Milton

About the Course

This class is a study of Milton's poetry, with attention paid to his literary sources, his contemporaries, his controversial prose, and his decisive influence on the course of English poetry. Throughout the course, Professor Rogers explores the advantages and limitations of a diverse range of interpretive techniques and theoretical concerns in Milton scholarship and criticism. Lectures include close readings of lyric and epic poetry, prose, and letters; biographical inquiries; examinations of historical and political contexts; and engagement with critical debates.

 

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Course Structure

This Yale College course, taught on campus twice per week for 50 minutes, was recorded for Open Yale Courses in Fall 2007.

Take this course for Yale College credit

John Rogers is teaching his course through the Yale Summer Online. This course runs from June 3 - July 5 and features extensive interaction with faculty and fellow students. Click here to learn more and apply to this course

Course Materials

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About Professor John Rogers

John Rogers is a Professor of English at Yale University and former Master of Yale's Berkeley College. Having received his B.A. and Ph.D. from Yale, Rogers is the author of The Matter of Revolution: Science, Poetry, and Politics in the Age of Milton, which was awarded the Modern Language Association First Book Prize as well as the Milton Society of America's James Holly Hanford Prize for Best Book. He is currently working on a book on Milton's relationship to antitrinitarian heresy, entitled Milton and the Heresy of Individualism.

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Syllabus

Professor

John Rogers, Professor of English

Description

This class is a study of Milton's poetry, with attention paid to his literary sources, his contemporaries, his controversial prose, and his decisive influence on the course of English poetry. Throughout the course, Professor Rogers explores the advantages and limitations of a diverse range of interpretive techniques and theoretical concerns in Milton scholarship and criticism. Lectures include close readings of lyric and epic poetry, prose, and letters; biographical inquiries; examinations of historical and political contexts; and engagement with critical debates.

 

Texts

Hughes, Merritt, ed. John Milton. Complete Poems and Major Prose. Macmillan Publishing Company: New York, 1957.

The Holy Bible: King James Version (optional)

Requirements

There will be a midterm (consisting of ten brief IDs of poetry, prose, names, and terms, drawn from all assigned material up to and including the first 55 lines of Paradise Lost, Book III), a final examination (2 hours long: short IDs and one longer thematic essay, covering the entire semester's material), and two short papers (4-6pp. and 6-8pp.). In addition, students must attend a weekly discussion section.

The papers should be a close reading of a sonnet or a short passage (10-20 lines) from any poem read in the course. You are free to choose your focus, keeping in mind that this is an exercise in mining the riches of a small lode. Two particularly useful types of analysis would include: 1) a discussion of the workings and effect of a Miltonic allusion to a previous text, biblical, classical, or English; and 2) the ways in which Milton uses formal devices (e.g. rhyme, meter, enjambment) to create poetic meaning. All papers should be submitted to the TFs.

Grading

Midterm examination: 15%
Paper 1: 20%
Paper 2: 25%
Discussion section attendance and participation: 15%
Final examination: 25%

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Course Books and Other Related Titles

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