ENGL 220 - Lecture 9 - Paradise Lost, Book I

Lecture 9 - Paradise Lost, Book I

Overview

The invocation to Paradise Lost is read and analyzed. Milton's tenure as Latin Secretary under the Puritan government, his subsequent imprisonment upon the restoration of the monarchy, and his blindness are all briefly discussed. The poet's subsequent choice of a religious subject, rather than a nationalist one, for his epic is considered in light of the failure of the Puritan regime. His radical poetics, including his stance against rhyme and his unique use of enjambment and double syntax, is closely examined. Elements of the radical philosophy of monism, present in his depiction of angelic bodies, are identified and discussed at length.

Resources

Assignment

John Milton. Complete Poems and Major Prose. (Hughes):
Paradise Lost (1667), Book I (esp. lines 1-49)
Note on "The Verse," p. 210
"At a Vacation Exercise" (1628), p. 30-32
De Doctrina Christiana, pp. 900-902

Additional reading:
Milton, John. "Trinity College Manuscript" (1639?-1642?). In Complete Prose Works of John Milton, edited by Don M. Wolfe, 554-61. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1953-1982
Exordia of the Iliad, Odyssey, and Aeneid

For Section Discussion:

John Milton. Complete Poems and Major Prose. (Hughes):
Sonnet XX: "Lawrence of virtuous Father" (1651), p. 168
Sonnet XXI: "Cyriack, whose Grandsire" (1655), p. 169

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