English 118


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2018 Goodman, Kevis
MW 5-6:30 101 Moffitt

Book List

Milton, John: The Complete Poetry and Essential Prose of John Milton


Probably the most influential and famous (and, in his own time, infamous) literary figure of the seventeenth century, John Milton has too often been misrepresented as a mainstay of a traditional canon rather than as the rebel he was. Those who do not know his work frequently assume that he was a remote or traditional religious poet, although in fact he was an independent and unconventional thinker, who distrusted any passively held faith and was relentlessly 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 RegainedSamson 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 political and scientific 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 often unorthodox theology, his writings on love, marriage, and divorce, his life-long preoccupation with vocation – and more.

Note: This single textbook for the course is a necessity: John Milton, The Complete Poetry and Essential Prose of John Milton, ed. William Kerrigan, John Rumrich, and Stephen Fallon (Modern Library). Avoid Kindle versions, which are problematic. Cheap, used copies should be available online ($15 as of the writing of this description).

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

Other Recent Sections of This Course

fall, 2021



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