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When I Consider How My Light is Spent (On His Blindness)

When I Consider How My Light is Spent (On His Blindness)

by John Milton

Analysis: Setting

Where It All Goes Down

The poem reminds us of those scenes from horror movies where the hero is walking through some dark and dangerous place – chased by monsters or something – and his flashlight/torch/lamp suddenly flickers and goes out. You hear heavy breathing and…what's that?! Did you hear a branch break?!

OK, the speaker is not in mortal danger, but he feels like his soul is endangered. He is left to navigate a "dark" and "wide" world without his vision. What's more, his demanding "Maker" has gone on a trip, and he worries he will be cast into further darkness if he can't make use of his "Talent." That "Talent" is buried deep within him, like a gold coin that has been thrown in a hole and covered up with soil.

In the second half of the poem, "patience" presents a different view of the world. In this view, the world is a huge kingdom with thousands and thousands of servants working to achieve God's will. Some of them speed from continent to continent like the characters in an Indiana Jones movie. Others just stand around until the king calls for them.

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