Poet of Revolution: John Milton (EAS3110)

30 credits

The module explores the major poetry and prose of John Milton. Arguably the most important non-dramatic writer of the English Renaissance, Milton was fully engaged in the literary, political, religious, and scientific worlds that were turning upside down in the seventeenth century. His work is seen by many as the radical culmination of literary traditions inherited from classical and biblical antiquity and the earlier Renaissance.

Milton’s work has shaped almost everyone writing in English for at least the next two hundred and fifty years: from Blake and Wordsworth, Bryon and Shelly, the Brontës and George and T.S Eliot – even contemporary writers, such as Philip Pullman today.

We read Milton's works in largely chronological order to get a sense both of his stylistic and intellectual development and of his deep engagement with the revolutionary events of his day. In addition to studying his individual poems and prose pieces in some detail, we study links between them and their responsiveness both to the works of Milton’s poetic predecessors and to the richly complex contemporary context.