John Milton Quotes
HTML may be malformed and/or unbalanced and may omit inline images. Use at your own risk. Known problems are listed at https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:TextExtracts#Caveats.
John Milton was an English poet, polemicist, man of letters, and civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under its Council of State and later under Oliver Cromwell. He wrote at a time of religious flux and political upheaval, and is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost, written in blank verse.
Writing in English, Latin, Greek, and Italian, he achieved international renown within his lifetime, and his celebrated Areopagitica, written in condemnation of pre-publication censorship, is among history's most influential and impassioned defences of free speech and freedom of the press. His desire for freedom extended into his style: he introduced new words to the English language, and was the first modern writer to employ non-rhymed verse outside of the theatre or translations.
William Hayley's 1796 biography called him the "greatest English author", and he remains generally regarded "as one of the preeminent writers in the English language", though critical reception has oscillated in the centuries since his death. Samuel Johnson praised Paradise Lost as "a poem which...with respect to design may claim the first place, and with respect to performance, the second, among the productions of the human mind", though he described Milton's politics as those of an "acrimonious and surly republican". Poets such as William Blake, William Wordsworth and Thomas Hardy revered him.