ENGL 220 - Lecture 2 - The Infant Cry of God

Lecture 2 - The Infant Cry of God

Overview

Milton's early ode, "On the Morning of Christ's Nativity" (1629) is presented and discussed. The author's preoccupation with his standing as a novice poet and his early ambitions, as carefully outlined in the letter to Charles Diodati, are examined. The ode's subject matter, other poets' treatment of the Nativity, and Milton's peculiar contributions to the micro-genre are discussed, including his curious temporal choices, the competitive attitude of his narrator, and the mingling of Christian and classical elements. The rejection of the pagan world in the poem's final stanzas is explicated and underscored as an issue that will recur throughout the corpus. Additional reading assignments for this class meeting include "At a Vacation Exercise in the College" (1628), "On the Death of a Fair Infant" (1628), and Elegia sexta (1629).

Resources

Assignment

John Milton. Complete Poems and Major Prose. (Hughes):
"On the Morning of Christ's Nativity" (1629), pp. 42-50
"At a Vacation Exercise in the College" (1628), pp. 30-32
"On the Death of a Fair Infant" (1628), pp. 35-37
Elegia sexta (1629), pp. 50-53

Course Media

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