Uncyclopedia:Pee Review/John Milton

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edit John Milton

Ironically, I learned more about John Milton's life "researching" this article than I have so far in my Milton class. Experienced reviewer please. (Knowing a thing or two about John Milton wouldn't hurt, either.) —Unführer Guildy Ritter von Guildensternenstein 21:02, March 11, 2010 (UTC)

Yeah, so someone should definitely review this. Yepp. —Unführer Guildy Ritter von Guildensternenstein 21:44, March 22, 2010 (UTC)
I can't say I understand this, but I feel really sorry for you so I'll review it. ~Scriptsiggy.JPG Telephonesig Star Starsig Kidneysig 13:57, Mar 26, 2010
Does no one know who John Milton was? Yikes. He wrote Paradise Lost, c'mon people! Also, thanks, HH. —Unführer Guildy Ritter von Guildensternenstein 16:48, March 26, 2010 (UTC)
Oh my god, I can't believe how long it turned out. Possibly the longest review I have ever done. I will be very sad if you don't manage to make this into a feature after all my hard work. ~Scriptsiggy.JPG Telephonesig Star Starsig Kidneysig 17:33, Mar 26, 2010
Humour: 6.5 General Comments

I think if an article has stayed too long in the pee queue, it's probably an indication that a lot of people don't understand this and is leaving it for somebody else to review. I only have a cursory knowledge of John Milton, but I can also enjoy articles with subject matters that I know nothing about, for instance, most of your works. Unfortunately, I believe that this one is not on par with them, but I know you're very good at making unpopular subject matters funny, so maybe you should tackle this article at another angle, or something. At first read it was mainly your concept that confused me, and I think your concept came from this: "At an early stage he became the subject of partisan biographies, such as that of John Toland from the nonconformist perspective, and a hostile account by Anthony à Wood. Samuel Johnson described him as "an acrimonious and surly republican"; but William Hayley's 1796 biography called him the "greatest English author". He remains generally regarded "as one of the preeminent writers in the English language and as a thinker of world importance."'" (from Wikipedia). If I'm wrong about that, that's still a good concept anyway, and you should probably structure your content/jokes around this concept, as it's already fairly close, and if I'm right, you should make this concept more obvious.

Lead-in "total loser, and massive contemptuous asshole" came across to me as very sudden, so I was a bit like "huh?", and not in a good way. Getting a feeling that there's some sort of joke I'm not grasping, which is also the feeling I got from the rest of your article. I strongly suggest you make your concept clear right here, right now, and not several paragraphs down in "Areopagitica", which I felt was your strongest and most clear-headed section. Anyway, what you've presented as the main message in your first paragraph is "I hate John Milton (for some real or imagined reasons)", and in the second paragraph it's "It sucks to be Milton". (which, ironically, came off as slightly sympathetic, especially in later parts of the article.) Note that it is not immediately obvious to the reader what you're satirising, and your reasons for hating John Milton doesn't sound that believable. So I recommend referencing aspects of John Milton that you want to point out early on, and make the relations of your jokes to real stuff (ie, elements that you're satrising) more obvious.

Early Life Not many jokes here, and I didn't find the ƒ's that funny, mainly because you used modern language with it, and that lost a lot of credibility for me. You don't need me to tell you how important this "credibility" is, do you? The tone and "jokes" of the rest of the article I have also not found very credible, and I think it's mainly because you did not make the case for your concept early on. I also don't understand how Diodati is important to your overall concept, as mentions of him came off as very tangental. You may also have too many facts, and not enough jokes.

Formative Years at Cambridge Ok, I do agree that John Milton looks quite girly, but I don't think pointing that out (in varying degrees of sarcasm) makes it very funny, although I found "writing poems about the joys of chastity and abstinence" amusing. The paragraph about the tutors seems like another reiteration of fact, with a half-hearted punchline thrown in at the end. You probably know that this doesn't normally work very well. So my suggestion is, determine the central theme of your article, and if the fact has nothing to do with the theme, just remove it.

Adulthood I like the bit about Milton's rent-paying poetry, and I think this is the first bit that you finally reference John Milton's writings, and I like what "creatively titled “To My Father,” in which he thanked his father for paying for everything, and then claimed that his father would live forever in the words of his poetry. It would be the last time Milton’s father asked for rent." says about Milton. I suggest putting more stuff about John Milton's works, style and ideology earlier on, as it helps the reader to first get acquainted with him, and it also seems to me that when satirising a writer those are the first things that you naturally go for. Again, that following paragraph looks like another fact-reiteration, and this one lost its Milton-hating overtones too. Don't know if it's intentional, but it appears oddly inconsistent to me.

Love and Death First paragraph is fact, and oddly pro-Milton fact. The rest are also fact, with a little "Milton sucks" punchline thrown in at the end. However, I liked that you pointed out Milton's reaction to both his wife leaving him and the condemnation of the parliament, is to write four+1 incredibly long and confusing treatises, each with increasingly elaborate names. I think this (Milton's style and works) should totally be your theme.

The Good Years Facts, facts, more facts. Yeah, the subheading is a bit ironic, but I think this is where it became sympathetic, which I found odd. See, on cursory observation I found two themes: "I hate Milton" and "It sucks to be Milton", as mentioned before. These two themes don't appear to be very well-thought-out, and they are very awkward together as well. Upon more detailed inspection, I found another theme (or it could just be my imagination), that Milton's works are confusing, self-contradicting, and polarising, not only to himself but to other scholars, and you might be trying to illustrate it with your prose. If that's what you're doing, I recommend making it more elaborate and obvious, if I've totally missed the mark, try to do it anyway so that I look less like an idiot.

Milton Agonistes "littering even his personal correspondences with obscure Classical references, much to his daughters’ bewilderment" - I like this. The part about money is decent. Not much to say that I haven't said before.

Death "He left his daughters, whom he loved very dearly, absolutely nothing. His legacy, to this day, remains substantial and important." - Self-contradiction much? It was around this moment that I begin to feel that your self-contradiction was deliberate, and I don't think it's very good for me to feel it this late in the article.

Lycidas "Milton’s sadness at the loss of a man he only kind of knew is clear for all to see the language the poet uses, which is full of Classical allusions to sad stuff." - while this is along the lines of the type of jokes that I recommend, it seems too bland. What you've mentioned says "pretentiousness", and I'm sure you can somehow show it in a more elaborate way to be really, really pretentious.

Areopagitica Like the whole thing, and wish that the rest of your article could be like this. This illustrates Milton's style and ideology, and is very clear in the idea that it wants to get across. I think it's also a good idea to self-contradict and swing your opinions in the article like Milton did, but unfortunately in the article you only have two points of view, while Milton had a bunch more which are also wackier than yours. You know that satire has to exaggerate a bit sometimes, so maybe you should have more points of view, and make them increasingly wacky/elaborate/conservative/polarised/whatever.

Paradise Lost Same thing with the facts and that little punchline. Although I like that part where you illustrate Milton's "way with words". I think this paragraph can be improved if you link it back to Milton's classical references and your general theme, whatever it is.

Paradise Regained Another self-contradiction - "to capitalize on the commercial and critical success of the first epic" with "Milton made £5 for the first printing, and another £5 after the first 1200 copies had been sold". They're like easter eggs and I'm totally congratulating myself on finding them. I think this is what you can do to make it more obvious. First, highlight in some subtle way, early on, that Milton self-contradicts. Then, do this frequently throughout the article. Devote a paragraph to each opinion, instead of just a line. Elaborate on the different opinions too, because Milton loves the elaboration. Also, from intro to end you write in the same degree of sarcasm, same frequency of jokes. It would be cool if you make the intro relatively sane, and then descend into verbosity, madness, and crazy self-contradiction as you progress down the article.

Samson Agonistes I think this is ok, but kinda feel like this doesn't have a point, as this is the end of the article, and you must really be careful how articles end. Another thing is, the point that I realised there could be more to the concept of this article is in "Areopagitica", which is sort of in the middle. If you are going for subtle all the way, and are aiming for those articles that people realise the concept at the end and go "Oh, I get it... funny...." , the moment that the reader realises the concept should still be at the end, anyway, because the funniest things are always at the end, and it's just bad to put it in some weird place in the middle.

Footnotes I have to say that while they're not bad, not reading them does not decrease one's enjoyment of the article. (triple negative there.)

Concept: 7 Mainly giving marks for the deeper and possibly imagined concept. I thought that the presentation of your concept was your biggest problem, and I think this time most of my analysis + suggestions are given in the section above. Lookout for whenever I say "theme", or "concept". Another thing, ever heard of the saying "kicking the dog"? This is actually what the "It sucks to be Milton" segments felt like, and that is why they're not funny to me.
Prose and formatting: 8 Found one - "Milton’s officially condemnation", and a bunch of others that I couldn't remember. I don't know if you're actually good at proofreading because I remembered correcting a lot of spelling mistakes in one or more of your articles. Try to do it anyway. The tone is steady enough to look acceptable, but it can become inconsistent if you look carefully. This has to do with the concept as well. A good way to keep your tone and concept consistent, which I've admittedly never used, is to write these "statement of intents" on a separate document, in which you explain to yourself what you're trying to parody, your concept, your aims, and "my article is funny because ____".
Images: 6 They're a bit like your prose. First three are about Milton's girlishness, and if I didn't know better I'd say that this is only slightly better than those "So and so is gay" jokes. The Paradise Lost one was a bit better than the rest, but the overall look of your article is a bit bland because most of your images are in black and white, and the first and third Milton pic looked almost the same. I think they're also a bit like your footnotes. But in the end, what images you put up depends on the direction you choose to go with your concept, so I suggest you do that first.
Miscellaneous: 6.5 My general impression of the article. Damn, I hope I'm not too harsh, and this review is almost John Milton-long.
Final Score: 34 Despite the general negativity, it really is an honour to devote 4 hours of my life to (hopefully) improve your article. You know when I was a starry-eyed noob I looked up to you and I'm always on the lookout for your stuff to nom, so I hope that this will end up as good as those other ones. You know where to find me and stuff
Reviewer: ~Scriptsiggy.JPG Telephonesig Star Starsig Kidneysig 17:30, Mar 26, 2010
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