Since 1667, John Milton’s Paradise Lost has awed, angered, and inspired readers. It’s a poem of enormous ambition and profound beauty, one that novelists, classical composers, punk rock bands, political radicals, and contemporary filmmakers have engaged with in creative and generative ways. Written by one of the most educated men of the English Renaissance, this epic poem probes both the sweetness of romantic love and the corruption of the church and the political state — all the while demanding that its readers make active choices.
“Give me liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties,” Milton writes in Aeropagetica. This semester English 389R will center on knowing, communicating, and arguing freely about Milton’s poetry, prose, and all that it enkindles.