Paradise Lost: Miltonic Language and the Grand Style
This lecture will think about John Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost, and what scholars have traditionally said about Milton’s language and style. It is fair to say that whereas the poem has long been admired (and is indeed one of the most famous poems in the English tradition), Milton’s style has long troubled scholars, not least because it was once seen as somehow ‘un-English’. I will think about three issues more closely: syntax, puns, and epic similes. This lecture will then deal with close reading strategies for this poem for students who may already have read Paradise Lost (or parts of it!), but also appeal more broadly, in that it thinks about poetic language and the business of literary appreciation throughout the ages.
Date: 1 April 2021
Time: 10:00 GMT