‘Nothing is here for tears’

Milton’s situation in his final years has often been compared to that of his hero Samson: an old, blinded warrior of God, captive in the midst of his enemies, questioning the rightness of his foundered cause. In 1671, Milton published together in one volume the two great works of his late years: Paradise Regain’d and Samson Agonistes. The first is a shorter epic designed to complement Paradise Lost, which retells Christ’s temptation in the wilderness. The latter is a Biblical tragedy modeled on those of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. At this time, Milton also completed several works begun years earlier, including his History of Britain (1670). He died in November 1674 and was buried in St Giles, Cripplegate.

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