Loading...

ENGL402: The Poetry of John Milton

Unit 3: *Paradise Lost*   We will now turn to Milton’s most famous work, his epic poem Paradise Lost. The poem addresses the human condition - man’s Fall from grace and the promise of his restoration. We will first examine the intertextual nature of the work - its relationship to existing traditions and works - before progressing through the length of the epic book-by-book, focusing on particular thematic concerns as they emerge. Finally, we will take a broader view of the work, considering its formal and stylistic achievements on the whole.

Unit 3 Time Advisory
Completing this unit should take approximately 28.5 hours.

☐    Subunit 3.1: 3.25 hours

☐    Subunit 3.2: 23.25 hours

☐    Subunit 3.3: 45 minutes

☐    Subunit 3.4: 1.25 hours

Unit3 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
- detail the major plot developments in Paradise Lost;
  - identify, list, and explain this epic poem’s major intertextual references;
  - provide an account of the Biblical version of Creation as well as Milton’s representations of not only the Creation but also of Heaven and Hell, issues of predestination, gender relations, conceptions of human nature, the Fall of humankind, and the aftermath of this Fall; and
  - explain the formal and structural aspects of this epic poem as a whole.

  • Reading: The Saylor Foundation: UC-Santa Barbara’s English Department Knowledge Base’s “Surviving Milton” Link: The Saylor Foundation: UC-Santa Barbara’s English Department Knowledge Base’s “Surviving Milton” (PDF)

    Also available in:
    HTML

    Instructions: Prior to launching into Paradise Lost, please read this guide from UC-Santa Barbara’s English Department Knowledge Base.

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

    Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License. It is attributed to the UC-Santa Barbara English Department, and the original version can be found here.

3.1 Intertextual Situation   Guiding Question:

  • Analyze the genre of Epic as Milton inherited it from Homer, Virgil, and Spenser.
  • Reading: The Norton Anthology of English Literature: “Paradise Lost in Context” Link: The Norton Anthology of English Literature: Paradise Lost in Context” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read the pages linked above for information on the relationship between Paradise Lost and other literary works and cultural productions. The material you will cover here will apply to Units 3.1.1 - 3.1.5.

    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: Darkness Visible: Ewan Bleiman’s “‘Paradise Lost: Milton’s Inheritance’— Rewriting Convention through Rethinking Genre” Link: Darkness Visible: Ewan Bleiman’s “‘Paradise Lost: Milton’s Inheritance’ - Rewriting Convention through Rethinking Genre” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read the page linked above for information on the relationship between Paradise Lostand other literary works and cultural productions. The material you will cover here will apply to Units 3.1.1 - 3.1.5.

    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.

3.1.1 The Biblical Version of Creation, Adam and Eve, and the Fall from Grace   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation: The World English Bible (WEB): “Genesis 1:1 - 3:22” Link: The Saylor Foundation: The World English Bible (WEB) “Genesis 1:1 - 3:22” (PDF)

 Also available in:[  
 HTML](http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext05/web0110h.htm)  
    
 Instructions: The link above will direct you to a version of the
Bible. Please read Genesis verses 1.1 - 3.22.  
    
 Note on the text: Milton drew heavily from the existing Biblical
narrative; this is the touchstone for his epic poem; readers must be
familiar with what he was re-writing before diving into the poem.  
 Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 15
minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: This resource is in the public domain.

3.1.2 The Homeric Epic and Milton’s Adaptation of Its Conventions   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation: “The Homeric Epic and Milton’s Adaptation of Its Conventions” Link: The Saylor Foundation: “The Homeric Epic and Milton’s Adaptation of Its Conventions” (PDF)

 Instructions: Read this linked page about how Milton adopted and
adapted conventions of the Classical Epic.  

 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. 

3.1.3 Milton’s Satan   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation: “Milton’s Satan” Link: The Saylor Foundation: “Milton’s Satan" (PDF)

 Instructions: Read this linked page about how Milton depicted his
character Satan.  

 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. 

3.1.4 Borrowing from Edmund Spenser’s *Faerie Queene*   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation: “Faerie Queene’s Influence on Paradise Lost Link: The Saylor Foundation: Faeire Queene’s Influence on Paradise Lost (PDF) 
 
Instructions: Read the linked page about the ways Edmund Spenser influenced Milton.
 
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. 

3.2 Paradise Lost   Guiding Questions:

  • According to Book 1’s epic theme, Milton is attempting to “assert Eternal Providence, / And justify the ways of God to men (25 - 26).” What do you think or feel about that? Should Milton try to do that? Why or why not? Is he qualified to do so? Why or why not?
     
  • What is the tone and spirit of Satan’s speeches in Books 1 and 2 and what does that make you think or feel about him?
     
  • What is the tone and spirit of God the Father’s speeches in Book 3 and what does that make you think or feel about Him?
     
  • What are some strengths or weaknesses of Raphael as a storyteller in Books 5 through 8 and what is his purpose in the stories he tells?
     
  • What do you think of Milton’s portrayal of the revolt and war in Heaven in Books 5 and 6? Is this grand epic, religious or political allegory, farce, satire, or what?
     
  • What is the function of the Creation narrative in the context of the “Destruction” narrative of the two previous books? What is the purpose of Book 7?
     
  • *Analyze Adam and Eve’s relationship as portrayed in Books 4 through
    1. What is the nature of Eve’s personality (is she happy, oppressed, passive, activist, or what)?*
       
  • In Book 9’s debate between Adam and Eve about working together or separately, who is correct? Why?
     
  • What are some of Satan’s strategies and arguments to get Eve to sin? If you were Eve, would you have bitten the apple? Why or why not?
     
  • What are the consequences of Original Sin upon Adam, Eve, the Serpent, Satan and the demons, and on all Creation? Are these consequences fair or not? Why?
     
  • In what ways do Adam and Eve seem to change in their relationship to each other after the Fall? How might this reflect our own experiences more than in their pre-fallen state?
     
  • What is the purpose of Books 11 and 12 and how do they relate to Adam and Eve’s growth as characters? Given the grand scheme of Salvation laid out in Book 12, was Adam and Eve’s Fall a good thing or a bad thing? Why? 
  • Reading: ParadiseLost.org: “Book Summaries” Link: ParadiseLost.org: "Book Summaries" (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Paradise Lost is a long, complex poem. You may find it useful to read it book-by-book and write brief summaries of each as you progress. You can then crosscheck with summaries of each of the books via the summaries linked above.

    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.

3.2.1 Book I: Invocation and Initial Thoughts on Style   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s “Paradise Lost, Book I” Link: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s “Paradise Lost, Book I” (PDF)

 Also available in:[  
 HTML](http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/reading_room/pl/book_1/)  

 Instructions: Read Book I using the explanatory notes below
whenever necessary.  

 Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 1 hour
and 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/pl/book_1/).
The text by John Milton is in the public domain. 
  • Lecture: YouTube: Professor John Rogers’ Lecture #9, “Paradise Lost, Book I” Link: YouTube: Professor John Rogers’ Lecture #9, “Paradise Lost. Book I”

    Also available in:
    HTML, MP3, Quicktime, Flash

     
    Instructions: Watch this lecture.

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

  • Reading: The Saylor Foundation: Malaspina University College Professor Ian Johnston’s “Lecture on Milton’s Paradise Lost” Transcription Link: The Saylor Foundation: Malaspina University College Professor Ian Johnston’s “Lecture on Milton’s Paradise Lost Transcription (PDF)

    Also available in: 
    HTML

     
    Instructions: Scroll down and Read Section J: “The Opening Drama” for Professor Johnston’s useful interpretation of the opening scenes of Paradise Lost.

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

3.2.2 Books I–II: Representations of Hell and Its Inhabitants   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s “Paradise Lost, Book II” Link: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s “Paradise Lost. Book II” (PDF)

 Also available in: [  

HTML](http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/reading_room/pl/book_2/index.shtml)  

 Instructions: Read Book II using the explanatory notes below
whenever necessary.  

 Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 1 hour
and 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/pl/book_2/index.shtml).
The text by John Milton is in the public domain. 
  • Lecture: YouTube: Professor John Rogers’ Lecture #10, “God and Mammon” Link: YouTube: Professor John Rogers’ Lecture #10, “God and Mammon” (YouTube)

    Also available in: 
    HTML, MP3, Flash, Quicktime

     
    Instructions: Watch this lecture.

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

  • Reading: The Saylor Foundation: Malaspina University College Professor Ian Johnston’s “Lecture on Milton’s Paradise Lost” Transcription Link: The Saylor Foundation: Malaspina University College Professor Ian Johnston’s “Lecture on Milton’s Paradise Lost Transcription (PDF)

    Also available in: 
    HTML

     
    Instructions: Read Section K: “Satan” for Professor Johnston’s analysis of Satan and his figuration in the poem.
     
    Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 15 minutes.

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

3.2.3 Book III: Relationship between Father and Son; Predestination   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s “Paradise Lost, Book III” Link: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s “Paradise Lost, Book III” (PDF)

 Also available in:[  

HTML](http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/reading_room/pl/book_3/index.shtml)  

 Instructions: Read Book III, using the explanatory notes below
whenever necessary.  
    
 Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 1 hour
and 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/pl/book_3/index.shtml).
The text by John Milton is in the public domain. 

3.2.4 Books IV - VI: The Representation of Adam and Eve and Gender Relations   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation: “Milton’s Paradise Lost, Book IV” Link: The Saylor Foundation: “Milton’s Paradise Lost, Book IV”

 All books also available in:[  

HTML](http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/reading_room/pl/book_4/index.shtml)  

 Instructions: Read Book IV using the explanatory notes below
whenever necessary.  

 Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 1 hour
and 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/contents/index.shtml).
The text by John Milton is in the public domain. 
  • Reading: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s “Paradise Lost, Book V” Link: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s “Paradise Lost, Book V” (PDF)

    All books also available in: [

    HTML](http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/reading_room/pl/book_5/index.shtml)

    Instructions: Read Book V using the explanatory notes below whenever necessary.

    Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 1 hour and 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. 

  • Reading: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s “Paradise Lost, Book VI” Link: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s “Paradise Lost, Book VI” (PDF)

    All Books Also available in:

    HTML

    Instructions: Read Book VI using the explanatory notes below whenever necessary.

    Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 1 hour and 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. 

  • Lecture: YouTube: Professor John Rogers’ Lecture #14, “Paradise Lost, Book IV” Link: YouTube: Professor John Rogers’ Lecture #14, "Paradise Lost, Books IV" (YouTube)

    Also available in: 
    HTML, Flash, Quicktime, MP3

     
    Instructions: Watch this lecture.

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

  • Lecture: YouTube: Professor John Rogers’ “Paradise Lost, Book V - VI” Link: YouTube: Professor John Rogers’ “Paradise Lost, Book V - VI”

    Also available in:
    HTML, Flash, Quicktime, MP3

     
    Instructions: Watch this lecture.

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

  • Reading: The Saylor Foundation: Malaspina University College Professor Ian Johnston’s “Lecture on Milton’s Paradise Lost” Transcription Link: The Saylor Foundation: Malaspina University College Professor Ian Johnston’s “Lecture on Milton’s Paradise Lost Transcription (PDF)

    Also available in: 
    HTML

     
    Instructions: Read Section L: “Adam & Eve” for Professor Johnston’s thoughts on the ways in which Milton conceives of and conveys the relationship between Adam and Eve.
     
    Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 15 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: This resource is in the public domain.

3.2.5 Books VII - VIII: Milton’s Representation of the Creation Story   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s “Paradise Lost, Book VII” Link: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s Paradise Lost, Book VII” (PDF)

 Both books available in: [  

HTML](http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/reading_room/pl/book_7/index.shtml)  

 Instructions: Read Book VII using the explanatory notes below
whenever necessary.  

 Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 1
hour.  

 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/contents/index.shtml).
The text by John Milton is in the public domain. 

3.2.6 Books IX - X: Human Nature and the Fall of Man   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s “Paradise Lost, Book IX” Link: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s Paradise Lost, Book IX” (PDF)

 Also available in:[  

HTML](http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/reading_room/pl/book_9/index.shtml)  

 Instructions: Read Book IX using the explanatory notes below
wherever necessary.  

 Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 1 hour
and 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/contents/index.shtml).
The text by John Milton is in the public domain. 

3.2.7 Books XI - XII: The Education of Adam and Eve   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s “Paradise Lost, Book XI” Link: The Saylor Foundation: Milton’s Paradise Lost, Book XI” (PDF) 

 Also available in:  

[HTML](http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/reading_room/pl/book_11/index.shtml)  

 Instructions: Read Book XI using the explanatory notes below
wherever necessary.  

 Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 1 hour
and 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/contents/index.shtml).
The text by John Milton is in the public domain. 

3.3 The Function of Form   Guiding Question:

  • Milton first conceived the subject matter for Paradise Lost as a five act Tragedy. Why do you think he ultimately chose the genre of Epic for the story of humanity’s Fall?

3.3.1 In Media Res Opening, the Invocation of the Muse, and Other Epic Conventions in *Paradise Lost*   - Reading: Poets.org’s “Poetic Form: The Epic” Link: Poets.org’s “Poetic Form: The Epic” (HTML)
 
Instructions: While you should have a solid grasp on epic conventions and the epic tradition through your earlier readings, this brief overview will further contextualize Milton’s oeuvre.

 Reading this text and taking notes will take approximately 15
minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

3.3.2 Why an Epic? Issues of Genre, Form, Tone, and Subject   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation: “‘Answerable Style’: The Genre of Paradise Lost Link: The Saylor Foundation: “‘Answerable Style’: The Genre of Paradise Lost” (PDF)

 Also available in: [  

HTML](http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/reading_room/pl/intro/index.shtml)  
    
 Instructions: Read this brief analysis of Milton’s use of genre.
Consider the other forms that Milton used; why would he opt for the
epic?  

 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
work is attributed to Thomas H. Luxon and Cordelia Zukerman. The
original version can be
found [here](http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/reading_room/contents/index.shtml).
  • Reading: The Saylor Foundation: Malaspina University College Professor Ian Johnston’s “Lecture on Milton’s Paradise Lost” Transcription Link: The Saylor Foundation: Malaspina University College Professor Ian Johnston’s “Lecture on Milton's Paradise Lost” Transcription (PDF)

    Also available in:
    HTML

     
    Instructions: Scroll down and Read Section B: “Paradise Lost as an Epic Poem.”

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

3.3.3 The Books: Questions of Structure and Organization   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation: Malaspina University College Professor Ian Johnston’s “Lecture on Milton’s Paradise Lost” Transcription Link: The Saylor Foundation: Malaspina University College Professor Ian Johnston’s “Lecture on Milton’s Paradise Lost” Transcription (PDF)

 Also available in:[  
 HTML](http://records.viu.ca/~johnstoi/Eng200/milton.htm)  
    
 Instructions: Read Section F: “Some Narrative Considerations” for
Professor Johnston’s take on the structure and organization of the
epic.  

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

3.4 Style Points   Guiding Questions:

  • Is the style of Paradise Lost grand or contorted, lofty or merely Latinate? Do you think the style works or not?
     
  • Does Milton as a storyteller pull off his grand scheme or is it seriously flawed?
  • Lecture: YouTube: Professor John Rogers’ Lecture #11, “The Miltonic Simile” Link: YouTube: Professor John Rogers’ Lecture #11, “The Miltonic Simile” (YouTube)

    Also available in:[

    HTML](http://oyc.yale.edu/english/milton/content/transcripts/transcript11.html); Mp3; Quicktime (low-bandwith); Quicktime (high-bandwith); Adobe Flash
     
    Instructions: Watch the lecture.

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

  • Reading: The Saylor Foundation: Lee Jacobus' “Milton’s Rhetoric” and The Cambridge History of English and American Literature, Vol. VII: Cavalier and Puritan, “Milton’s Versification and Style” Link: The Saylor Foundation: Lee Jacobus' “Milton’s Rhetoric" (PDF) and The Cambridge History of English and American Literature, Vol. VII: Cavalier and Puritan, “Milton’s Versification and Style” (PDF)

    Also available in: [

    HTML](http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/reading_room/rhetoric/index.shtml) ("Milton's Rhetoric"); HTML ("Milton's Versification and Style")
     
    Instructions: Read this two webpages linked above as you work through some of your own observations as to Milton’s poetic and rhetorical style. The first link is a list of terms that will provide you with the terminology you need in order to discuss Milton’s poetry.
     
    Reading the two texts and taking notes will take approximately 1 hour.

    Terms of Use: "Milton's Rhetoric" is from the Dartmouth John Milton Reading Room and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs License. The work is attributed to Lee Jacobus. The original version can be found here. The Cambridge History of English and American Literature is in the public domain. 

  • Reading: The Saylor Foundation: Malaspina University College Professor Ian Johnston’s “Lecture on Milton’s Paradise Lost” Transcription Link: The Saylor Foundation: Malaspina University College Professor Ian Johnston’s “Lecture on Milton’s Paradise Lost” Transcription (PDF)

    Also available in:
    HTML

     
    Instructions: Scroll down and Read Section D: “The Critical Debate over Paradise Lost” for Professor Johnston’s explanation of some of Milton’s idiosyncratic style choices.

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