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Towson - FORL 221 - Class Notes - Week 11

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Towson - FORL 221 - Class Notes - Week 11

School: Towson University
Department: Foreign Language
Course: British Literature to 1798
Professor: K. Attie
Term: Summer 2015
Tags: John Milton's Paradise Lost British Literature Milton
Name: Week 9 Notes
Description: John Milton's Paradise Lost
Uploaded: 04/14/2016
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background image John Milton’s Paradise Lost 1         Milton’s Background Puritan Beliefs 
­ Desires a conservative return to origins
­ Defender of individual conscience in religious matters  Opposed Royalists  ­ Champion of liberty in all of its forms: religious, political, ideological, social, and domestic
a The personal IS political
­ At the end of the great war in 1660, there was a restoration of the English  monarchy  Milton was devastated  b As seen through representation of parliamentary hell and monarchical heaven  (ironically)  2 Style Influenced by classical poetry (mythological and Christian allusions)
­ Virgil (Latin)
­ Homer (Greek)
No rhyme/blank verse
­ Classical influencers
­ Identity as poet AND activist a.  Vernacular poetry b.  Viewed rhyme as a kind of royal monarchical order (popular modern bondage) English heroic verse (classical influence with a twist)
­ Epic convention: convocation of the muse 
a. BUT prayer, hymn b. BUT Christianizes and politicizes pagan tradition of deities
    (shift from Greek Urania inspiration by Moses or Solomon (old testament)  
old prophets holy spirit: “Dove­like sot’st brooding” (Book 1, line 21)
Use of the word “tempt” in a few forms 3         Themes/Questions to Consider: What is the relationship between:
­ Faith and reason
­ Reason and choosing
­ Choosing and sinning
Predestination vs. divine foreknowledge 
­ Predestination: predetermined destiny of individual soul 
a that can be damned or saved (Calvinistic) b no one is predetermined to go to hell (Lutheranism)  Predestination vs. providence
­ Providence: god cares and has a plan BUT we can mess up his plan with free will
background image Need for active questioning of religion  Faith and reason are NOT mutually exclusive 4         Satan’s Rhetoric General rhetorical power
­ But continually lies
People of hell have no loss of free will or reason  Represents God as an unjust tyrant (heavenly tyranny)
­ Better off away from the tyrant: “farthest from him is best” (Book 1, line 247)
­ Autonomy in hell: “better to rein in Hell, than serve in Heavn’n” (1, 263) Can reason oneself out of hell (illogical)
­ “The mind . . . can make a Heav’n of Hell, a Hell of Heav’n” (Book 3, lines 254­
255) 5         God’s Rhetoric Generally dull rhetoric
­ Discussing Satan losing the light of heaven
a Relation to Milton physically losing his sight (spiritual insight thus was  strengthened) Plot
­ Invocation of the holy light
Reason and choice
­ Choice depends on the ability to compare­ which necessitates envy – opens the 
door to sin BOOK 4: Relationship Between Good and Evil 6 Satan’s Soliloquy (lines 32­113) Soliloquy: theatrical sense of character’s inner life Demonic Invocation of the muse
­ Invocating light only to curse it: “how I hate they beams” (137)
Insightfully admits regret
­ Admits God was no tyrant because he merely required gratitude. 
a “What could be less than to afford him praise” (46) b God is always giving back his endless thanks, so it’s merely an exchange, not  a debt. Debt = freedom. ­ Admits he was bad, so heaven had to make him leave c Play on words: “’sdained” sounds like stained (50)
d “Which way I fly is Hell; myself am He” (75)
BUT logically and pride­fully incapable of submission to God

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School: Towson University
Department: Foreign Language
Course: British Literature to 1798
Professor: K. Attie
Term: Summer 2015
Tags: John Milton's Paradise Lost British Literature Milton
Name: Week 9 Notes
Description: John Milton's Paradise Lost
Uploaded: 04/14/2016
0 Pages 11 Views 8 Unlocks
  • Better Grades Guarantee
  • 24/7 Homework help
  • Notes, Study Guides, Flashcards + More!
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