Meaningful Lives

Looking back at “Sonnet 7” based on knowing Milton’s relationship with religion, his relation with God was set up earlier than I originally realized. The poem thus initially appears to be self-involved: a young person thinking through the meaning of his own life. But its religious argument suggests that its ambitions are broader. If the reader feels similar anxieties about their life and career, the poem supplies a model—in Milton’s mind, a theologically sound one—for how to handle those anxieties: by surrendering to God’s plan, trusting in His grace, and accomplishing only what He intends.

One thought on “Meaningful Lives

  1. yup, milton was a man of theology, despite his seeming egoism. he devoted himself entirely to religion in, what he thought to be, the most pure form of devotion possible at the time: writing poetry. if it weren’t for theocratic shifts and priesthood “intransigence,” he may not have become a writer but a priest, and for that we thank the times.

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