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Reading Milton: Paradise Lost

Class at Faculty of Arts |



This is a close-reading seminar. It aims to illuminate Milton?s Paradise Lost and show how innovative Milton is in his use of language and poetic form, as well as in his treatment of the simple Genesis story. We shall analyse selected passages and discuss the problems that the text raises, for example in the presentation of Satan, of the Father and the Son, in the treatment of Adam and Eve?s union, their sexuality, etc.

If there are students who have already read or studied some of Milton?s epic joining this seminar, we shall focus our attention on later Books or less familiar passages. We could also read Samson Agonistes and discuss its highly controversial issues, or have a look at Milton?s shorter poems.

Otherwise no previous knowledge of Milton?s poetry is assumed.


John Milton, Paradise Lost, (Samson Agonistes); selected prose and criticism ? handouts.


Students will be required to read the appropriate extracts before they attend the class. They will be expected to write an essay on a relevant topic of their choice.