|1||Spring 2017|| Goodman, Kevis
||MW 10-11 + discussion sections F 10-11||note new location: 126 Barrows|| Pre-1800 Requirement
Renaissance and Early Modern
Milton, John: The Complete Poetry and Essential Prose of John Milton (Modern Library, ed. Kerrigan, Rumrich, and Fallon, 2007, ISBN-13: 978-0679642534)
Probably the most influential and famous (and, in his own time, infamous) literary figure of the seventeenth century, John Milton has been misrepresented too often as a mainstay of a traditional canon rather than as the rebel he was. He is also sometimes assumed to be a remote or traditional religious poet rather than the independent thinker he also was—someone who distrusted any passively held faith that was not self-questioning. As we follow Milton’s carefully shaped career from the shorter early poems, through some of the controversial prose of the English Civil War era, and into the astounding work that emerged in the wake of political defeat (Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, Samson Agonistes), we will discover a very different literary and political figure, known in his time as a statesman as well as a poet, and in both pursuits considered more an iconoclast than an icon. We will come to understand Milton’s writing in relation to the revolutions that he witnessed and in which he took part, and we will also think about his experiments in poetic form, his ambivalent incorporations, revisions, and expansions of classical literature and biblical texts alike, the literary dimension of his unorthodox theology, his writings on love, marriage, and divorce, his engagement with contemporary scientific debates, his life-long preoccupation with vocation – and more.
This course satisfies the pre-1800 requirement for the English major.