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Milton 1

3 Pages

English (Arts)
Course Code
ENGL 316
Maggie Kilgour

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Milton - Sept 1 Syllabus review (phones off, always bring texts) Goal: read as much Milton as is humanly possible in the time frame 1st month - early poetry - Some aren't very good, but it's interesting to see what he's thinking early on (thematic reoccurrences) Dr. Johnson's life of Milton posted online (useful summary, because Dr. J doesn't like Milton) - Milton is a very dominant presence (uses subjective narrative in his worse)"John Milton himself is in every line of Paradise Lost" - he's trying to make /himself/ into a poem History - born in 1608 - QE died 1603, to be succeeded by turmoil (no one knew who her heir was) - this turmoil caused a carry-over into literature: familial relationships, succession and father-son relations - Literary tradition began to emerge in 16th century (with Chaucer) - Renaissance started early 13th century in Italy, didn't reach England until 1590, where it exploded - English renaissance was very powerful, but very short-lived - Milton came in at a pivotal point in literature, and had a difficult time as a writer to find his place (he's succeeding some of the most fabulous writers, eg Shakespeare) - Change and uncertainty, shift in aesthetic tastes - Metaphysical poets are writing, they're moving towards Pope and Smith - 16th c. England was a period of relative stability (which paradoxically allowed for changes to take place and cause unrest for all) - middle class emerged, gaining numbers and economic power, saw their interests to be different than those of the monarchs and political classes, and they began making demands. - 1642: civil war (causes debated, however a lot of the issues were generated over a conflict of authority) - religion is inseparable from writing - Protestantism boosted the opinions of the people, as they advocated for everyone to be in control of themselves - Anglican church established to calm everything down, but some radical people didn't believe that it had done anything better (requires certain amount of conformity) - Milton argued against state interference in his and everyone's religious life (freedom of choice) - Milton was on the revolutionary side - Milton's father was self-made as a scrivener and musician, disowned by his family because of his religion - Milton's father was incredibly supportive, and a total enabler who viewed Milton as a genius, which created a bit of psychological tension: he struggled with the fact t
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