Milton and Iqbal!

Very rarely in the literary history of the world, two great poets born at different times, belonging to different races, writing in different languages, professing different cultures and
religion show as many points of similarity in their art and thought as John Milton and Allama Iqbal.

When we study Milton and Iqbal, we see that lives of both reveal a remarkable parallelism. Both started poetry almost form boyhood. At the age of thirty. Milton was perhaps the most accomplished young man in England and same is true of Iqbal, after his return from England he was the most accomplished young man in the subcontinent.

Apart from their lives, there are many points of resemblance in the works of Milton and Iqbal. In poetry, both wrote in two languages,…Milton in Latin and English while Iqbal in Persian and Urdu. Milton contains the illusions of Hebrew History, Greek Mythology, and Iqbal to Islamic History. Milton’s language shows the Latin solidity, while Iqbal’s language always has exuberance of Arabic words and phrases. Milton wrote his master pieces “Paradise Lost” and “Paradise Regained”, and Iqbal wrote his master pieces “Shikwa” and “Jawab-e-Shikwa”.

Both of them used musical resounding words and style. A remarkable resemblance in many aspects is found in their later career. Both Milton and Iqbal took active part in politics.

In his early career, Milton’s obsession was to write a great poem. It was the same with Iqbal. But the comparison becomes even more interesting when we study the most prominent features of their art, both have been regarded as poet prophets. Perhaps, the most important feature in order to compare the poetry of Iqbal and Milton is that both have described the religious story of the fall of man according to their own religious point of view. Milton believes in story as is related in the Bible, and Iqbal seeks inspiration from the Holy Quran.

The last aspect which is also necessary to describe is that both of them have utilized the spiritual significance of nature. The sentiments expressed by them are so similar that they
produce the same desired effect on us. They serve to emphasize the universality of their art.


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