The speaker is someone, probably a poet, arguing for living a life of contemplation.
Melancholy is the goddess who guides the speaker’s poetry in “Il Penseroso.” In the Renaissance, Melancholy was understood both as a medical condition, analogous to depression, and as a way of being in the world. Milton’s readers would have associated it with an artistic temperament.
Il Penseroso Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Il Penseroso is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.