Mockery And Superiority In Canzone: Supported By Areopagitica Examines John Milton's Use Of Mockery And Superiority In The Poem Canzone; Supported By Areopagitica

1210 words - 5 pages

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Rachel ZimmerProf. GraffMilton: ENGL 420June 10, 2002Mockery and Superiority in Canzone:Supported by AreopagiticaMockery, as well as a sense of pride and/or superiority comes out in many of Milton's works and he exemplifies this by writing in ways that seems to humble himself, charm the subject of the poem, and yet scoff at him/her at the same time as well as prove his high intellect. Milton's often-circular logic exemplifies his cunning as well as his superciliousness.He first charms his subject (which also happens to be his reader/audience in many poems-Canzone, Areopagitica, Of Education, The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates…) with words of praise while humbling ...view middle of the document...

These "amorous young men and ladies" (Milton 32) seem to enjoy and value his work, and wish for his words to give them this 'love speech' which they seek. It is suggested that they hold his work in high esteem when they say: "'Other rivers, other shores await you, on whose green banks already grows the immortal reward of everlasting leaves to crown your head'" (Milton 32). Although this may be speaking of other countries' views of Milton's works-finding them to be worthy of praise-in speaking to him of this fact, these people are essentially agreeing with this assessment. It is also suggested that the "'altri rivi'" represents Latin and English composition" (Milton Reading Room).During this exchange, the young people ask Milton why he writes his love poems in "an unknown foreign language" (Milton 32). The language they speak of is Italian, in which many of his sonnets and other works are published. They praise his work and then ask why he feels it necessary to go the extra step, writing a canzone, a "traditional Italian form with three movements" (Milton Reading Room). When answering why he chooses to write in Italian he says: "'this is the language of Love which is proud'" (Milton 32).Because he wrote this poem, it leads one to believe that if this is a true account and these people did exist, he did not answer these people right out, but instead chose to give his answer in a poem; what better place to answer his fans and admirers, than in his work?However, Milton proves his superior intellect by choosing to write this work in Italian, which is a hard language to write in, and on top of that, uses this very difficult form. "As with Sonnet 3, Milton uses an Italian form to express the difficulty of writing in Italian, yet Milton has undertaken an especially daunting task by choosing to write in the complicated canzone form […] While the altri rivi represent...

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