Three poets, in three distant ages born, Greece, Italy, and England did adorn. The first in loftiness of Thought surpass'd, The next in majesty, in both the last: The force of Nature could no farther go; To make a third, she join'd the former two. --John Dryden (1688)
Week 1 (beginning 29 August):
Week 2 (beginning 5 September):
Monday: No class
Week 3 (beginning 12 September):
Monday and Wednesday:
Week 4 (beginning 19 September):
Monday and Wednesday:
Friday: Test on early poetry and prose
Week 5 (beginning 26 September):
Week 14 (beginning 28 November):
Monday: 2000-word paper due on PL (no extensions)
Friday: Samson Agonistes
Week 15 (beginning 5 December):
For each class, those students whose names begin with the letters indicated will write a short (2-3) page paper on the question or problem. This paper is to be handed in at the beginning of the class period. Everyone will be prepared to discuss the question or problem in class.
Wednesday, 30 August no essay:
Explain the meaning of the phrase "But now begin" (l. 167) in "On the Morning of Christ's Nativity." What do you take to be the tone of the accompanying elegy (Elegia Sexta)?
Friday, 2 September A-E:
In his essay "Of Education," Milton provides one "end of learning" (p. 631). How will the practical education outlined in the essay repair the ruins caused by Original Sin?
Wednesday, 7 September no essay:
How does Milton depict Death in his "On the University Carrier"? (You might consider of a few of the differences between Milton's poem and John Donne's sonnet "Death be not Proud.")
Is Milton unhappy with his slow blossoming in Sonnet VII or not?
How can Milton mean what he says both in Sonnet XIX and in Sonnet XXII?
Friday, 9 September G-L:
In "L'Allegro" and "Il Penseroso," the poet challenges Mirth and Melancholy to grant his wish. Which of the two (Mirth or Melancholy) seems better equipped to meet his demands?
Monday, 12 September M-Sh:
In his tract on divorce, why does Milton take issue with the usual interpretation of St. Paul's injunction for (only) the weak to marry because "it is better to marry than to burn"?
Friday, 16 September St-Z:
How, according to Milton in "Areopagitica," does the licensing of books hinder Truth?
Monday, 26 September no essay:
Why must war be resolved on (I.662)?
Wednesday, 28 October no essay:
Why does Satan assume this act of deliverance (II.450-67)?
Monday, 3 October A-E:
Discuss the significance of "unless" (III.210)?
Wednesday, 5 October G-L:
How can one have an excess of intellectual curiosity (III.694-98)?
Monday, 10 October M-Sh:
Discuss Milton's use of the word "passion" in IV.114.
Wednesday, 12 October St-Z:
In what sense is Satan an "ingrate" (V.811)?
Monday, 17 October A-E:
What profit ought Adam to derive from Satan's terrible example (VI.908-12)?
Wednesday, 19 October G-L:
Account for the situation in VIII.546-59. How well has Raphael prepared Adam for the test that awaits him?
Monday, 24 October M-Sh:
Why does Eve want to work apart from Adam? Why does he give his consent (IX.1-411)? [Deal with both questions.]
Wednesday, 26 October St-Z:
Why does Eve eat the apple (IX.412-833)?
Monday, 31 October A-E:
Why does Adam eat the apple? Does he do the wrong thing in doing so (IX.834-1189)? [Deal with both questions.]
Wednesday, 2 November G-L:
What brings about the reconciliation in X.960 and that in X.1100?
Monday, 7 November M-Sh:
Define "happier" (XI.88)? OR
Why does Adam rejoice (XI.869)?
Wednesday, 9 November St-Z:
Define "happier" (XII.587).
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