10 Jan 2019

MA English Part.1,Paper.1 Poetry,Milton Grand Style in Paradise Lost

Milton s' Grand Style

1: Write a note on "Milton s' Grand Style"?
2:Write a detailed critical note on Milton s' style in Paradise Lost?

 Style may be defined as a way of the expression of the writer's personality through his subject matter. The grand style reflects greatness of a conception, dignified words arranged in an impressive order, and loftiness.
Milton's style has been a matter of sharp controversy among the critics. To some, Milton's style is personal. Some say that his style is traditional like Homer and Virgil. And there are some critics who say" There is not one style in Milton. He uses different styles according to them "Only great poets can do it. The critics like Dryden Johnson, Pope and T. S Eliot blame Milton that he wrote no language. Addison says that English language sank under Milton. His style has been more debated than any other aspect of Milton. First of all Mathew Arnold used the term.
"The grand style" for Milton's poetic diction. Eliot says that Milton's style is neither a classic nor a common Style. There is doubt that all these ingredients are presented in Milton's poetic diction.
Milton's habits of using long and complete sentences, piling clause on clause makes his style rather complicated.
Moreover, Milton’s style is full of allusiveness. The whole treasure of poetry and the whole store- house of learning are at Milton's command. Classical and Biblical allusions are of course the most plentiful.
Milton's special characteristic is sublimity. Milton's style is grand because his subject or theme is grand.

According to C. M Bowra

"Milton has grafted his epic manner on to a subject which lies outside main epic tradition"

The fall of Man is a subject of universal interest. In the opening twenty – six – lines of Paradise Lost, Milton is following the tradition of the classic epic in announcing his subject and invoking the muse. As it is clear from the verses.
"Of Man's first disobedience and the fruit
Of the forbidden tree, whose mortal taste
Brought Death into the world , and all our woe,
With loss of Eden , till one greater Man
Restore us, and regain the blissful seat
I may assert Eternal Providence
And justify the way of God to man"
   ‏‏Milton's peculiar diction is the chief method he uses to give elevation to his style. He used Latino words, in English, in their original Latin use. For example he uses ‘suffice’ in the sense of satisfy, ‘virtue’ in the sense of velour and ‘admire’ in the sense of wonder
Milton's use of similes and metaphors is also special feature of his style. He borrows them chiefly from the great store house of his learning.
He derives beautiful comparisons from classical literature, mythology, history , geography and various aspects of natures .Sometimes similes are so long that reader loses sight of the main theme e.g. he compared Satan with a rising Sun.
In these similes, he used many classical references.
He used longer Latin words and name of gods and goodness in smiles. T.S. Eliot says "Milton committed a crime by deliberately introducing complications in poetry".

He uses, in Book I, peculiar type of simile, the Leviathan.
Another favorite device of Milton' is to use proper names. He frequently uses unfamiliar and old fashioned names. He speaks "Ilium" instead of "Tory.
The most attractive aspect of his style is his use of blank verse which makes his style lofty and grand.
Milton's language which he uses in Paradise Lost is elaborate , compact and compressed . He used language which is very melodious.
Milton's has great suggestive power i. e. to use one word and mean to say many things.
In short, Milton's styles are incomparable in English literature. Satan's speech is one of the best examples of his suggestive power.

As Satan Says:
"What thought the field be lost?...
All is not lost; the unconquerable will
And courage never to submit or yield"
‏‏Milton has a great sense of beauty . He chooses beautiful words for his diction. He has ability to perceive beautiful ideas and thoughts.
As the plucking of fruit of the tree of knowledge by Eve is the apex of the whole architecture of Paradise Lost.

"So saying, her rash hand in evil hour
Forth reaching to the fruit , she plucked , she ate
Sighing through her all  works . gave signs of woe
That all was lost"……..
In short , Milton's poetic style in Paradise Lost is the last word of sublimity in English poetry . Truly , Tennyson calls Milton mighty mouthed inventor of harmonies"and God gifted organ-voice of England".

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