English 190

Research Seminar: Paradise Lost and the Ancient Epic


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
5 Fall 2014 Turner, James Grantham
TTh 11-12:30 305 Wheeler

Book List

Homer: Iliad; Homer: Odyssey; Milton, John, ed. Kastan: Paradise Lost ; Virgil: Aeneid

Other Readings and Media

If you already own another version of the epics, or another SCHOLARLY edition of Milton (with footnotes good enough to identify the echoes), you can use those. Electronic texts of the ancient epics may also be useful.

Description

“Not less but more heroic” … that is Milton’s claim in his modern epic Paradise Lost, comparing his own Biblical theme to the achievements of ancient epic, Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey and Virgil’s Aeneid. Even so, those three mighty works were the foundation of Western literature and the gold standard for literary genius. We will read Milton’s epic book by book, then bring in for comparison the episodes, characters and images from the Classics that he is quoting, recreating or transforming. Your research paper will be developed out of a comparative moment that particularly fascinates you, and will test Milton’s claim by asking what each poet means by “heroic.” Ancient texts will be taught in translation, but I will have the original on hand for reference.

This section of English 190 satisfies the pre-1800 requirement for the English major.

Please read the paragraph on page 2 of the instructions area of this Announcement of Classes for more details about enrolling in or wait-listing for this course.

Please click here for more information about enrollment in English 190.

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