John Milton's Sonnet XXIII: On His Dead Wife (1658) by Ian Richardson

Sonnet 23 (1658) by John Milton. Performed by Ian Richardson.

Milton has often been accused of undervaluing women, but this sonnet on the death of his second wife evokes a tragic feeling of loss, heightened by the fact that, blind, he never saw her face in real life. Milton's allusion to Alcestis (who laid down her own life to save that of Admetus, her husband, in a play by Euripides) reflects intense awareness that Milton's own wife has bravely preceded him in death.



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