A critical analysis of milton’s poetic style as revealed in his epic poem paradise lost: books i and ii

Nafi’, Jamal Subhi Ismail
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This paper aims at exploring John Milton’s poetic style in his epic poem Paradise Lost, and the internal and external influences that shaped it. The ingredients of the grand style generally are: the greatness of the conception which inspires the poem; the exercise of a rich imagination; the employment of dignified words arranged in an impressive and harmonious order; and the use of certain technical devices which add to the interest and the dignity of the language employed. The grand style produces an impression of bigness, or enormity, or vastness, or loftiness in the reader’s mind. And all these characteristics can be applied to Milton’s style in the writing of Paradise Lost. The researcher adopts the analytical approach by examining the first two book of the poem: Books I and II. The researcher finds out that Milton’s style in Paradise Lost, whether attaining grandeur or overwhelming us with its weight and sublimity, or not, has never been, and never will be a “popular” style. It is a scholarly style, and only scholars will admire or appreciate it. The average reader of poetry finds this style too heavy, cumbersome, and often bewildering because of its obscurities. It is impossible to understand Paradise Lost, including Books I & II, without copious annotations, though there certainly are many passages written in a lucid style that charms us (such as the brief portraits of Moloch, Belial, and Beelzebub in Book II, and the celebrated speech of Satan on surveying the infernal regions in Book I).
Allusiveness , Figures of speech , Grandeur , Latinism , Milton , Paradise Lost , Simile , Style , Sublimity