Analysis Of The Poem ' On Shakespeare ' Essays

717 Words Oct 22nd, 2015 3 Pages
“On Shakespeare” is John Milton’s first published poem, originally published under the title “An Epitaph on the Admirable Dramatic Poet, W. Shakespeare” in 1632. This sonnet is referred to as an epitaph, which is typically written on the occasion of death. Being that Milton wrote “On Shakespeare” fourteen years after Shakespeare’s death, he does not include death or mourning in the poem. Milton instead focuses on the immortality of Shakespeare due to the popularity and lasting qualities of his work. Milton uses many of Shakespeare’s own words throughout the poem in order to praise and commemorate him, which causes much confusion as to the legitimacy of Milton’s positive feelings towards Shakespeare and his work. In the first eight lines of the poem Milton uses terms such as bones, relics, and monuments in order to allude to the tangible elements left after one dies. He also uses terms such as stones and pyramids to give a lasting and durable sense to these elements. However, he considers these to be “weak” compared to what Shakespeare has left behind. He writes that Shakespeare’s works are immortal, a “live-long monument”; but these are not Milton’s praises, these are praises written by Shakespeare himself. Shakespeare mentions in many of his sonnets that his poetry is immortal, Milton is merely repeating what has already been stated by Shakespeare throughout his works. An example of this can be seen in lines 13-16 of Milton’s sonnet, he writes “Then thou our fancy of…

Related Documents