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John Miltons use of the pastoral in his poem Lycidas, transforms a work of mourning into a work of spiritual consolation and additionally, how Lycidas addresses the corruption of the English church - Essay Example

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Birth and death of a human being are totally controlled by one’s destiny. “Lycidas” is a form of a pastoral elegy, in which the John…
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John Miltons use of the pastoral in his poem Lycidas, transforms a work of mourning into a work of spiritual consolation and additionally, how Lycidas addresses the corruption of the English church

What is the connection between a pastoral elegy and the corrupt clergy? Seemingly nothing! But to establish connectivity is the art of the skillful poet like Milton. The church has ‘vested interest’ in any death as it is considered as an act of God. In case of premature deaths, the questions addressed by the near and dear ones of the dead individual are intriguing. The clergy of the Church has to defend such unfortunate incidents with great skill. Milton saw his opportunity to test his poetic skill and to take to task the corrupt clergy of the time. Thus the pastoral elegy of “Lycidas” was born in which a shepherd mourns the death of a fellow shepherd. By using this limited platform, the poet reaches out to the bigger issues that confront the society and which have engulfed the administration of Churches. John Milton’s use of the pastoral in his poem “Lycidas”, transforms a work of mourning into a work of spiritual consolation and additionally, how “Lycida” addresses the corruption of the English church. A poet may be intelligent. He may seem impartial in articulating his views on a given subject. But no poet will be able to sweep under the carpet one’s strong thinking on the issues that confront the society during his time and Milton succumbs to this temptation, and rightly so. Thus “Lycidas” serves the purpose of a historical document as for the goings on in the Christian Church during the time of Milton and thus it is the gold-mine for researchers of many subjects, and the mirror that reflects the cultural traditions of the era.
1. Mark Womack writes, “Lycidas exemplifies such daredevil greatness on several levels. The poem employs patterns of structure, prosody, and imagery to maintain a dynamic coherence.”(120) He further adds, “Much of the value of this poem lies in the undeniable sense of consolation it provides in the face of death.”(134)By naming his deceased fellow Cambridge classmate, ... Read More
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