A five-page, fill-in-the-blank handout which provides your students with a line-by-line explication of Milton’s most famous sonnet. Aspects with which students will work include the octave-sestet structure, crucial biographical and biblical allusions, and the use of alliteration, irony and paradox in “When I Consider.”
The handout closes with an activity in which students themselves will discover the rhyme scheme employed by Milton in this Petrarchan sonnet.
An Answer Key to the handout begins on a separate page. I have also appended three long notes to teachers on what probably caused Milton’s blindness, the biblical parable of the talents used in the poem, and difficult vocabulary items, not covered in the student handout.
Prepared by Professor William Tarvin, Ph.D., who has published many articles on literature in scholarly journals.