Edition 2nd ed. Physical description xii, p. Series Approaches to teaching world literature Online Available online. Full view. Green Library. A84 Unknown. More options.
Find it at other libraries via WorldCat Limited preview. Contributor Herman, Peter C. Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index.
Summary This second edition of Approaches to Teaching Milton's Paradise Lost addresses Milton in the light of the digital age, new critical approaches to his poem, and his continued presence in contemporary culture. It aims to help instructors enliven the teaching of Paradise Lost and address the challenges presented to students by the poem--the early modern syntax and vocabulary, the political and theological contexts, and the abounding classical references.
The first part of the volume, "Materials, " evaluates the many available editions of the poem, points to relevant reference works, recommends additional reading, and outlines useful audiovisual and online aids for teaching Milton's epic poem. The essays in the second part, "Approaches, " are grouped by several themes: literary and historical contexts, characters, poetics, critical approaches, classrooms, and performance.
The essays cover epic conventions and literary and biblical allusions, new approaches such as ecocriticism and masculinity studies, and reading Milton on the Web, among other topics. Subject Milton, John, We can see elements of dramatic form in the sections of dialogue and the characterisations of Sin and Death. Some discussion of epic heroes in the classical sense as questers, adventurers and conquerors would give rise to discussions on Adam and Satan as heroes.
Exploring the structure and form of the poem will enable candidates to relate sections of the poem to the whole. What do his changes add to the story? Discuss retellings and intertextuality as a genre. Students who have been brought up in a secular world may be daunted by the idea of studying a text based on a biblical story, particularly an Old Testament story and wonder how it can be relevant in our world today.
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This can be resolved by a discussion of the cultural importance of the bible as a text, the importance of creation myths in all cultures and the significance of the notion of the loss of Eden. Students often enjoy the text and its supernatural elements, Satan, Sin and Death in the same way as texts dealing with mythical monsters and dangerous adventures.
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Students enjoy exploring the way the presentation of Eve here and elsewhere has become a central aspect of discussions in feminism. Students can find some aspects of the language difficult. TS Eliot criticised what he perceived to be its unnatural quality. His use of inversion is often an effective way of foregrounding.
Students may feel daunted by discussions of sin and may feel the text to be more overtly moral than others they are studying but this can be resolved by exploring what our notions of good and evil are founded upon.
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Conceptual links to other areas of the specification — useful ways to approach this topic to set students up for topics later in the course. AS students are required to explore a passage from book 9 or Some language features candidates can explore include his use of blank verse, epic simile and complex syntax contrasted with concise phrasing. A level students are required to compare one set drama text with one poetry text in the light of a quoted view.
There are 6 views to choose from. Discussions of the concept of the fall from grace can link to the same three texts. Methods of characterisation link to all the drama texts as do discussions of literary heroes and villains.
Discussions of the presentation of good and evil within the poem will enable students to find links with all the drama texts. Milton was writing during a time of great political upheaval. He was sympathetic to the Republican cause in the Civil war of His writings were controversial; he attacked the idea of a church hierarchy and wrote four Divorce Tracts in favour of divorce.
As an advocate of rebellion against unjust authority many critics have seen an irony in his presentation of the rebellions of Satan, Eve and finally Adam as worthy of punishment. However, Milton saw a huge difference between rebelling against an unjust king and rejecting a just divine authority. It is dangerous to see the poem as a straightforward political allegory, and can lead to misreading the characters of Satan as Cromwell and Charles I as God!
Interestingly some critics read the poem as radical, however others see it as very orthodox.
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Such diametrically opposed readings show how the poem generates debate. Milton argued against the divine right of kings as he saw this as an earthly authority trying to claim an authority that could only belong to God. In the same way Satan tries to claim an authority he does not have.
How can a just God allow the fall of man? Critics are still debating how far Milton is successful in his justifications. How far are they convinced by the argument that the fall is part of a just divine plan? Free will is a key religious concept that the poem explores. He argues that the press should not be censored as a virtuous man can distinguish between good and evil for himself. Man needs to be tested and to choose the right path for himself.