Johnson compares Cowley and Milton as a poet

Johnson compares Cowley and Milton as a poet

Question: How does Johnson compare Cowley and Milton as a poet?


 Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) is considered the father of the English Dictionary and shown his genius in the criticism “Preface to Shakespeare” and the biographies of the poets. Life of Cowley belongs to the collection of “The Lives of the Poets” (1779). In the biography “Life of Cowley” here Johnson has been represented as a comparison between Cowley (1618-1667) and Milton (1608-1674). Cowley and Milton are two great poets in the history of English literature. But they are a little bit different from each other which is mentioned below.

Appeared in the same university

Milton and Cowley are the two literary giants and they are studied in the same university at the same time.

Variety of talents

Although they have appeared at the same university, they are different from their talents. Cowley had gained the mastery of the metaphysical subjects. Otherwise, Milton has gained his merit in the field of epic. So, we can mention that they were different in their merits.

Variety of starting a career

Cowley started his literary career earlier, on the other hand, Milton started his career late but gain his achievement earlier. But Cowley did not his achievements earlier.

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The religious point of view

Cowley was not so conservative in religious concepts. But Milton was a puritan. In his writing, we found a sign of puritanism.

Subject matter

In accordance with Johnson, Milton’s subject matter is based on classism and his language is also the ancient language. But Cowley has taken his subject matter from classical literature but presented it in his own way.


In fine, we must be said that although Cowley and Milton are different in their genius but having such, they are the two-shining star in English literature.

Ruhul Huda
Ruhul Huda

You can call me Mr. Huda. I am a researcher and doing this work for years. I like to learn everywhere. So, feel free to share your experience with me.

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