English 541-01--Milton--Christopher Hodgkins
M 6:30-9:20, McIver 139A
Office: McIver 116
Office Hours: M 6-6:30; T Th 1:45-2:30 and by appointment
Office Phone: 334-4691; Home Phone: 316-0463; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Required Texts: Merritt Y. Hughes, ed. John Milton: Complete Poems and Major Prose
Joseph Gibaldi, MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 5th edn.
Week 1 (8/20) Introductions; Song: On May Morning; On the Morning of Christ
Nativity; On Shakespeare
Week 2 (8/27) Sonnet IV; L
Music; Ad Patrem
Week 3 (9/3) Labor Day--no class
Week 4 (9/10) Lycidas; Epitaphium Damonis; Of Education
Week 5 (9/17) The Reason of Church Government Urged Against Prelaty; An Apology
Week 6 (9/24) The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce; Areopagitica; Sonnets XI-XIII; On the New Forcers of Conscience Under the Long Parliament
Week 7 (10/1) The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates; The Ready and Easy Way to
Establish a Free Commonwealth; Sonnets XV-XIX, XXII-XXIII
Week 8 (10/8) Fall Break--no class
Week 9 (10/15) The Christian Doctrine (excerpts); Paradise Lost, Book 1
Week 10 (10/22) Paradise Lost, Books 2-3
Week 11 (10/29) Paradise Lost, Books 4-6
Week 12 (11/5) Paradise Lost, Books 7-9
Week 13 (11/12) Paradise Lost, Books 10-12
Week 14 (11/19) Samson Agonistes
Week 15 (11/26) Paradise Regained, Books 1-2
(11/30) Papers due Friday, 4 pm
Week 16 (12/3) Paradise Regained, Books 3-4
Week 17 (12/10) Final Meeting--Course evaluations
Final Examination Monday, December 17, 6:30-9:20 pm
English 541--Milton--Course Goals
All students--undergraduate and graduate--successfully completing this course
1. will acquire a thorough reading knowledge of all the works on the syllabus.
2. will recognize and understand the genres and subgenres in which Milton wrote during his long career-- lyric poetry (particularly ode, sonnet, and elegy), polemical prose, dramatic poetry (masque, tragedy), and especially epic poetry (both long and brief).
3. will know the main facts of Milton
4. will know the salient contextual facts--particularly historical, political, and theological--of the "century of revolution" through the heart of which Milton lived.
5. will recognize Milton
6. will demonstrate their abilities in research and in interpretive, analytical, and critical writing, as well as in oral presentation--papers and oral reports will be clearly composed, factually accurate, persuasive, and (where called for) well-researched.
6A. In addition, graduate students successfully completing this course will demonstrate, in both their papers and oral presentations, a higher degree of engagement with the ongoing critical conversation (especially as represented in the scholarly books and journals), as well as a higher degree of originality and ambition in their theses.
Attendance: Especially in an advanced course on a one-night-per-week schedule, prompt attendance is crucial, and repeated absences (or early leave-taking without notice) will be viewed as evidence of your indifference to the course and will cause me to drop you. However, if you know that you must be absent, please contact me as far in advance as possible.
Response Papers: Once during the semester (twice for graduate students--by the 7th and 15th weeks, respectively), you will hand in a brief (2-3 pages typed, double-spaced) paper responding to one or more of the texts under discussion. Precisely when and to what you will make your response(s) is up to you, a long as you respond to a text being discussed on that particular evening. Your response paper(s) should offer a concise reading of--a way into--the text. In other words, the paper(s) should ask some engaging questions of the poem or prose selection, and give some tentative answers to them. Although this is not an oral report (see below), and requires no research beyond a close reading of the text and notes, I do hope that these response papers will serve as sparks for discussion as you raise questions and hold forth in class about the text. You will hand in your paper(s) at the end of that particular class meeting(s).
Oral Reports: Once during the semester, you will give a 10-minute oral report (15 minutes for graduate students) presenting your research into and conclusions about some Miltonic topic. (You will sign up for report topics and dates on August 27. See list of suggested topics, or see me about one of your own.)Your report should 1) briefly review important scholarship or criticism on the topic; 2) take a position of your own; and 3) be accompanied by a one-page handout photocopied for class distribution; the handout should include a simple outline of your remarks and a selected bibliography. I recommend that you write out your remarks in full and time them, though I will not ask you to turn in the text of your remarks to me.
Final Research Paper: Due 11/30. This 6-8 page essay (12-15 pages for graduate students) will develop an interpretive argument will develop an interpretive argument about one or more of the texts discussed in the course, incorporating primary and/or secondary materials that you
Especially for the research essay, you
Late Papers: Late papers will drop a full letter grade per week-day. However, if you know that a major difficulty is coming up and you
Final Exam: This exam will consist of interpretive essays written about a set of representative Miltonic quotations.
Grades will be determined according to the following percentages:
Response paper: 20% (10% each for graduate student response papers)
Oral report: 20%
Final research paper: 40%
Final exam: 20%
Plus or minus considerations of attendance and class participation
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: To enhance communication with undergraduate English majors, the English Department maintains a listserve. Please join the listserve by sending the following message from your e-mail account (whether on campus or at home) that you use most regularly to
email@example.com: subscribe English-l firstname lastname (giving, of course, your own first and last names). For example: subscribe English-l Jane Doe. Note that the letter l (L) follows "English," not the number 1 (one).