ENGLISH 469 - Milton
Section: 201
Term: SU 2008
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This course will examine the poetry and prose of John Milton (1608-1674), one of the most learned, ambitious, and influential writers in the English language. From his adolescence onward, Milton harbored a deep desire to become a great, English poet. For him, that meant writing a lasting, epic poem, but before he could undertake such a task he felt obliged to study and read widely, and also experiment and work in a number of literary genres considered less demanding than epic. After familiarizing ourselves with Milton's historical surround, we will consider examples of his early verse and prose before focusing on Milton's three longest works: Paradise Lost (perhaps the most remarkable long poem in the English language), Paradise Regained, and Samson Agonistes. Milton also lived and wrote during a time of unparalleled intellectual and political ferment in England. To understand fully his work we must attempt to comprehend the tumult that made the mid-seventeenth century so exciting, dangerous, and cataclysmic. Milton was never just a poet; he was, throughout his life, deeply engaged in politics and theology, a fervent believer in free speech, an early defender of divorce, and a daring opponent of the royal prerogative. All of these beliefs merit our attention as they shaped the poetry he wrote, and made him an influential intellectual figure in both Europe and America. By reading his poetry and prose with care, we will gain valuable insight into an epoch that shaped our own, and the work of a writer that has remained at the center of literary interest for more than three hundred years. The Penguin edition of Milton's Complete Poems and Mark Kishlansky's A Monarchy Transformed (Penguin) will be available at Shaman Drum, as well as one or two other titles.

ENGLISH 469 - Milton
Schedule Listing
201 (REC)
TuTh 1:00PM - 3:00PM
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