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ERIC Number: ED352653
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
"Touched with Hallowed Fire"--Milton's Early Poetry: The Confirmation of a Teacher.
Langford, Thomas A.
It is general knowledge that John Milton, when he came to Cambridge, chose not to proceed into the official ministry of the church, but to dedicate his life instead to the calling of literature. If, indeed, Milton rejected the official ministry of the church, after completing the education leading to it, choosing to teach through poetry rather than through sermon, it should be possible to find in his work not only exquisite verse, but elements of his doctrine as well. His readers are his church, and whether or not his teaching is accepted, his "pupils" are entranced by the music of his poetry. Milton's poetry as well as his prose all contribute to his underlying purpose to be a "herald of heavenly truth from God to man," and readers are affected by both the message and the song. Analysis of three poems from Milton's early period, the "Ode on Christ's Nativity,""Comus," and "Lycidas," demonstrate Milton's teacherly vocation, developing first in his intent to take priestly orders, through his revulsion from that goal, to his final decision that he could best employ his talent for teaching through poetry rather than pulpit. If the later great poems reveal him at work in this vocation, these earlier works reflect the development and confirmation of his intent. (PRA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A