Read all the passages in a section carefully before choosing. You will write on only two passages in all. I will look for careful consideration of the material in the passage (dealing with all the key words and issues) and especially for your ability to place it in its context and discuss its implications in a meaningful way.
No fancy introductions or conclusions: just answer the question.
A. Discuss the significance of one of the following passages within the overall design of the work in which it appears:
Man shall not quite be lost, but sav'd who will,2.
Yet not of will in him, but grace in me
Freely voutsaf't; once more I will renew
His lapsed powers, though forfeit and enthrall'd
By sin to foul exorbitant desires;
Upheld by me, yet once more he shall stand
On even ground against his mortal foe,
By me upheld, that he may know how frail
His fall'n condition is, and to me owe
All his deliv'rance, and to none but me.
. . . true Liberty3.
Is lost, which always with right Reason dwells
Twinn'd, and from her hath no dividual being:
Reason in man obscur'd, or not obey'd,
Immediately inordinate desires
And upstart Passions catch the Government
From Reason, and to servitude reduce
Man till then free. Therefore since hee permits
Within himself unworthy Powers to reign
Over free Reason, God in Judgment just
Subjects him from without to violent Lords . . .
this God-like actB. Discuss the significance of one of the following passages within the overall design of the work in which it appears:
Annuls thy doom, the death thou shouldst have di'd,
In sin for ever lost from life; this act
Shall bruise the head of Satan, crush his strength
Defeating Sin and Death, his two main arms,
And fix far deeper in his head thir stings
Than temporal death shall bruise the Victor's heel
Or theirs whom he redeems, a death like sleep . . .
This is servitude,5.
To serve th' unwise, or him who hath rebell'd
Against his worthier, as thine now serve thee,
Thyself not free, but to thyself enthrall'd . . .
. . . knowledge of Good and Evil;6.
Of good, how just? of evil, if what is evil
Be real, why not known, since easier shunn'd?
God therefore cannot hurt ye, and be just;
Not just, not God; not fear'd then, nor obey'd . . .
O Sons, like one of us Man is becomeb:
To know both Good and Evil, since his taste
Of that defended Fruit; but let him boast
His knowledge of Good lost, and Evil got,
Happier, had it suffic'd him to have known
Good by itself, and Evil not at all.
This having learnt, thou hast attain'd the sum
Of wisdom; hope no higher, though all the Stars
Thou knew'st by name, and all th' ethereal Powers,
All secrets of the deep, all Nature's works . . . ;
. . . only add
Deeds to thy knowledge answerable, . . .
. . . then wilt thou not be loath
To leave this Paradise, but shalt possess
A paradise within thee, happier far.
If you feel the need for a little extra credit, try your hand at identifying the speakers and/or telling me who is referred to or described in the following phrases. Begin with the first one and, without skipping any, answer as many as you like. I'll give you a point for a correct answer, but I'll subtract a point (from your extra credit, not from the rest) if you get one wrong. Fair?
1. To mee, who with eternal Famine pine, / Alike is Hell, or Paradise, or Heaven
2. Patron of Liberty [who is referred to?]
3. Angelic Eve [who is speaking?]
4. O were I able / To waste it all myself, and leave ye none!
5. freely we serve, / Because we freely love
6. smiles from Reason flow, / . . . and are of Love the food
7. while I sit with thee, I seem in Heav'n [who is spoken of?]
8. till like ripe Fruit thou drop / Into thy Mother's lap
[who is speaking?]
9. O unexpected stroke, worse than of Death! [who is speaking?]
10. Hast thou not wonder'd . . . at my stay? [who is speaking?]
Return to Course Page