An Analysis Of Milton's On His Having Arrived At The Age Of Twenty Three

1110 words - 4 pages

An Analysis of Milton's On His Having Arrived At the Age of Twenty-Three


John Milton is one of the most famous poets of the English language. Even though his works are not many, he is considered the greatest writer in English literature. In John Milton' s works we can see the problems of the English society and his own too. Such a poem is " On His Having Arrived At the Age of Twenty-Three" because it shows the concerns that Milton had about his career when he was young and still hadn't chosen his own way in life. In this famous work of his we don't see a celebration of a birthday but a problem that the young gentleman faces as time passes by. The author uses many metaphors and symbols in order to give a more vivid image of his problem, and at the end he gives a solution to this problem.


The structure of " On His Having Arrived At the Age of Twenty-Three" is typical for John Milton. This is a fourteen-line lyric poem also called Italian sonnet. T is called Italian because it was invented in Italy in the thirteenth century and later English writers began using it. The Italian sonnet consists of an eight-line octave and a six-line sestet. In the first eight lines the author introduces a problem and in the sestet he gives a solution to the problem. The poem has a rhyme scheme typical for the Italian sonnet. The octave has a rhyme  ABBAABBA and the sestet's rhyme scheme is CDECDE. " On His Having Arrived At the Age of Twenty-Three" is a poem whose lines are all with ten syllables and with five beats per line. In this poem John Milton has not used techniques such as parallelism, assonance, and alliteration but even despite of this fact this is considered a great work of his.


The language that John Milton uses is, maybe, the most interesting thing about the poem. The word choice is good and the author uses a lot of figurative language in order to present a better image of his problems. In the poem John Milton uses many metaphors and he starts with them in the first lines:

How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth,

Stolen on his wing my three and twentieth year! (1-2).


John Milton calls time a " subtle thief of youth" and according to him it is time that has stolen his twenty-three years. In fact, this is quite true because time is responsible for the aging of the human body and as time goes by people get older and older. Sometimes time flies so fast that we don' t really notice this. John Milton says that time is a bird, which flies very fast. A proof of this statement comes from line two when the author refers to time as the one who has stolen his youth on his wing. In these two lines we see a lot of metaphors which help the creation of a more vivid image of time. In the next...

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