ENGLISH 469 - Milton
Fall 2018, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


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. We will consider examples of his early verse and prose before focusing on Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained. 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 Complete Poetry and Essential Prose of John Milton, edited by William Kerrigan, John Rumrich, and Stephen M. Fallon;
  • A Monarchy Transformed, by Mark Kishlansky.

Course Requirements:

Two, 5-7 page papers will be assigned (each worth 20% of your final grade), along with a midterm exam (15%). In lieu of a final exam there will be a final paper, 5-7 pages in length (25%). Class attendance, and participation in our discussions, will together make up 20% of the student's final grade.

Intended Audience:

Undergraduates interested in poetry and history. Milton is a challenging, but also a fascinating, personality whose verse and prose demands rereading and careful scrutiny.

Class Format:



ENGLISH 469 - Milton
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
 In Person
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
9/4/18 - 12/11/18

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