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Top Questions and Answers about On His Blindness by John Milton

Study Guide and Most Common Questions and Answers about the poem “On His Blindness” by John Milton:-

Question: When did Milton wrote his sonnet “On His Blindness”?
Answer: The sonnet “On His Blindness” may have been written in 1652.

Question: What is the sonnet about?
Answer: The sonnet laments the blindness of Milton.

Question: What type of sonnet is “On His blindness”?
Answer: On His Blindness is a Petrarchan or Italian type of sonnet with octave and sestet.

Question: What does Milton mean by “era half of my days”?
Answer: Milton became blind in the middle of his life. He became totally blind in 1652 at the age of about 44.

Question: “That one talent”
What is the double meaning of ‘talent’? Is there any allusion here?
Answer: Here talent means gift (poetic gift given to him by God).
Talent originally means o gold coin. It has the allusion to the Biblical story of one gold coin given by a master to his servant and the servant did not use the talent.

Question: ‘Which is death to hide’
What does Milton mean here?
Answer: It meant that to hide the gift or to keep it useless is death to him. It is spiritual death.

Question: What does Milton’s soul wish?
Answer: The soul of Milton wishes to serve God by writing great poetry.

Question: ‘Lest the returning chide’
How does the line allude to the Biblical story of talents?
Answer: The master in the Parable of Talents rebukes the servant for keeping his talent (gold coin) useless.

Question: ‘Doth God exact day-labour’
What is meant by day-labour?
Answer: Day-labour mans labour done in the daylight-the full amount of his work.

Question: ‘But Patience, to prevent that murmur’.
What is meant by ‘Patience’? How is it used?
Answer: Patience means here patient thinking. Patience is personified here.

Question: How does one serve God best?
Answer: One serves God best by submitting to the gentle control of God.

Question: Who are the thousands at God’s bidding?
Answer: Milton perhaps means the angels traveling over land and oceans. God’s ministers (servants) are the sun, moon, stars, natural objects who work their allotted duties.

Question: ‘Who best bear His mild yoke’
What is the ‘mild yoke’?
Answer: Mild yoke means the gentle rule of God.

Question: ‘They also serve who only stand and wait.’
What does Milton mean by ‘stand and wait’?
Answer: ‘Stand and wait’ means remain firm in faith and devotion to God.

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