We will explore the major and minor works, poetry and prose, in Milton's career, as an integral part of the English Revolution in. Milton's writings did not merely reflect the events of a civil war, religious and political crisis, and an attempt at fashioning a new state and new ways of living. They were instruments in that tumult and transformation. We will read Milton against his partners in revolution, and his enemies: other radical Puritans, Levellers, Diggers, Ranters, women prophets, Quakers, royalists. Key themes will include poetry and the making of heresy, poetry and war, divorce and its metaphysics, censorship and free will, the public sphere, education and rhetoric, tyranny and regicide, republicanism and the republican sublime, empire and exploration, epic and enthusiasm.
In addition to recommended texts, we will be making full of Early English Books Online. Participants will be asked to prepare brief class preparations (not every week) and to submit one research paper at the end of the semester.
Fulfills 1 & 5 requirements.