John Milton is among the most important and gifted poets to have written in the English language. His poetry (and prose) are centrally occupied with questions about the nature of personhood and about the claims, obligations towards, and risks associated with collective life. Milton’s efforts to understand what it means to be a person and what it means to live a life engaged with other persons in acts of collective governance are advanced in relation to the social struggles leading up to the English Civil War, the experiment of founding a Commonwealth, and the experience of revolutionary defeat in the wake of the Restoration of Charles II. This seminar will track Milton’s early development as a poet and his initial efforts in lyric poetry, sample some of his extensive writing in prose—focusing especially on pieces that illuminate his commitment to the English Revolution—and will culminate in a careful study of his primary poetic achievements, Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, and Samson Agonistes. Given the scope of Milton’s imagination, our discussions necessarily will be wide ranging, though we’ll be concerned especially to address the political, legal and theological contexts that impact his poetic vision, and the formal resources Milton brings to bear on the project of representing persons and communal life.
Taught by Dr. David Glimp.
Repeatable: Repeatable for up to 6.00 total credit hours. Allows multiple enrollment in term.
Requisites: Restricted to English (ENGL) and English Lit- Creative Writing (CRWR) graduate students only.
Additional Information: Departmental Category: Graduate Courses
MA Designation: Pre-1800 Poetry Intensive