Chulmin Chung, Milton and the Romantic Sonnet Revival   page(s): 399-423  (24 pages)


In the last few decades of the eighteenth century, the greatest neglect had befallen the sonnet. Although John Milton made distinct changes in the sonnet tradition in terms of subject-matter and form, his sonnets had to wait a century and a half to find an admiring reader. With his twenty four published sonnets, he introduced a new modification of the Petrarchan sonnet form. Unlike the Petrarchan models, Milton repeatedly represents in his sonnets the struggle of the individual and the need for the poet to have a better understanding of himself and reality. Departing from the Elizabethan sonnet’s niceties and graces of love, and working against the sonnet’s predetermined bipartite structure through a controlled use of run-on lines and caesurae, Milton established a thematic procedure – in which the individual progresses from doubt to reaffirming faith – which later poets draw upon to develop the Romantic meditative poems. It is the towering personality and sublimity that Milton achieved unprecedentedly in the sonnet form that eighteenth-century sonneteers recognized as inaugurating a new tradition; and that such Romantic poets as William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and John Keats reproduced and intensified in their sonnet practice to represent the modes of self-consciousness that heightened anxiety over poetic vision. 
 저자 키워드   Key words
 John Milton, Miltonic-Petrarchan sonnet, Miltonic syllogistic structure, individual progress, sentimentality, eighteenth-century sonnets, Romantic sonnet tradition, expressiveness