John Milton was an English poet, pamphleteer, and civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell. He is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost, which tells the biblical story of the fall of man.
Milton was born in London in 1608, the son of a scrivener and composer of music. He received a classical education and went on to attend Cambridge University, where he studied Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. After graduation, Milton began to write poetry and became involved in the political and religious debates of the time.
Milton is often considered one of the greatest English poets, and his work has had a profound influence on English literature. In addition to Paradise Lost, he also wrote a number of other notable works, including the masque Comus, the sonnet "On His Blindness," and the political tract Areopagitica, in which he defended freedom of the press.
Milton's poetry is characterized by its use of grand, formal language and its focus on themes of freedom, justice, and the nature of God. In Paradise Lost, Milton explores the relationship between God and man, and the consequences of man's fall from grace. The poem is known for its vivid imagery and its complex, layered structure, as well as its use of classical allusions and references to Greek and Roman mythology.
Milton's political beliefs were shaped by his Calvinist faith and his support for the Puritan cause. He was a vocal critic of the monarchy and an advocate for republicanism and democracy. During the English Civil War, he served as a secretary for foreign tongues for the Commonwealth government and later as a member of the Council of State.
Milton's legacy extends far beyond his literary and political contributions. He is often credited with helping to shape the modern English language, and his work has inspired countless writers and poets in the centuries since his death. Despite the many challenges he faced in his life, Milton's genius and dedication to his craft have made him an enduring figure in the world of literature.