Sample essay topic, essay writing: Literature - 330 words
Ilton, John (1608-1674), English poet, whose rich, dense verse was a powerful influence on succeeding English poets, and whose prose was devoted to the defense of civil and religious liberty. Milton is often considered the greatest English poet after Shakespeare. Milton was born in London on December 9, 1608, and educated at Saint Paul's School and Christ's College, University of Cambridge. He intended to become a clergyman in the Church of England, but growing dissatisfaction with the state of the Anglican clergy together with his own developing poetic interests led him to abandon this purpose. From 1632 to 1638 he lived in his father's country home in Horton, Buckinghamshire, preparing himself for his poetic career by entering upon an ambitious program of reading the Latin and Greek classics and ecclesiastical and political history. From 1638 to 1639 he toured France and Italy, where he met the leading literary figures of the day.
On his return to England, he settled in London and began writing a series of social, religious, and political tracts. In 1642 he married Mary Powell, who left him after a few weeks because of the incompatibility of their temperaments, but was reconciled to him in 1645; she gave birth to three daughters and a son before her death in 1652. In his writings, Milton supported the parliamentary cause in the civil war between Parliamentarians and Royalists, and in 1649 he was appointed foreign secretary by the government of the Commonwealth. He became totally blind about 1652 and thereafter carried on his literary work helped by an assistant; with the aid also of the poet Andrew Marvell, he fulfilled his government duties until the restoration of Charles II in 1660. In 1656 he married a second wife, who died two years later shortly after giving birth to a daughter who lived only a few months. With the Restoration, Milton was punished for his support of Parliament by a fine and a short term of imprisonment
He married a third time in 1663, and until his death on November 8, 1674, he lived in seclusion.
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