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Character Analysis in On His Blindness

Character Analysis Examples in On His Blindness:

Text of the Poem

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""Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?"..."   (Text of the Poem)

The first six lines of the poem lead up to this question: “Does God demand that you work if you have lost your sight?” The first six lines of the poem can be seen as the speaker’s extreme uncertainty over whether or not to ask this question. Questioning God’s will was a form of blasphemy that demonstrated one’s lack of faith. Though this speaker does not directly question God’s decision to take away his sight, he does reveal his frustration when he questions what he can do now that he has lost it.

"he..."   (Text of the Poem)

“He” in this context refers to God. The speaker offers the question in the following line with this caveat that if he is chided for his question, he will recant the question. This reveals the speaker’s anxious and apologetic tone.

"one talent..."   (Text of the Poem)

In line 6, the speaker suggests that his “one talent’ is to present “my true account.” This signals to the reader that the speaker’s talent is writing, an activity that would have been nearly impossible to do in Early Modern England without sight. Because Milton himself went blind in 1652, this poem is conventionally read as autobiographical.

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