John Milton: Paradise Lost, Sonnet XVII on his blindness, Congreve: the way of the world, restoratio



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John Milton: Paradise Lost
Satan is speaking in this sort of soliloquy. Satan who was called Lucifer, repeals after the fall from heaven. He and the other fallen angles ribald against God and God, who is Sovran and who can command everything, has chosen to punished them. After the fall Satan, who’s name means enemy (of God) has recovering his energy and he is speaking. He greeting the new place, but he is shocked in seen the darkness of hell, the place where he is be thrown by God. This place is terrible but here Satan and the other fallen angels are the better. Infact in heaven they are equal to God in reason but God is superior to all the angels for strength, but Satan sees God as a titan, full of energy and strength. Satan tries to react the situation: he greets hell, the place is describe in more details. Is full of darkness, it don’t have light; here there are some antithesis/contrast between god and angels, heaven and hell, light and darkness.
The hell is the place farthest and profoundest. Satan asks hell to receive his new guest (Satan and the other fallen angels), which are person who has a beautiful mind (the same of God). Their mind cannot be change by the place or by the time where there are, so Satan can change heaven into hell and hell into heaven. The hell is a place so ugly and terrible that nobody wants stay here and God cannot sent away them from here and so in hell they can reign. Satan say that is better reign in hell that be servant in heaven; he tell to the other fallen angels to collect all their energy and look for the other fallen angels and share with them whatever there is in this place.
Satan try to recompose them into an army, into a new society to see what they can do in hell. Satan is not discourages but he shows a lot of courageous and recover all his energy. He wants to recreate a society in hell.
Satan has the typical features of an epic hero: has noble origin (is an angel); has great courage; great energy and reason; he does not give up and fight till the end; he also has a great passion, he is a lover of freedom and he reflects Milton himself because Milton love to be free too.
After Satan soliloquy another fallen angels called Beelzebub answers to Satan. He calls summon the other fallen angels who are frightened in hell. Satan’s firm voice is as a sign in battle for the other fallen angels; with Satan’s voice they will soon resume their courage and revive (came back to life) because now they are shocked, terrified and prostrated in hell, which is represented as a big lake of fire, because of the terrible fall (of 9 days and 9 nights).
John Milton: Sonnet XVII: On his blindness
Milton wrote twenty-three sonnets, five of which are in Italian. The date of composition of Sonnet XVII, is uncertain; it was probably written much earlier than its date of publication (1673).
The sonnet has a classical language, elevated style, full of rhetorical expression and Enjambement. English Sonnet could have the turning point in different position while Petrarchan sonnet has the turning point in 8 and 9 lines. This is a Petrarchan one.
In this sonnet Milton is considering his situation: Milton is afraid because his blind don’t premise his gift to use his intelligence. Here there is a picture of a stern creator, seen as a king who has a lot of servant and who is demanding something by them. The theme of a demanding God is taken from “The authorized version of the Bible”.
William Congreve: the way of the world
The way of the world was the last comedy written by Congreve. It is very difficult to summarise the plot of the play because it is complex and full of intrigues. However, the main story line concerns Mirabell’s love for Millamant and his desire to marry her.
This extract consists of a private conversation between Millamant and Mirabell. If we divide the names of the two characters up, we will obtain words of Italian and Latin derivation which give us clues as to the personality and role of the characters themselves. Mill-Amant⇒ who have a thousand of lovers; Mira-Bell ⇒ who is very beautiful.
The two characters are talking about love and marriage in general and about their own future married life.
The restoration Theatre
The London theatres, which had been closed down by the Puritan government in 1642, were officially opened again in 1660 when the monarchy was restored in England.
The restoration playhouse was quite different from the Elizabethan one. It was an indoor theatre lit with candles. The auditorium faced the stage; the actors played in front of the audience and were not surrounded on three sides as in Elizabethan playhouse. The audience sat in galleries and boxes as well as in the pit. The audience was a cross-section of contemporary society. All social classes watched the same performance nut sat in different areas of the theatre. Down in the pit sat a mixed crowd of different social background.
One important innovation of the Restoration theatre was the introduction of actresses to play female roles that in the past had always been played by boys or young men.
The actors are ordinary people not heroes. There are three type of actors: Gallant (who is the likely lover); Fop (who is the unlikely lover) and a Heroine (a common lady, belong to middle class, that has a meaningful name). The stile of acting is very naturalist and realistic. The restoration playhouse had a great influence from France dramatist who inspired the heroic place.
The emancipation of women and looser moral standards in society inspired a new genre of comedy, which came to be known as the Comedy of Manners because it was based on satirical observation of the social behaviour of the upper, classes. These plays dealt with the battle of the sexes and humorously exposed the licentiousness, hypocrisy, double-dealing and moral weaknesses of the aristocracy and the new bourgeoisie in matters of love and marriage. These plays accurately reflected the changed spirit of the period which was amoral and cynical. The audience could easily recognise fashionable gentlemen and ladies in the types portrayed in the plays. Wit and word-play were the most striking features of the characters’ language. Unlike the tragedies, these plays were written in prose.
The Rise Of Journalism
Was born in England at the end of XVII century and the beginning of XVIII.
XVII century at the end the prose style was very informal, so it is use in writing plays.
The journalism is strictly connecting to the flourishing of coffee houses, that were provided informal place. They were called penny universities because the price of a cup of coffee is one penny and because the people in those days very involved in politically, social, art literature also in ethics and they also talks about gossip, fashion, social manners. In those times people like to group and talk about the issues of the times (literature, politics, philosophy, economics, art, fashion, current affairs, social manners.
Journalism rise because people (a large part) was interested to social-political events, they wanted tp be well informed about what was going on in their society. So the reason for its rise in the interest in discussing social-political events.
Newspaper were published under the form of newsletters (first), the folio- sheet was written in columns.
1694⇒ abolition of Censorship; journalism flourishing because they were feared to write about different topics also the quality of reading public increased.
The first important newspapers:
- 1702: the daily courant ⇒ D. Defoe
- 1704: the Review⇒ D. Defoe
- 1710-11: the Examiner⇒ Swift
- 1709-11: the Tatler⇒ Richard Style
- 1711-13: the spectator⇒ Joseph Addison
Educating the Middle class by amusing (Moral teaching)
Clear, simple, easy to be understood, conversational, colloquial.
Middle class: progressive, tolerant, interested in current events.
Contemporary events, current affairs. Manners, morals, ethics, history, politics, literature, art, fashion, gossip.