Fall 2023 Undergraduate English Courses

358:316 Milton

01 CAC   MW4    08176   COIRO    CA-A3

Reading Milton’s poetry is an exhilarating and deeply thought-provoking experience. The core of Milton’s poetics is the insistence that we, the readers, must decide what is right and wrong at every juncture. In this class we will take that challenge.

Milton rivals Shakespeare as foundational to English and American literature and history. For years to come, you will discover many and uncanny echoes of Milton in later literary work and in contemporary discourse. We will read a selection of Milton’s important English poetry and his famous prose argument against censorship, Areopagitica. But the centerpiece of the course is Paradise Lost, which we will read slowly and carefully. Whatever your major or background, by the end of the semester you will have a confident understanding of this heterodox, still world-changing epic.

The requirements of this course are: careful reading, active participation (attendance matters!), two short papers, a series of Forum posts and responses on Paradise Lost, one of which you will develop into a longer paper, and an 80-minute open book exam on Samson Agonistes.