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Word Count: 642
Samuel Johnson critiqued many authors works but none were as harsh as the one he wrote about John Miltons Lycidas Every word within Johnsons critique shreds not only Lycidas but Milton as a man as well However Johnson was correct on many of the issues that he brought up Yet on others he drew conclusions too quickly and failed to delve into the poems true meanings Some of the first words the reader runs across when reading Johnsons critique of Lycidas are the diction is harsh the rhymes uncertain and the numbers unpleasing Throughout Lycidas there are parts that seemed to be rushed and lack the flow that Milton commonly used in his other poems The poem starts out in this manner and might lose the interest of certain readers Yet once more O ye laurels and once more Ye myrtles brown with ivy never sere Many readers may be thrown off by the sound of this line due to its gaucheness Johnson had a great distaste for pastorals as he thought that the tradition had been worn threadbare He discusses this idea when he says Its form is that of a pastoral easy vulgar and therefore disgusting whatever images it can supply are long ago exhausted and its inherent probability always forces dissatisfaction on the mind This is one of the points that Johnson had incorrectly made Pastoral poetry was very popular during Miltons time However many of them lacked the imagery of and meaning of Lycidas The corruption of the church was not something that many people wrote about in poems of that era Johnson also stated that these trifling fictions are mingled with the most awful and sacred truths such as ought never to be polluted with such irreverent combinations Johnson believed that using a story of a shepherd to denounce the corruption of the church was indecent and approach impiety Johnsons religion convictions were different than Miltons and it showed
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