Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Louis Schwartz

Second Advisor

Dr. Alan Loxterman

Third Advisor

Dr. Gardner Campbell


Within his poetry and prose, John Milton shows a respect for the authors of antquity while simultaneously seeking his own voice, a style that makes him different from and better than his predecessors. Milton's works contain expressions of these Renaissance characteristics: the appreciation of the Classics, the search for a more personal relationship with God, and the attempt to achieve some individuality; however, even in the smallest of literary figures such as the Orphean allusions, the need to combine a respect for the past with the ambition for a uniquely personal voice as a poet exists. The isolation of the Classical literary figure of Orpheus shows Milton's struggle to combine his respect for the past and need to be freed from its influence.