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Explication de textes : Prelapsarian Temptations: Milton's Early Verse

Responsible Faculty: Faculty of Arts

Teacher(s): Rachel Falconer
Lecturer(s): -

Validity: 2014 -> 2014

No timetable defined.

Seminar

Spring semester
2 hours per week
28 hours per semester

Teaching language(s): English
Public: Yes
Credits: 3.00, 4.00
Course notes: Yes

Objective

To become familiar with some forms of traditional English verse, especially blank verse, and some common genres, such as the sonnet, the elegy, the masque, the verse epistle, and the epic poem.

And to get acquainted with the shorter verse of arguably the greatest poet of the English language, John Milton.

Content

This explication de texte seminar studies the rise of Milton's poetic career, and includes close reading of his most famous short poems, arguably the greatest elegy in the English language, an early 'version' of the temptation and fall of Paradise Lost, and Milton's exploration of what it means to be a divinely chosen Poet. Some themes we will consider are: Power and pathos, light and music, classicism and Protestant iconoclasm, public versus private poetry, temptation and choice, the Satanic character of Comus, and an early version of Eve. The course will conclude with close readings of the beginning of Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost, which concern Satan after the fall (Books 1-2).

Evaluation

Course Requirements - UPDATED 16 February 2015

1. Reading : you must read the poems and prose assigned for each seminar to receive validation. If necessary, there will be 3 x 10 min. quizzes on the assigned reading.

2. Oral presentation on the text assigned for that week's seminar. If presented individually, it should last around 10 min; if presented in pairs or a group, it should last 15 minutes. You will also be required to respond formally to the oral project of another student (s), usually in the week following your own presentation. Non-graded, but required for validation.

3. Critical essay of 1500 words (+/- 250) due 26 May 2015. Submit a hard-copy in class, and also send an electronic copy via email. You can choose your own topic, or generate one from the topics for each week's seminar. See below for more details.

Seminar grade
This will normally be the mark you receive for your critical essay, but your overall seminar performance (oral project, and class contributions) will be taken into account.

Bibliography

Milton: Complete Shorter Poems, ed by John Carey (2nd ed) Longman, 2006.

Other texts, or links to onlines resources, will be provided on Moodle.

Specifically we will study the following works:
Nativity Ode; At Solemn Music,the invocations of Paradise Lost books 3, 7 and 9, L'Allegro and Il Penseroso, Lycidas, Areopagitica (a prose tract on freedom of the press), Comus: A Masque Presented at Ludlow Castle, and Paradise Lost, books 1-2 and 9-10.

Programme requirements

English Composition, Introduction to Advanced Literary Studies, and the Anglo-American Survey Parts 1 and 2. Overseas or DC students may attend if they have the equivalent amount of expertise - that is, an introductory course on English literary history, up to 1700, and 1.5 years' experience writing academic literary criticism.

Additional information

http://www.unil.ch/angl/

Canton de Vaud
Swiss University
Unicentre  -  CH-1015 Lausanne  -  Suisse  -  Tél. +41 21 692 11 11  -  Fax  +41 21 692 26 15