Welcome to the Department of English at Rutgers University

01  TTH6  CAC  12163   FULTON     MU-208

01-John Milton and the Bible

Arguably the greatest single event in the history of English literature was the translation and printing of the Bible in English.  This seminar will investigate the complex relationship between one of the foremost writers of English, John Milton, and the Bible.  Milton is the author of several works that expand, interpret, and even rewrite the Bible, among them Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, and Samson Agonistes.  Like many other writers in English, he also translated many psalms and wrote poems that alluded to biblical problems and themes.  He also wrote prose works that relied on close readings of the biblical text.  We will examine closely the nature of the translation of the biblical text into works of literature, and consider the significance of various modes of allusion, interpretation, and social polemic. Secondary readings include essays on Milton and the Bible and excerpts from major works such as Northrop Frye, The Great Code: The Bible and Literature.

Requirements: Occasional quizzes, several short papers and one long (12 page) seminar paper. Attendance and participation are mandatory.            

Books available at NJ Books

why english wide


 Undergraduate Students


Graduate Program in English


Statue of "Willie the Silent"