John Milton

John Milton (December 9, 1608–November 8, 1674) was a British poet, polemicist, and a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England. His works reflect the turbulent religious and political churnings of his time and is animated by his passion for freedom. His Areopagitica (1644), which strongly condemns prepublication censorship, is a seminal tract in defence of free speech and freedom of the press. Fluent in several languages, Milton wrote in English, Latin, Greek, and Italian. His first published poem was On Shakespear (1630), anonymously included in the Second Folio edition of William Shakespeare. His pastoral elegy, Lycidas, which commemorates the death of a fellow student at Cambridge, was published in 1638 in the compilation, Justa Edouardo King Naufrago (Obsequies in Memory of Edward King). This allegorical poem is considered to be one of the finest examples of the genre. Milton lost his sight in 1652. He continued to write despite his blindness and his most famous work, the epic poem, Paradise Lost, was completed when he was blind.