Milton 's Sermon On The Lady Friend Essays

1433 Words Nov 2nd, 2016 6 Pages
Although many scholars argue that “Milton writes sonnet [nine] to console and encourage [his lady friend, but] carefully eschews giving any advice [and only] pays her the compliment of merely describing with satisfaction what she has done,” (“Variorum Commentary”, Bush) this is one of many interpretations. The idea that Milton “consoles” and “encourages” his lady friend to be part of a religious institution is only visible on a surface level scan because if one reads in between the lines, he can see that Milton writes with his tongue-in-cheek. That is, Milton writes this sonnet out of pity for his lady friend because both the poem’s tone and allusions produce a left-handed praise in regards to her involvement with a religious institution. Also, the idea that Milton “eschews” himself from giving advice is misleading because near the end of the sonnet, the speaker voices his opinion on the lady’s devotion. Therefore, what scholars refer to, as Milton’s “encouragement” and “condolences,” is a mock-spur because the poem has a ring structure in which every encouraging-aspect comes with a negative double-entendre. “Lady that in the prime of earliest youth,/ Wisely hast shun’d the broad way and the green,” (1-2, Milton). The speaker presents the readers with a depiction of a young lady whom blocks out sinful destruction and (sexual) desires; that is to say, the maiden chooses to devote herself to a religious institution rather than live an immoral life. First, there are several…

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