Wine

, published in May 1708 when he was twenty-three years old, was John Gay's first published poem. It is a Miltonic parody, of 278 lines, in the style of John Philips's (1676-1708)

Splendid Shilling

, which had been published seven years earlier in 1701. Gay parodies Milton's epic style as a witty game, or elaborate literary joke, for those in the know. The reader is expected to recognise the allusions to

Paradise Lost

and enjoy the comic application of a high Miltonic style to low subject matter. Gay flaunts his credentials as a poet, showing he is widely read in earlier poetry and has the verbal and metrical skill to re-create Milton's inverted, blank verse, epic style.

Gay ironically invokes Milton's “Heavenly Muse” to help him praise the sparkling juices of th' enlivening grape,

478 words

Citation: Gordon, Ian. "Wine". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 March 2004 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=8810, accessed 21 May 2024.]

8810 Wine 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.