Milton's poetry is one of the glories of English literature, and yet it owes everything to Milton's widespread knowledge of other languages: he knew ten, wrote in four, and translated from five. In Milton's Languages, John K. Hale first examines Milton's language-related arts in verse-composition, translations, annotations of Greek poets, Latin prose and political polemic, giving all relevant texts both in the original and in translation. Hale then traces the impact of Milton's multilingualism on his major English poems. Many vexed questions of Milton studies are illuminated by this approach, including his sense of vocation, his attitude to print and publicity, the supposed blemish of Latinism in his poetry and his response to his literary predecessors. Throughout this first full-length study of Milton's use of languages, Hale argues that it is only by understanding Milton's choice among languages that we can fully understand Milton's own unique English.
"...Hale's book is not a bad companion to choose for one's next dip into the sparkling, multi-vocal stream of Milton's languages." Matthias Bauer, Seventeenth-Century News "...Hale adds to the discussion by explicating passages of distinctly Miltonic borrowing and adaptation. Hale's analyses of Milton's Latin poems and Latin prose works are especially insightful." S. Archer, Choice "This is then a thoughtful, learned, and judicious book, carefully argued and supported by a wealth of convincing detail. It is refreshingly free from jargon...There is a very useful index of Milton passage sited. This book can be warmly recommended to all students of Milton." Modern Philology