Hearing His Nightingale - John Milton
When studying about John Milton, or even just reading one of his poems or sonnets, it is obvious the type of writer that he was; a romantic poet. With so many romantic era poets, it was difficult for one to stand out from the rest. There had to be something dynamic that separated you from the rest. John Milton, with his thematic patterns of time and beautiful use of symbolism, definitely found his way to stand out and at the same time may have also found the answer to his question of, “When will I hear my nightingale?”
Beginning with his very first published sonnet, “O Nightingale,” Milton had set the tone for his personal writing style. The sonnet is filled with a substantial amount of symbolism and also his use of one of a most unique style; his random use of capitalized words. In the line, “Thou with fresh hope the Lover’s heart dost fill,” Milton capitalized the word lover giving it another meaning, a title of some sort (line 3). But why would he do this? Taking the words in the sonnet literally (as many do believe shows the true meaning) it is evident that Milton is young and desperate for love. Milton didn’t write the sonnet from the general point of view of a young person in love, he wrote it about himself and he is the meaning behind the random capitalized word; he is the “Lover.”
There is another theory, however, of what the sonnet is representing. It has been analyzed that the sonnet is really Mitlon’s struggle between his career choice. The nightingale, while representing finding love in the sonnet, really could mean finding his voice as a romantic poet. Being the lover in the sonnet, it could be paralleling what it meant to Milton to be a romantic poet. The cuckoo on the other hand was representative of becoming a clergyman. It is my personal belief that the sonnet is symbolic of both. I believe that the nightingale is symbolic of both his yearning for love as well as his yearning to be able to...