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English (Poetry)

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"Epigram on Milton" by John Dryden

Three Poets, in three distant Ages born,
Greece, Italy, and England did adorn.
The First in loftiness of thought surpassed;
The Next in Majesty; in both the Last.
The force of Nature could no farther go:
To make a third she joined the former two.

(The three poets are Homer, Virgil, and Milton)

What are the points Dryden is trying to make about Milton?

  • English (Poetry) - ,

    What do you gather from this?

    To make a third she joined the former two.

  • English (Poetry) - ,

    I don't know who "she" is (Milton?), but I assume that means she was influenced by Homer and Virgil.

  • English (Poetry) - ,

    she = "force of Nature"

  • English (Poetry) - ,

    So Dryden's saying that Homer surpassed Virgil in loftiness and Virgil surpassed Homer in majesty (isn't this the same as loftiness?) ? I'm not sure what "in both the Last" and "The force of Nature could no farther go" mean. I guess the last line means Homer and Virgil were metaphorically combined to form Milton.

  • English (Poetry) - ,

    So Dryden's saying that Homer surpassed Virgil in loftiness and Virgil surpassed Homer in majesty (isn't this the same as loftiness?) No I don't think they're the same -- and don't leave anything out; it's "loftiness of thought." Use a good dictionary to make sure you know all the possible meanings of words in here. http://www.onelook.com or http://www.answers.com

    I'm not sure what "in both the Last" <~~both qualities are in the Last (Milton)?? and "The force of Nature could no farther go" mean.<~~Nature couldn't improve on either of those guys, but she could put the qualities of those men into Milton. ?? I guess the last line means Homer and Virgil were metaphorically combined to form Milton. <~~I agree.

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