‘Sonnet XIX: When I Consider How my Light is Spent by John Milton
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John Milton’s ‘Sonnet XIX: When I Consider How my Light is Spent’, uses the literary techniques of metaphorical representations, irony and satire to convey it’s themes of religion, specifically concerning the use of ones God given talents, and the issue of disability upon and individuals religion to an audience in a political climate enduring through a drastic state of change in structure and values in a cultural revolution that valued a persons by their measure such as a poet through their authorial work, yet still remains significant to audiences today through satirical interpretation.
In Milton’s true style, what the poem says and what the poem means to convey are two drastically different things entirely. The initial meaning of the…show more content… This pitiful attitude is debated by literary critics as an attitude not present throughout Milton’s work which indicates the poems satirical nature as “If the nineteenth sonnet reveals an abnegation of purpose, a suspension of will, then it surely records emotions transient and uncharacteristic” . Barton argues “Sonnet XIX is a curious poem, full of irony, doubt, and yearning that are only intensified in their reception by the reader’s presumptive anticipation of lament.” Barton continues that “Based on such considerations, [of the poets past work] I contend that it would have been unbearable, if not impossible, for someone of Milton’s talents, ego, and aggressive temperament to subscribe even momentarily to the kind of namby-pamby “pity poor me” resignation implicit in the historical reading of [the last line]” The use of satire contributes immensely to the significance of the poem and how it is interpreted. The controversy over the interpretation of the sonnet is localised in the last line. “Milton consciously wants to worry his reader, to force him to doubt the correctness of his responses, and bring him to the realization that his inability to read the poem with any confidence in his own perception is its focus” Barton uses biblical passages to point out the ironic contradictions throughout Milton’s work and interprets the poem as drawing comparisons between angels and men,