Since Its Publication In 1942, C.S. Lewis S A Preface To Paradise Lost Has Remained And Continues To Remain An Indispensable Introductory Book For The Study Of Paradise Lost. Very Briefly, But With Remarkable Clarity And Precision, Lewis Touches On All The Important Aspects Of Paradise Lost: Form And Technique, Structure And Texture, Theological Disputes And Characterization Etc. Lewis Believes That A Poem Is A Public Activity Through Which The Poet Intends To Move His Readers. It Is, Therefore, Extremely Important To Know The Intention Of The Poet, To Know What The Poem Is, What It Was Intended To Do And How It Is Meant To Be Used. Accordingly, Lewis Tries To Identify The Originally Intended Meaning Of The Poem In Order To Help The Reader To Have An Access To Milton S Intentions. In The Process, The Elizabethan World Order, The Contemporary Theological Issues, The Differences Between De Doctrina And Paradise Lost, Critical Opinions On Milton S Style, Diction And Characterizations Particularly Satan, Eve, The Angels And Satan S Followers , Are All Brought To Bear On His Discussions In The Preface. The Book Is A Must For Any Student Of Paradise Lost.
The first qualification for judging any piece of workman-ship from a corkscrew to a cathedral is to know what it is-what it was intended to do and how it is meant to be used. After that has been discovered the temperance reformer may decide that the corkscrew was made for a bad purpose, and the communist may think the same about the cathedral. But such questions come later. The first thing is to understand the object before you: as long as you think the corkscrew was meant for opening tins or the cathedral for entertaining tourists you can say nothing to the purpose about them. The first thing the reader needs to know about Paradise Lost is what Milton meant it to be.This need is specially urgent in the present age because the kind of poem Milton meant to write is unfamiliar to many readers. He is writing epic poetry which is a species of narrative poetry, and neither the species nor the genus is very well understood at present. The misunderstanding of the genus (narrative poetry) I have learned from looking into used copies of our great narrative poems. In them you find often enough a number of not very remarkable lines underscored with pencil in the first two pages, and all the rest of the book virgin. It is easy to see what has happened. The unfortunate reader has set out expecting 'good lines'-little ebullient patches of delight-such as he is accustomed to find in lyrics, and has thought he was finding them in things that took his fancy for accidental reasons during the first five minutes; after that, finding that the poem cannot really be read in this way, he has given it up. Of the continuity of a long narrative poem, the subordination of the line to the paragraph and the paragraph to the Book and even of the Book to the whole, of the grand sweeping effects that take a quarter of an hour to develop themselves, he has had no conception. The misunderstanding of the species (epic narrative) I have learned from the errors of critics, including myself, who sometimes regard as faults in Paradise Lost those very properties which the poet laboured hardest to attain and which, rightly enjoyed, are essential to its specific delightfulness . Our study of Milton's epic must therefore begin with a study of epic in general.
Professor Broadbent presents background and introductory material essential to students for a proper understanding of Paradise Lost. Chapters on mythology, the epic, the writing, publication and subsequent editing of PL and on Milton's ideology and world-view, provide the background to the poem as a whole.
The Romantic Legacy of Paradise Lost offers a new critical insight into the relationship between Milton and the Romantic poets. Beginning with a discussion of the role that seventeenth and eighteenth-century writers like Dryden, Johnson and Burke played in formulating the political and spiritual mythology that grew up around Milton, Shears devotes a chapter to each of the major Romantic poets, contextualizing their 'misreadings' of Milton within a range of historical, aesthetic, and theoretical contexts and discourses. By tackling the vexed issue of whether Paradise Lost by its nature makes available and encourages alternate readings or whether misreadings are imposed on the poem from without, Shears argues that the Romantic inclination towards fragmentation and a polysemous aesthetic leads to disrupted readings of Paradise Lost that obscure the theme, or warp the 'grain', of the poem. Shears concludes by examining the ways in which the legacy of Romantic misreading continues to shape critical responses to Milton's epic.
Edited by William Kerrigan, John Rumrich, and Stephen M. Fallon Derived from the Modern Library’s esteemed The Complete Poetry and Essential Prose of John Milton, this new volume, extensively revised and updated by its editors, contains Milton’s two late masterpieces, the brief epic Paradise Regained and the tragic drama Samson Agonistes. Age after age, these works have inspired new controversy and exciting interpretive debates. With expert commentary to guide the reader through historical contexts and verbal details, as well as the larger political and philosophical implications, the concerns of these canonical pieces live once again for today’s audiences. The volume also contains Milton’s complete shorter poems, which include such major achievements as “Lycidas,” “A Masque Presented at Ludlow Castle, 1634,” “L’Allegro,” and “Il Penseroso,” and the author’s twenty-four influential sonnets. Thoughtfully edited and carefully designed, this is an essential publication of Milton’s classic poetry. Praise for The Complete Poetry and Essential Prose of John Milton “For generations of readers Milton has been the measure of both eloquence and nobility of mind. For the next generation, this new Modern Library volume will be the standard. It brings Milton, as a poet and a thinker, vividly alive before us.”—Robert Hass, former Poet Laureate of the United States “A superb edition of the great poet, with modernized spelling, lucid introductions to each work, illuminating footnotes, and fresh prose translations in Latin, Greek, and Italian. This will surely be the edition of choice for teachers, students, and general readers too.”—Leo Damrosch, Harvard University
California's Experience, America's Future : Updated with a New Preface
Author: Peter Schrag
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Paradise Lost demonstrates the consequences to education, public services and political institutions in California of the increasing resort to the hyper-democracy of the ballot initiative process. WITH A NEW PREFACE.
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.