Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of Humanities and Social Sciences



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Jeffrey A. Miller

Committee Member

Adam Rzepka

Committee Member

Jonathan Greenberg


This thesis contends that in John Milton’s early poems written between 1627 and 1639, he starts the process of developing an understanding of boundaries and borders he would use later in his career. Chapter one examines Milton’s Elegia Quarta and The Masque at Ludlow Castle. Within Elegia Quarta, Milton explores the relationship of borders between mainland Europe and England. He uses the image of his childhood mentor Thomas Young as a physical representation of borders. While in The Masque at Ludlow Castle, I concentrate on the complexity of the barriers and boundaries between England and Wales and the development of Milton ’s idealistic views of nationalism. Within in Chapter two, I direct my attention to his poems written during his time in Italy: Ad Salsillum poetam Romanum agrotantem, Mansus, and Epitaphium Damonis. These poems demonstrate the process Milton went through to develop a mature perspective of the distinctions between England and Europe. During my examination of these poems, I will frequently focus on his English identity in relation to the poems. Thus, this thesis seeks to contends with the question of the distinctions between the two spheres young Milton.

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