What is John Milton famous for?


Quick Answer

John Milton is most famous for writing "Paradise Lost." His other noted works include "Paradise Regained," "Samson Agonistes," many minor poems, sonnets, works of prose and treatises. Milton is considered to be the most significant English author since Shakespeare.

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Full Answer

Scholars consider "Paradise Lost" one of the greatest works of English literature. It was first published in 1667 in 10 books, and later republished as a 12-book set in 1674. Nearly 11,000 lines long, the epic poem concerns itself with issues of love, war, good, evil and heroism.

"Paradise Regained" and "Samson Agonistes" were published together in 1671. "Paradise Regained" focuses on what happens after "Paradise Lost." The poem is said to lack the scope of "Paradise Lost," but nonetheless is an epic poem that offers insight to the mind of Jesus during his debates with Satan. "Samson Agonistes" also provides a look inside the mind of the protagonist. It portrays the story of Samson and Delilah, focusing on the hero's last day of life.

A number of sonnets and minor poems by Milton are also well-regarded. His early works were written in Latin, and later works, including "When I Consider How My Light Is Spent" and "Methought I saw my late espoused saint" were written after personal tragedies and loss in his life. He also wrote tracts on divorce, education, politics and religion.

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