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Both Spenser and Milton use Language to Describe Allegorical Figures. Who Does So More Effectively?

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  • Essay length: 1436 words
  • Submitted: 12/02/2004
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"The Faerie Queene" Book 1, Canto IX, Stanzas XXXIII-XXVI- Edmund Spenser

"Paradise Lost" Book 2, lines 644-680 - John Milton

Both Spenser and Milton use Language to Describe Allegorical Figures. Who Does So More Effectively?

Milton and Spenser are both describing awful situations in their relative poems, Spenser concentrating on an empty existence, filled with gloom and despair; in fact the very description is of gloom and despair, whilst Milton is describing an encounter with the gates of hell itself, and indeed two terrible creatures, causing an atmosphere of pure and utter evil flocculated with horror.

Milton's language suggests ultimate evil, words that over centuries have been distorted to lessen their original dramatic meaning. We casually use words like "terrible," when describing the weather. In Milton's poem, words like "terrible" exist; to talk about unimaginable terror filled situations. When Milton uses the phrase "terrible as hell," he is saying it is so terrible; it is beyond any humans' comprehension. To create horror, Milton uses dark words to build up evil imagery, e.g. "fierce as ten furies, terrible as hell." Using these extreme adjectives consecutively, it is as if we can picture the beast growing

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