L318 — Spring 2020

Penelope Anderson
Days and Times
11:15-12:30 MW
Course Description

TOPIC: “Controversies and Contradictions”

The poet John Milton loved controversy and wasn’t afraid of contradictions: He evokes the pleasures of love in Eden while shading them with misogyny; he represents God’s authority by paralleling it to the king he wanted executed; he gives us one of literature’s most attractive heroes in the rebellious Satan. By reading Milton’s poetry and prose, you’ll discover how his poetry shaped our sense of what great literature is and how poetry itself works. And you’ll gain a sense of why Milton has become a lightning rod for critical debate. From his prose advocating free speech to his great biblical epic Paradise Lost to his drama about religious violence, Milton confronted issues that we’re still debating today. Coursework will include short writing pieces, a research paper, and a final exam. You’ll also have an optional extra credit assignment.