With Pato, our Lit and Language teacher, we saw a poem by John Milton called “Evening in Paradise”. In this entry I will talk about the author and analyse the poem.
-What kind of writer was he? Explain.
John Milton was an English poet, polemicist, man of letters, and civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell. He wrote at a time of religious flux and political upheaval, and is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost.
-He wrote Paradise Lost. What is it about?
Paradise Lost is about Adam and Eve–how they came to be created and how they came to lose their place in the Garden of Eden, also called Paradise. It’s the same story you find in the first pages of Genesis, expanded by Milton into a very long, detailed, narrative poem.
-Now, read the poem and say what you understand from it using your own words. (work on vocabulary)
Now came still Evening on, and Twilight gray
Had in her sober livery all things clad;
Silence accompanied; for beast and bird,
They to their grassy couch, these to their nests
Were slunk, all but the wakeful nightingale.
She all night longer her amorous descant sung:
Silence was now pleased. Now glowed the firmament
With living Saphirs; Hesperus, that led
The starry host, rode brightest, till the Moon,
Rising in clouded majesty, at length
Apparent queen, unveiled her peerless light,
And o’er the dark her silver mantle threw;
When Adam thus to Eve: “Fair consort, the hour
Of night, and all things now retired to rest
Mind us of like repose; since God hath set
Labour and rest, as day and night, to men
Successive, and the timely dew of sleep,
Now falling with soft slumberous weight, inclines
Our eye-lids. Other creatures all day long
Rove idle, unemployed, and less need rest;
Man hath his daily work of body or mind
Appointed, which declares his dignity,
And the regard of Heaven on all his ways;
While other animals unactive range,
And of their doings God takes no account.
Tomorrow, ere fresh morning streak the east
With first approach of light, we must be risen,
And at our pleasant labour, to reform
Yon flowery arbours, yonder alleys green,
Our walk at noon, with branches overgrown,
That mock our scant manuring, and require
More hands than ours to lop their wanton growth.
Those blossoms also, and those dropping gums,
That lie bestrown, unsightly and unsmooth,
Ask riddance, if we mean to tread with ease.
sober livery – plain clothes;
clad – dressed up in;
slunk – crept quietly;
descant – melody sung above another song;
firmament – heaven;
Saphirs – sapphires;
Hesperus – another name for Venus (the planet);
repose – a state of rest.
This extract from “Paradise Lost” talks about the primordial war between God and Satan. The poem talks about the animals that lived in the Paradise with Adam and Eve and what they did when the sun started going down. The only one that is not preparing to “sleep” is the nightingale which will sing all night. The stars start to appear and later the moon joins them. The vocabulary Milton uses is also related to all this heavenly stories and God.
“THE FIRST 12 LINES SHOW AN ANALOGY BETWEEN EVENING AND PARADISE” ACCOUNT FOR THIS.
The first 12 lines show an analogy between evening and paradise. The writes expresses that night is beautiful, it’s the time when you rest, when you are at peace. This description of the night is used to explain heaven, paradise. Both have similar features, such as resting, being at peace, being beautiful, and so the explanation of the evening is used to compare and explain heaven too; that’s why it is said to be an analogy.
SEMANTIC FIELD: “DAY/NIGHT – NATURE – JEWELS”. QUOTE TO PROVE THIS.
-Day/night: “twiglight” “lightingale” “moon” “dark” “wakeful” “silence” “descant”
-Nature: “lightingale” “beast” “bird” “nests”
_Jewelry: “sapphires” “glowed” “hesperus” “brightest” “majesty”
FIND AT LEAST THREE LITERARY DEVICES AND EXPLAIN THE IMAPCT ON THE READER. WHY ARE THEY USED?
- Enjambent is used to catch the reader’s attention, to keep him trapped and following the poem until the end.
- There is a very powerful analogy in the poem. There is an analogy between sleep and death. The poet is using the “night”, the “rest”, “noon” to explain a greater thing, heaven, death and afterlife. This is made because sometimes, to explain such a great and complex topic as death, it’s better to use analogies with normal, daily thing such as sleeping.
- Personification is also used in the poem. “Silence was now pleased.”. In this line we can see that there is a personification. SIlence is givene human characteristics, silence cannot be pleased.
IS THE SCENE JUST PROTRAYED AS A PEACEFUL NATURAL SCENE? COULD THIS ALSO BE A FUNERAL SCENE? ACCOUNT FOR YOUR ANSWERS.
In my opinion, it can be seen from both point of views, since an analogy is made. The peacful natural scene could be sleeping, that could also be accositaed with death. But, now, it depends on what do you think when you think about a funeral scene. Aren’t funerals natural scenes? I think that they completely are because we are all surely going to die so it’s natural. Aren’t funerals peaceful? In my opinion they also are, maybe the person that died was suffering from a horrible disease and now she is in rest, finally tranquil.
“light” “fresh morning” “labour” “eyelids” “retire” “risen” “work”