John Milton's Sonnet Analysis Essay

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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, …show more content…
These lines depict that the lady becomes more pious in which she “zealously” wants to do good deeds to avoid shame for her devotion. However, these three lines are also full of complications: first, the terms, “care” and “fixt” identify with the previous line (8) because it provides an explanation to why the lady feels no anger, but sorrow on others. That is, the lady’s heed is already “fixt” not care about criticism and only “fret” about having enough “deeds of light” (10) to enter heaven. This particular line also indicates the reason why many scholars believe that Milton “encourages” his lady friend: the terms, “care” and “fixt” can easily be interpreted that the lady shows stern devotion to her church; hence, the word, “zealously” (9). However, if one reads in between the lines, the terms, “care” and “fixt” function together to produce a pessimistic future. That is to say, the lady deeply cares about her institution that she unknowingly blinds herself with the light from her deeds. Lines three and four also reflect a similar entendre, thus, re-enforcing the ring structure: first, the lady ignores the truth of the narrow path because she has her nose in the air and now ultimately loses her chance to find it because she to busy filling her bucket of good deeds. Nonetheless, the line that compliments this entendre is: “And Hope that

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