English 118


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2010 Goodman, Kevis
Goodman, Kevis
TTh 9:30-11 110 Barrows

Other Readings and Media

Milton, J.: The Complete Poetry and Essential Prose of John Milton, ed. Kerrigan, Rumrich, and Fallon

A Note on Texts: I am very concerned about the rising prices of textbooks and the serious burden these can place on student budgets; however, each member of the class must have his or her own copy of the (actual, not virtual) book, for marking up, bringing to class, etc. The good news: there is only one required text, and this new edition, updated and helpfully annotated, is one of the most economical and complete volumes available. Note, too, that substantially discounted copies of this edition are available on Amazon.com, and other sites. The text will also be available for purchase at the ASUC bookstore and Ned’s.


Arguably the most influential and famous (sometimes infamous) literary figure of the 17th Century, John Milton has too often been represented to our own present as the mainstay of an entrenched canon, a “required” author. However, as we follow Milton’s carefully orchestrated career, from the shorter and earlier work, through some of the controversial prose of the English civil war era (including Areopagitica, The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, and The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates), to 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 thinker, more an iconoclast than an icon. We will come to understand Milton’s writing in relation to the political and intellectual revolutions that he participated in—for he was a major public figure, known both in victory and defeat as a radical statesman and polemicist as well as major poet. We will also discuss his experiments in poetic form, his ambivalent incorporations, revisions, or expansions of both classical literature and biblical texts, the function of his unorthodox theology, his writings on marriage and divorce, his long preoccupation with vocation, and more.

This course satisfies the pre-1800 requirement for the English major.

Other Recent Sections of This Course

fall, 2021



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