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ENGL402: The Poetry of John Milton

Unit 2: Milton’s Short Poetry   Though best known for his epic poetry, Milton was a talented lyric poet in his own right. He consciously opted to begin his career as a lyrical poet and to reach toward the more grandiose epic genre later in life, modeling himself after the classical poet Virgil.

In this section, we will explore a number of Milton’s shorter poems, looking first at some of his earliest works in order to get a sense of his preoccupations and stylistic idiosyncrasies. We will then examine verses from his more mature years, tracing various elements that he continued to play with over the course of his poetic career and attending to the various influences from which he repeatedly drew.

Unit 2 Time Advisory
This unit should take you approximately 14.25 hours.

☐    Subunit 2.1: 3 hours

☐    Subunit 2.2: 5 hours

☐    Subunit 2.3: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 2.4: 30 minutes

☐    Subunit 2.5: 4.75 hours

Unit2 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to
- characterize Milton’s short poetry;
  - list and describe the influences that impacted Milton as a student;
  - describe Milton’s relationship to Cavalier Poetry;
  - detail and characterize Milton’s early elegies and eulogies as well as his pastoral elegies and his reflections on grief, art, and death;
  - provide an account of the classical influences that impacted Milton; and
  - describe the Miltonic sonnet and ode.

2.1 Influences and Early Poetry   Guiding Questions:

  • Why did Milton object to Cavalier poetry?
     
  • How do “L’Allegro” and “I’l Penseroso” work as companion pieces?
     
  • In what way might Shakespeare’s influence be seen in “Epitaph on Shakespeare,” “L’Allegro,” and “I’l Penseroso?”
     
  • Briefly summarize Milton’s “Ad Patrem.” What was Milton’s purpose in writing it? 

2.1.1 Exposure to Poetry as a Student   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation: “Milton’s Exposure to Poetry as a Student” Link: The Saylor Foundation: “Milton's Exposure to Poetry as a Student (PDF)

 Instructions: Read the linked text.  

 Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 5
minutes.  

 Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).
It is attributed to The Saylor Foundation. 

2.1.2 Milton’s Rejection of Cavalier Poetry   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation: “Milton’s Rejection of Cavalier Poetry” Link: The Saylor Foundation: “Milton’s Rejection of Cavalier Poetry (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read the linked paragraph.

 Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 5
minutes.  

 Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).
It is attributed to The Saylor Foundation.
  • Reading: The Saylor Foundation: Richard Lovelace’s “To Amarantha, that she would dishevel her haire” Link: The Saylor Foundation: Richard Lovelace’s “To Amarantha, that she would dishevel her haire” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Read Lovelace’s cavalier poem, attempting to view it from Milton’s perspective. Keep in mind his opinions on the seriousness of poetry and the role of the poet in society.
     
    Note on the text: In Lovelace’s poem, the speaker begs his lady to let her hair down - a good example of the Cavalier poet’s playful tone and light subject matter.

    Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 5 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: This resource is in the public domain.

2.1.3 Debate between Two Psychological States   - Reading: Twickenham Press: Professor Nancy Bogen’s notes on *“L’Allegro and Il Penseroso”* Link: Twickenham Press: Professor Nancy Bogen’s notes on “L’Allegro and Il Penseroso” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read the linked webpage for an overview of these companion poems, their relationship to one another, and their collective accomplishments.

 Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 5
minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Lecture: Twickenham Press: Professor Nancy Bogen’s Lecture on *“L’Allegro and Il Penseroso”* Link: Twickenham Press: Professor Nancy Bogen’s “L’Allegro and Il Penseroso”** (MP3 Audio)

    Instructions: On the linked webpage above, click on the link “Introduction (1 MB)” at the bottom of the entry for these companion poems and listen to Nancy Bogen’s overview of the poem.

    Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 5 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s “L’Allegro Link: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s “L’Allegro” (PDF)

    Also available in: [

    HTML](http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/reading_room/l%27allegro/index.shtml); eText format on the Kindle (Available for Free); eText format in Google Books (Available for Free)

    Instructions: Read the poem; work to identify the poetic techniques Milton uses in order to convey the moods that define each.

    Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: The resources above are from the Dartmouth John Milton Reading Room and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs License. The original versions can be found here. The text by John Milton is in the public domain. 

  • Reading: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s “Il Penseroso Link: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s Il Penseroso (PDF)

    Also available in: [

    HTML](http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/reading_room/penseroso/index.shtml); eText format on the Kindle (Available for Free); eText format in Google Books (Available for Free)
     
    Instructions: Read Milton’s poem; work to identify the poetic techniques Milton uses in order to convey the moods that define each.
     
    Note on the text: L’Allegro and Il Penseroso are companion poems; while both are written in tetrameter couplets, they explore two entirely different moods—the cheerful and the melancholy, respectively—through tempo, language, and sound.

    Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 15 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: The resources above are from the Dartmouth John Milton Reading Room and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs License. The original versions can be found here. The text by John Milton is in the public domain. 

2.1.4 The Early Elegy/Eulogy   - Reading: Poets.org’s “Poetic Form: Elegy” Link: Poets.org’s “Poetic Form: Elegy” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read this brief overview of the elegy as a poetic
form.  

 Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 45
minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s “An Epitaph on the Admirable Dramatic Poet, W. Shakespeare” Link: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s “An Epitaph on the Admirable Dramatic Poet, W. Shakespeare” (PDF)

    Also available in:
    HTML; eText format in Google Books (Available for Free)

    Instructions: Read the above poem, considering the way in which this poem fits the elegy conventions.

    Note on the text: Milton wrote a number of elegiac poems over the course of his career; in this tribute to Shakespeare, he tries his hand at the genre.

    Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 5 minutes.

    Terms of Use: This poem is in the public domain. 

2.1.5 Early Explorations of the Role of the Poet and the Nature of Work   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s “Ad Patrem” (“To His Father”) Link: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s Ad Patrem (“To His Father”) (PDF)

 Also available in: [  

HTML](http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/reading_room/sylvarum/patrem/index.shtml)  
    
 Instructions: Read the above poem, keeping in mind what we have
learned about Milton’s view of the social function of the poet.  

 Note on the text: The first half of this text is in Latin, but the
second half is translated into English. Milton dedicated *Ad Patrem*
to his father; in it, he addresses anxieties about his career
choice, offering some early thoughts on his understanding of the
poet’s role in the world.  
    
 Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 15
minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: The resource above is from the Dartmouth John Milton
Reading Room and is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution-NoDerivs
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/us/). The
original version can be
found [here](http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/reading_room/sylvarum/patrem/index.shtml).
The text by John Milton is in the public domain. 

2.2 Milton’s Pastoral Elegy: “Lycidas”   Guiding Questions:

  • Analyze Lycidas within the context of the “Pastoral” and “Elegy” genres.
     
  • Analyze the Classical (Greco-Roman) elements of Lycidas and then analyze the Judeo-Christian elements. How does Milton treat these two disparate cultural influences?
     
  • Analyze the allegorical elements of Lycidas. What is the effect of these elements? 
  • Reading: The Saylor Foundation: “Pastoral Elegy” Link: The Saylor Foundation: “Pastoral Elegy (PDF)

    Instructions: Read this brief definition of the pastoral elegy as a poetic form.

    Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 5 minute.

    Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License. It is attributed to The Saylor Foundation.

  • Lecture: Twickenham Press: Professor Nancy Bogen’s “‘Lycidas’ Lecture” Link: Twickenham Press: Professor Nancy Bogen’s “Lycidas’ Lecture (MP3 Audio)
     
    Instructions: On the linked webpage, click on the “Introduction to ‘Lycidas’ Link” underneath the “Audio Previews” sections on the left side of the page. Please listen to this excellent, brief overview of Milton’s “Lycidas.”

    Listening this lecture will take approximately 10 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s “Lycidas” Link: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s “Lycidas” (PDF)

    Also available in: [

    HTML](http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/reading_room/lycidas/index.shtml); eText format in Google Books (Available for Free); eText format on the Kindle (Available for Free)
     
    Instructions: Read the poem. Be sure to read all of the notes provided beneath the text; they will provide the content for much of the subsequent subunits.
     
    Note on the text: In “Lycidas,” Milton mourns the death of his college classmate Edward King, who died in a shipwreck, contemplating the unpredictability of life and all human endeavors.
     
    Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 45 minutes.

    Terms of Use: The resource above is from the Dartmouth John Milton Reading Room and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs License. The original version can be found here. The text by John Milton is in the public domain. 

2.2.1 The Tradition of the Pastoral Elegy   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation: “The Tradition of the Pastoral Elegy” Link: The Saylor Foundation: “The Tradition of the Pastoral Elegy” (PDF)

 Instructions: Read this linked paragraph to learn about Milton’s
use of the pastoral elegy form.  
    
 Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 5
minute.  

 Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).
It is attributed to The Saylor Foundation. 

2.2.2 Milton’s Variation on the Elegy   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation: “Milton’s Variation on the Elegy” Link: The Saylor Foundation: “Milton’s Variation on the Elegy” (PDF)

 Instructions: Read this linked paragraph to learn about how Milton
adapted the elegiac form to his own needs.  

 Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 5
minutes.  

 Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).
It is attributed to The Saylor Foundation. 

2.2.3 Edward King and the Autobiographical Context for the Poem   - Reading: Twickenham Press: Professor Nancy Bogen’s “Program Notes for her Lycidas Lecture” Link: Twickenham Press: Professor Nancy Bogen’s “Program Notes for her Lycidas Lecture (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read Professor Nancy Bogen’s program notes above for a better understanding of the poem’s relationship to Milton’s personal life.
 
Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 5 minutes.

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

2.2.4 Grief, Art, and Milton’s Reflections on Death   - Web Media: Winthrop University: Professor Matthew Fike’s Powerpoint on *“Lycidas”* Link: Winthrop University: Professor Matthew Fike’s Powerpoint on “Lycidas” (HTML)
 
Instructions: On Professor Fike’s class page, please scroll down to “Lycidas Slide Show.” His slides were an accompaniment to his lecture, but you will learn a lot reading through this Powerpoint. Pay particular attention to slide 11: “Elements of the Pastoral Elegy” through slide 24: “More on Death.” Much of the initial information, especially on the elegy, will be a review, but will further reinforce what we have discussed thus far.

 Viewing this Powerpoint will take approximately 15 minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

2.2.5 Classical Influences   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation: Virgil’s “Eclogue X” Link: The Saylor Foundation: Virgil’s “Eclogue X” (PDF)

 Also available in:[  
 HTML](http://classics.mit.edu/Virgil/eclogue.10.x.html)  
    
 Instructions: Read Virgil’s poem above, working to understand how
this poem and its conventions and techniques influenced Milton’s
*“Lycidas.”*  

 Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 10
minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: This poem is in the public domain. 

2.2.6 Mixing the High and the Low: Trifling Fictions Meet *Sacred Truths*   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation: Samuel Johnson’s “The Life of Milton” Link: The Saylor Foundation: Samuel Johnson’s “The Life of Milton” (PDF)

 Also available in:[  
 HTML](http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~jlynch/Texts/milton.html)  
    
 Instructions: Read Samuel Johnson’s scathing critique of Milton’s
“Lycidas” in lines 180 - 184 of his “The *Life of Milton.”*  
    
 Note on the text: Samuel Johnson was an English writer and essayist
who lived from 1709 - 1784; note that Milton lived and wrote half a
century earlier, and that this age gap may in part explain or
contextualize some of Johnson’s critique.  

 Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 1 hour
and 15 minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: This resource is in the public domain. 

2.2.7 An Overview of “Lycidas”: Its Accomplishments and Legacy   - Lecture: YouTube: Professor John Rogers’ Lecture #6, “Lycidas” Link: YouTube: Professor John Rogers’ Lecture #6, “Lycidas (YouTube)

 Also available in: [  
 HTML, MP3, Quicktime,
Flash](http://oyc.yale.edu/english/engl-220/lecture-6)  

 Instructions: Watch the lecrure. It is a lot of content, but you
will be better suited toward understanding Milton’s poetry and
poetics after viewing these videos.  

 Watching this lecture and taking notes will take approximately 1
hour.  

 Terms of Use: These videos are released under a [Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/). The
videos are re-posted from Yale Open Courseware and attributed to
John Rogers. The original versions can be
found [here](http://oyc.yale.edu/english/engl-220#sessions).
  • Lecture: YouTube: Professor John Rogers’ Lecture #7, “Lycidas, Cont.” Link: YouTube: Professor John Rogers’ Lecture #7, “Lycidas, Cont.” (YouTube)

    Also available in: 
    HTML, MP3, Quicktime, Flash

     
    Instructions: Watch the lecture. It is a lot of content, but you will be better suited toward understanding Milton’s poetry and poetics after viewing these videos.

    Watching this lecture and taking notes will take approximately 1 hour.
     
    Terms of Use: These videos are released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License. The videos are reposted from Yale Open Courseware and attributed to John Rogers. The original versions can be found here

2.3 Sonnets   Guiding Questions:

  • How does Milton adopt and adapt the conventions of the sonnet form in these poems?
     
  • Analyze the autobiographical elements of these sonnets.
     
  • Analyze the political and religious aspects of these sonnets.

2.3.1 What Is a Sonnet? Matters of Form and Subject   - Reading: Poets.org: “Poetic Form: The Sonnet” Link: Poets.org: “Poetic Form: The Sonnet” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read the above link to learn about the sonnet’s literary history as well as the specifications of its form.

 Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 10
minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

2.3.2 Revitalizing a Dying Tradition   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation: “Revitalizing a Dying Tradition” Link: The Saylor Foundation: “Revitalizing a Dying Tradition” (PDF)

 Instructions: Read this linked paragraph about Milton and the
tradition of the sonnet.  

 Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 5
minutes.  

 Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).
It is attributed to The Saylor Foundation. 
  • Reading: California State Polytechnic University: Dr. Debora Schwartz: Milton and Paradise Lost: “Milton’s Youthful Works and Poetic Ambitions: Note #2 on Milton’s Sonnets” Link: California State Polytechnic University: Dr. Debora Schwartz: Milton and Paradise Lost: “Milton’s Youthful Works and Poetic Ambitions: Note #2 on Milton’s Sonnets” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read this brief set of notes on Milton’s sonnets from Dr. Debora Schwartz’s course on Renaissance Literature at California State Polytechnic University.
     
    Readng this text and taking notes will take approximately 20 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

2.3.3 Sonnets as Autobiography?   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s “How Soon Hath Time” (Sonnet 7) Link: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s “How Soon Hath Time” (Sonnet 7)

 Also available in:  

[HTML](http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/reading_room/sonnets/sonnet_7/index.shtml)  

 Instructions: Read this poem with Milton’s personal history in
mind. Consider the ways in which Milton used the sonnet form to
convey his own personal experiences.  

 Note on the text: While sonnets were conventionally affiliated with
love and romance, Milton often used the form to explore personal
crises and emotions, as here: in these autobiographical sonnets,
readers catch a glimpse of Milton’s personal means of filtering and
experiencing the world around him and the events of his own life.  
    
 Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 10
minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: The resource above is from the Dartmouth John Milton
Reading Room and is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution-NoDerivs
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/us/). The
original versions can be
found [here](http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/reading_room/contents/index.shtml).
The text by John Milton is in the public domain. 
  • Reading: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s “Captain or Colonel” (Sonnet 8) Link: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s “Captain or Colonel” (Sonnet 8), (PDF)

    Also available in: [

    HTML](http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/reading_room/sonnets/sonnet_8/index.shtml)

    Instructions: Read this poem with Milton’s personal history in mind. Consider the ways in which Milton used the sonnet form to convey his own personal experiences.
     
    Note on the text: While sonnets were conventionally affiliated with love and romance, Milton often used the form to explore personal crises and emotions, as here: in these autobiographical sonnets, readers catch a glimpse of Milton’s personal means of filtering and experiencing the world around him and the events of his own life.
     
    Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 10 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: The resource above is from the Dartmouth John Milton Reading Room and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs License. The original versions can be found here. The text by John Milton is in the public domain. 

  • Reading: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s “Avenge O Lord” (Sonnet 18) Link: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s “Avenge O Lord” (Sonnet 18) (PDF) 

    Also available in: [

    HTML](http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/reading_room/sonnets/sonnet_18/index.shtml)

    Instructions: Read the poem above with Milton’s personal history in mind. Consider the ways in which Milton used the sonnet form to convey his own personal experiences.
     
    Note on the text: While sonnets were conventionally affiliated with love and romance, Milton often used the form to explore personal crises and emotions, as here: in these autobiographical sonnets, readers catch a glimpse of Milton’s personal means of filtering and experiencing the world around him and the events of his own life.
     
    Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 10 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: The resource above is from the Dartmouth John Milton Reading Room and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs License. The original versions can be found here. The text by John Milton is in the public domain.

  • Reading: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s “When I Consider” (Sonnet 19) Link: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s “When I Consider” (Sonnet 19) (PDF)

    Also available in:[

    HTML](http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/reading_room/sonnets/sonnet_19/index.shtml)

    Instructions: Read the poem above with Milton’s personal history in mind. Consider the ways in which Milton used the sonnet form to convey his own personal experiences.
     
    Note on the text: While sonnets were conventionally affiliated with love and romance, Milton often used the form to explore personal crises and emotions, as here: in these autobiographical sonnets, readers catch a glimpse of Milton’s personal means of filtering and experiencing the world around him and the events of his own life.
     
    Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 10 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: The resource above is from the Dartmouth John Milton Reading Room and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs License. The original versions can be found here. The text by John Milton is in the public domain.

  • Reading: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s “Methought I Saw” (Sonnet 23) Link: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s “Methought I Saw” (Sonnet 23) (PDF)

    Also available in: [

    HTML](http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/reading_room/sonnets/sonnet_23/index.shtml)

    Instructions: Read the poem above with Milton’s personal history in mind. Consider the ways in which Milton used the sonnet form to convey his own personal experiences.
     
    Note on the text: While sonnets were conventionally affiliated with love and romance, Milton often used the form to explore personal crises and emotions, as here: in these autobiographical sonnets, readers catch a glimpse of Milton’s personal means of filtering and experiencing the world around him and the events of his own life.

    Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 10 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: The resource above is from the Dartmouth John Milton Reading Room and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs License. The original versions can be found here. The text by John Milton is in the public domain.

2.4 Milton and The Ode   Guiding Questions:

  • Define the genre of The Ode.
     
  • What is similar to an Ode in our 21st Century experience?

2.4.1 What Is an Ode? Convention and Innovation   - Reading: Poets.org: “Poetic Form: The Ode” Link: Poets.org: “Poetic Form: The Ode” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read this above link to learn about the Ode’s literary history as well as the specifications of its form. Recall that both the sonnet and the ode fall under the category of lyrical poetry.

 Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 5
minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

2.4.2 Classical Influences on the Miltonic Ode   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s “The Fifth Ode of Horace, Lib. 1” Link: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s “The Fifth Ode of Horace, Lib. 1” (PDF)

 Also available in:[  

HTML](http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/reading_room/fifth_ode/index.shtml)  

 Instructions: Read this ode above.  

 Note on the text: In “The Fifth Ode,” Milton extols the classical
poet Horace while exploring the form of the ode.  

 Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 5
minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: The resource above is from the Dartmouth John Milton
Reading Room and is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution-NoDerivs
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/us/). The
original version can be
found [here](http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/reading_room/fifth_ode/index.shtml).
The text by John Milton is in the public domain.
  • Reading: The Saylor Foundation: Alison Moe and Thomas H. Luxon’s “Introduction to On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity Link: The Saylor Foundation: Alison Moe and Thomas H. Luxon’s “Introduction to On the Morning of Christ's Nativity” (PDF)

    Also available in: [

    HTML](http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/reading_room/nativity/index.shtml)

    Instructions: Though we will be reading this poem two subunits later, please read the Introduction to the poem, which can be found beneath the poem itself. Moe and Luxon explain the ways in which Milton’s ode fits into a more general, classical tradition.

    Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 10 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: The resource above is from the Dartmouth John Milton Reading Room and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs License. The original version can be found here. The text by John Milton is in the public domain. 

2.4.3 The Funeral Ode   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s “On the Death of a Fair Infant Dying of Cough” Link: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s “On the Death of a Fair Infant Dying of Cough” (PDF)

 Also available in: [  

HTML](http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/reading_room/fair_infant/index.shtml)  
    
 Instructions: Read the poem.  
    
 Note on the text: Milton’s first major poem in English, “On the
Death of a Fair Infant” has been attributed to the death of Milton’s
niece. In the poem, Milton experiments with the ode, drawing from
Spenser in terms of form and patterns of alliteration and assonance,
as well as Pindar in terms of his incorporation of classical
mythology.  

 Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 15
minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: The resource above is from the Dartmouth John Milton
Reading Room and is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution-NoDerivs
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/us/). The
original version can be
found [here](http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/reading_room/fair_infant/index.shtml).
The text by John Milton is in the public domain.

2.5 The Nativity Ode   Guiding Questions:

  • In what ways is “On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity” an unusual Christmas poem?
     
  • In what ways does “On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity” reflect the twin cultural streams of “Athens and Jerusalem”?
     
  • Analyze the “Sixth Elegy” as it relates to Milton’s theories about poets and poetry. 

2.5.1 Milton’s Vision of the Nativity Versus Traditional Representations   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation: The World English Bible (WEB): “Luke 2:1 - 2:49 - Luke” Link: The Saylor Foundation: The World English Bible (WEB): “Luke 2:1 - 2:49 - Luke” (PDF)

 Also available in: [  
 HTML](http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext05/web4210h.htm)  
    
 Instructions: Read the linked file.  

 Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 10
minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: This resource is in the public domain. 

2.5.2 The Ode’s Adaptation of Virgil’s Messianic Eclogue and Issues of Influence   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation: Virgil’s “Eclogue IV” Link: The Saylor Foundation: Virgil’s “Eclogue IV” (PDF)

 Also available in:[  
 HTML](http://classics.mit.edu/Virgil/eclogue.4.iv.html)  

 Instructions: Read the linked text.  

 Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 10
minutes.  

 Terms of Use: This poem is in the public domain. 

2.5.3 Puritan Poetics in the Nativity Ode   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation: “Puritan Poetics in the Nativity Ode” Link: The Saylor Foundation: “Puritan Poetics in the Nativity Ode” (PDF)

 Instructions: Read this linked page about Milton’s Puritan approach
to his portrayal of the first Christmas.  

 Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 5
minutes.  

 Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).
It is attributed to The Saylor Foundation. 
  • Reading: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s “The Sixth Elegy” Link: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s “The Sixth Elegy” (PDF)

    Also available in: [

    HTML](http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/reading_room/elegiarum/elegy_6/index.shtml)
     
    Instructions: Read the linked file as well as the explanatory notes below the text.
     
    Note on the text: “The Sixth Elegy” or “Elegy VI” is one of a series of letters and epistolary poems that Milton exchanged with his friend Charles Diodati; in it, he references his nativity poem.

    Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 15 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: The resource above is from the Dartmouth John Milton Reading Room and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs License. The original version can be found here. The text by John Milton is in the public domain. 

2.5.4 Milton’s View of Redemption   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation: “Milton’s View of Redemption” Link: The Saylor Foundation: “Milton’s View of Redemption” (PDF)

 Instructions: Read this linked page about Milton’s notion of
Salvation, Election, and Free Will.  

 Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 10
minutes.  

 Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).
It is attributed to The Saylor Foundation.

2.5.5 Athens and Jerusalem: The Intermingling of Classical/Pagan and Christian Elements   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation: “Athens and Jerusalem: The Intermingling of Classical/Pagan and Christian Elements” Link: The Saylor Foundation: “Athens and Jerusalem: The Intermingling of Classical/Pagan and Christian Elements” (PDF)  

 Instructions: Read this linked page about Milton’s use of Classical
and Christian materials.  

 Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 5
minutes.  

 Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).
It is attributed to The Saylor Foundation.