To study Milton`s texts is a rewarding challenge for all students of English literature. Even though Milton is something of a cultural institution by now, he and his texts have remained highly controversial. On the one hand, he has been denounced as a writer with a rather radical political chip on his shoulder who championed regicide and divorce in his day, as a male chauvinist of sorts, or, as F.R.Leavis argued, as a perverse tormentor of the English language. On the other hand, however, his texts are also read as part of our critical heritage of ways of established thinking, institutions, and modes of writing.
We will study some of Milton`s poetry and essays in the attempt to work our the contradictory nature of his - albeit uncompromising - Puritan thinking in terms of its past significance and present relevance.
The additional Lektürekurs will focus on a close reading of some of Milton`s poetry.
Recommended text edition: Stephen Orgel, Jonathan Goldberg (eds), John Milton (Oxford, New York: Oxford U.P., 1990) or any later edition.