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The Audiences of Milton's Italian Verse

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Abstract:

There are at least four audiences for Milton's Italian poems: addressees within the poems; the Italian language community; the English language community; and Milton himself. The second of these may hold the greatest interest, but the fourth is of greater significance in that it shows the poet's early experimenting with a multilingual high style. This essay examines the dating (1629–1630), place and subject of the six poems, and the different audiences within them. The six experiments can be seen as a step on the way to another ‘stil nuovo’, and their ultimate audience is Milton's idea of Dante.

Keywords: Dante; England; Italian language; Milton, John (Italian poems); Poetry

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/1477-4658.00147

Publication date: 1994-03-01

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