John Milton: A Short Introduction

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: eBook
  • Copyright: 2008-03-17
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

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In this compelling first volume in the Blackwell Introductions to Literature series, Roy Flannagan, editor of The Milton Quarterly, provides a readable and uncluttered critical account of a complicated and sophisticated author, and his poetry and prose.

  • Puts John Milton under the microscope, using the still-evolving critical perspectives of the last fifty years.
  • Looks at Milton’s life, and the cultural background to his work, as well as examining his writing.
  • Considers how and why Milton’s work has endured the centuries to educate, entertain and intrigue so many generations of readers.
  • Ideal for the reader falling in love with Milton’s poetry and prose, who longs to know more about what people think about the poetry, the man or the historical context.

Author Biography

Roy Flannagan began what was to become the Milton Quarterly in 1967. He has been the President of the Milton Society of America, and he followed C. S. Lewis and Northrop Frye as Honored Scholar of the Society in 2001. Editor of the Riverside Milton, he is also President of the Council of Editors of Learned Journals. After 32 years at Ohio University, he has taken the position of Scholar in Residence at the University of South Carolina at Beaufort.

Table of Contents

1. Mercantile Milton.

2. Milton's Private and Public Education.

3. Educated Milton: John Milton, Gentleman.

4. Milton and Shakespeare.

5. Milton the Omnivorous Reader.

6. Political Milton.

7. Place in History.

8.The Prodigy.

9. Milton the Friend.

10. Milton Abroad.

11. First-married Milton.

12. Milton the Divorcer.

13. Infamous Milton.

14. "The Great Milton".

15. Milton the Egoist.

16. The Myth of the Unattractive Milton.

17. Physical Appearance.

18. Class-consciousness.

19. Milton's Sense of Humor.

20. Milton's First Great Poem.

21. "L'Allegro".

22. "Lycidas".

23. Elegies in Latin and English.

24. Decorum, Genre, and Modes: the Nativity Ode.

25. Sonnets.

26. The Serious and Even the Puritan, Masque.

27. Arcades.

28. The Masque often known as Comus.

29. Musical Entertainment.

30. Fairy-tale Plot.

31. Politics.

32. Performance and Character.

33. The One Just Man, or Woman.

34. Against the Bishops.

35. The Reason of Church-Government.

36. Wonder Years.

37. Of Education.

38. Divorce as a Serious Subject.

39. Prose Masterpiece: Areopagitica.

40. The Blind Warrior.

41. Plans for Great Tragedies.

42. Milton's Theological Niche.

43. The Baroque in Space and Time.

44. Blindness.

45. Narrator.

46. Solitude, Patience, etc.

47. The One Just Man.

48. Free Will, Disturbing.

49. A Creative God.

50. "Satan, He's a Liar".

51. Satan, Sin, and Death.

52. Plot and Parallel Scenes.

53. Competitiveness.

54. Self-fashioning.

55. A Remarkable Memory.

56. Slow Reading, on Purpose.

57. Epic Similes.

58. Explication.

59. Etymology.

60. The Printing of Paradise Lost.

61. Imperialism.

62. Monarchy.

63. "Paradise Found".

64. The Plot of the Brief Epic.

65. Paradise Regain'd and the Problems of a Cold-seeming Son of God.

66. Problems of Presenting a Speaking Jesus.

67. The Son as Student.

68. Diminished Satan.

69. Epic Devices in Miniature.

70. Political Undertones.

71. Searches for Meaning in Epithets.

72. Socrates, the Biblical Job, etc.

73. Class Warfare.

74. Quiet Closure.

75. Unpretentious Poetic Style.

76. Samson Agonistes and the Problem of Dating.

77. The Plot of the Dramatic Poem.

78. The Agon or Struggle in Samson Agonistes.

79. Harapha, his Giantship.

80. The Temptations to Luxury or Idleness.

81. A Chorus You Can't always Believe.

82. Quiet Closure of the Tragedy and the Short Epic.

83. In the End, "One's country is where it is well with one.".

84. Aftermath: Milton's Influence.

Works Cited.

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