Friday, June 19, 2009

Paradise Lost - Finale - Picking Up the Pieces

Books 10-12:

After the fall - who picks up the pieces?

Can we return to our question of who is the real hero of Paradise Lost? Is there one? How does human history move forward in Milton's epic?

A critic referred to the last two books as 'untransmutable lump' - is he right? What is the function of the last two books? Why the turn to history?

What is the promise that God makes to Adam and Eve in 10.175-193? How does Satan understand it? How does the Edenic pair understand it? Do they get it right? What does it take for them to understand it properly?

Milton's claims that the consolation for Adam and Eve is the 'paradise within happier far'? What is the nature of the consolation?

We will also discuss the final take-home exam. And there will hopefully be refreshments (everyone can feel free to contribute!) for our last class together on Milton.

For a preview of the take-home final, here are the instructions:

Please answer three of the questions listed below, making sure that you answer two questions about Milton’s poetry, and one about Milton’s prose. You may, if you so choose, substitute a question of your own for one of those listed. Please be careful to choose questions in such a way that your answers do not overlap. Your answers should aim to be both lucid and comprehensive; there should be no need, however, to consult any other material than your classroom notes and the texts themselves. Do take the opportunity to use those texts (where appropriate) to help elaborate your argument. There is no necessary length requirement; but remember, as mentioned above, try to be as comprehensive as possible. Try to use the questions as entry-points to get to what matters in the works which we have studied. This is a good opportunity to consolidate the material which we have discussed up until this point!

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