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10/26/2018

Milton's poetic style with special reference to his sonnet On His Blindness.

   Milton's poetic style is most popularly known as his grand style. The elements of his grand style are Latinisms, inversions, epic similes, and long involved sentences.            Through Latinisms Milton has achieved brevity, loftiness, and remoteness, grandeur and sublimity. Another important element of his grand style is his inversion: the  reversal of the normal word order of a sentence. Inversions have given brevity, force and effectiveness to his expressions. His epic similes also lend grandness to his style. His long, involved sentences are also an important element of his grand style. They create an impression of weightiness, heaviness, dignity, and loftiness. His language has much suggestiveness and verbal music.              All the elements of Milton's grand style cannot be found within the short space of a sonnet On His Blindness. The first thing that catches our attention is the long sentence with which the sonnet starts. It ends with the clause  “they serve him best”. The sentence consists of several coordinate clauses. I.e.   “I fondly ask”,  ”but patience to prevent that murmur, soon replies”,  and  ”they serve Him best”, and as many as eight subordinate clauses. The basic points of the poem_  his concern about his too early blindness, the question put by his patience regarding his concern, and the answer to the question, have been convered in one sentence. The next sentence is a short one. His state is kingly. And another sentence of moderate length completes the poem. The effects of this juxtaposition of the long and short sentences, and one of moderate length, are the undulations of emotions involved in the poem. The heaviness of the first sentence,  and the pressure created by its sheer weight is relieved by the short sentence which immediately follows.  “His state is kingly”_  this short sentence intervenes between the heavy first sentence and the last sentence of a moderate length. The tension created by the first sentence is temporarily relieved by the second, short sentence, and the last sentence draws the conclusion, bringing the poem to a satisfying end.            It is characteristic of Milton's style that he begins with a subordinate clause, and many more subordinate clauses are added to it, and the principal clause comes either at the end, or at the fag end, followed by some other clauses whose number is less than those preceding the main clause.          The Latin constructions are also visible here. The phrases  “dark world and wide”  “soul more bent to serve”, and ”He returning chide” are latinate in structure, which involves inversions in some cases and post_ modification with adjectives in some others. The effects of Latinism are brevity and intensity in meaning.           He prefers words of Latin origin. In this short poem there are several words of Latin origin, like “consider”  and  ”prevent”.           His grave theme of blindness has been dealt with with proper decorum, and loftiness of style.           So, many of the characteristic features of his grand style are present in his sonnet On His Blindness.


Milton's poetic style is most popularly known as his grand style. The elements of his grand style are Latinisms, inversions, epic similes, and long involved sentences.
          Through Latinisms Milton has achieved brevity, loftiness, and remoteness, grandeur and sublimity. Another important element of his grand style is his inversion: the  reversal of the normal word order of a sentence. Inversions have given brevity, force and effectiveness to his expressions. His epic similes also lend grandness to his style. His long, involved sentences are also an important element of his grand style. They create an impression of weightiness, heaviness, dignity, and loftiness. His language has much suggestiveness and verbal music.
            All the elements of Milton's grand style cannot be found within the short space of a sonnet On His Blindness. The first thing that catches our attention is the long sentence with which the sonnet starts. It ends with the clause  “they serve him best”. The sentence consists of several coordinate clauses. I.e.   “I fondly ask”,  ”but patience to prevent that murmur, soon replies”,  and  ”they serve Him best”, and as many as eight subordinate clauses. The basic points of the poem_  his concern about his too early blindness, the question put by his patience regarding his concern, and the answer to the question, have been convered in one sentence. The next sentence is a short one. His state is kingly. And another sentence of moderate length completes the poem. The effects of this juxtaposition of the long and short sentences, and one of moderate length, are the undulations of emotions involved in the poem. The heaviness of the first sentence,  and the pressure created by its sheer weight is relieved by the short sentence which immediately follows.  “His state is kingly”_  this short sentence intervenes between the heavy first sentence and the last sentence of a moderate length. The tension created by the first sentence is temporarily relieved by the second, short sentence, and the last sentence draws the conclusion, bringing the poem to a satisfying end.
          It is characteristic of Milton's style that he begins with a subordinate clause, and many more subordinate clauses are added to it, and the principal clause comes either at the end, or at the fag end, followed by some other clauses whose number is less than those preceding the main clause.
        The Latin constructions are also visible here. The phrases  “dark world and wide”  “soul more bent to serve”, and ”He returning chide” are latinate in structure, which involves inversions in some cases and post_ modification with adjectives in some others. The effects of Latinism are brevity and intensity in meaning.
         He prefers words of Latin origin. In this short poem there are several words of Latin origin, like “consider”  and  ”prevent”.
         His grave theme of blindness has been dealt with with proper decorum, and loftiness of style.
         So, many of the characteristic features of his grand style are present in his sonnet On His Blindness. 

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