Milton's style was not modified by his subject; what is shown with greater extent in Paradise Lost may be found in Comus. One source of his peculiarity was his familiarity with the Tuscan poets; the disposition of his words is, I think, frequently Italian; perhaps sometimes combined with other tongues. Of him, at last, may be said what Jonson says of Spenser, that "he wrote no language," but has formed what Butler calls a "Babylonish dialect," in itself harsh and barbarous, but made by exalted genius and extensive learning the vehicle of so much instruction and so much pleasure, that, like other lovers, we find grace in its deformity.
Grand style of "Paradise Lost" The greatest work of Milton is Paradise Lost, and when we speak of the style of Milton, we usually think of the majestic style of this great epic. When Wordsworth wrote: "Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea, "he had in his mind the grand style of Paradise Lost. When Tennyson spoke of Milton as being the "God-gifted organ-voice of England," he was no doubt referring to the majestic blank verse of Paradise Lost.
Essentials of Miltonic Style Since style is the expression of personality, we have to find the peculiar quality of Milton's style in his personality and character. In the first place, Milton's mind was "nourished upon the best thoughts and finest words of all ages", and that is the language, says Pattison, of one "who lives in the companionship of the great and the wise of the past. " Secondly, Milton was a man of lofty character, whose "soul was like a star that dwelt apart, and who in all that is known about him, his life, his character, and his power of poetry, shows something for which the only fit words is Sublime.
Thirdly, Milton was a supreme artist. "Poetry", says Bailey, "has been by far our greatest artistic achievement, and he ( Milton) is by far our greatest poetic artist. Tennyson truly called him "God gifted organ-voice of England. " "To live with Milton," says Bailey, "is necessarily to learn that the art of poetry is no triviality, no mere amusement, but a high and grave thing, a thing of the choicest discipline of phrase, the finest craftsmanship of structure, the most nobly ordered music of sound.
So, in Milton's poetic style we inevitably find the imprint of a cultured mind, a lofty soul and an artistic conscience. "In the sure and flawless perfection of his rhythm and diction, he (Milton) is as admirable as Virgil or Dante, and in this respect, he is unique amongst us. No one else in English literature possess the like distinction.... Shakespeare is divinely strong, rich and attractive; but sureness, of perfect style Shakespeare himself does not possess. Milton from one end of Paradise Lost to the other is in his diction and rhythm constantly a great artist in the great style. (Mathew Arnold).
"The study of his verse is one that never exhausts itself, so that the appreciation of it has been called the last reward of consummate scholarship. " Above all, there is a certain loftiness about the style of Milton, which is found alike in his Ode to Nativity and in Paradise Lost, and so Bailey says that it is precisely 'majesty' which is the unique and essential Miltonic quality. " Milton achieves this loftiness as much by words as by the sonority, dignity and weight of the words themselves.