Time, Life, and God in John Milton's Poetry Essay

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Time, Life, and God in John Milton's Poetry John Milton's poems, "How Soon Hath Time" and "When I Consider How My Light Is Spent" both focus on life and how the time we are given is or should be spent. Milton uses the word "How" in both the titles and I cant help but wonder "Is there something to examine there?" How by itself is a question of is it possible, and if so then what needs to be done to make it possible. It, in this case is time: Is time possible or better yet, is it possible to stop time? If so then how will it be accomplished? What needs to happen to cause time to stop? Milton uses the speaker in this poem to explain a way of looking at time and how quickly time really does fly by. In these two poems the speakers refer to…show more content…
The dictionary refers to time as, "A nonspatial continuum in which events occur in apparently irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future."(Dictionary). "Apparently irreversible", this statement is interesting because using the word apparently still leaves some room for question. Word does that mean? Does that mean we can change time or the events that have occurred in that time? Milton doesn't seem to think that is possible. Because Milton further emphasizes his point when in the first line he personifies time but this time referring to time as the "thief of youth," which reflects somewhat of a bitter tone because time has passed so quickly. This personification the "thief if youth" also parallels and agrees with the dictionary definition of time, the fact that time is irreversible. It appears to the reader that the speaker is very bitter about time passing so quickly and perhaps he feels as if his time has been stolen from him. However, the writer in line twelve also refers to time as a leader, which reflects a tone of acceptance toward time and his fate. This tone is different from the tone at the beginning of the poem. The speaker has changed his tone and it seems as if this tone change has occurred because the speaker is considering how he believes his short time should be spent.
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