremendous religious and political change, Milton s theology and politics were considered radical under King Charles I, found acceptance during the Commonwealth period, and were again out of fashion after the Restoration, when his literary reputation became a subject for debate due to his unrepentant republicanism. T.S. Eliot remarked that Milton s poetry was the hardest to reflect upon without one s own political and theological beliefs intruding.
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