Milton's Paradise Lost

Overview

This book reads Milton’s Paradise Lost as a poem that seeks to educate its readers by narrating the education of its main characters. Many of Milton’s characters enter the action in late adolescence, newly independent and eager to test themselves, to discover who they are and their place in the world. The poem charts their progress into moral adulthood. Taking as its premise that attention to the moral development of the poem’s main characters will open the poem to most undergraduate readers, this book explores ...

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Milton's Paradise Lost

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Overview

This book reads Milton’s Paradise Lost as a poem that seeks to educate its readers by narrating the education of its main characters. Many of Milton’s characters enter the action in late adolescence, newly independent and eager to test themselves, to discover who they are and their place in the world. The poem charts their progress into moral adulthood. Taking as its premise that attention to the moral development of the poem’s main characters will open the poem to most undergraduate readers, this book explores both the pedagogical activity within Paradise Lost and the pedagogical activity that the poem encourages.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“By a series of careful reexaminations of the most important ‘scenes of instruction’ in Milton’s text, Thickstun consistently illuminates the significance of details many critics have ignored or misunderstood. The prose is also engaging, often funny, and enviably clear. This is a bracing, entertaining, and generous book.”—Louis Schwartz, University of Richmond

“Thickstun provides an admirable and salutary reading of Milton’s epic as a ‘fabric of loving relationships’ in which God as Father nurtures the moral growth of his angelic and human offspring, not by a set of rules but by giving Raphael, Abdiel, Uriel, Satan, Adam, Eve, and others moral responsibilities as teachers and learners.”—Diane Kelsey McColley, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Camden College of Arts and Sciences

“Thickston’s unprecedented reading of John Milton’s Paradise Lost, in dialogue with contemporary research and theory on moral and faith development, provides a compelling demonstration of how great literature can stimulate both cognitive and emotional growth for high school and college students.”—James W. Fowler,

Emory University

"[Thickstun's study] is, in my view, an extraordinary study, which is good to see someone undertake . . . she is to be commended for engaging issues which infrequently get attended to by professional students of Milton's writing."—Milton Quarterly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781403977571
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 4/1/2007
  • Edition description: ANN
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Margaret Thickstun holds the Elizabeth J. McCormack Professorship in English Literature at Hamilton College.

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Table of Contents


Preface     ix
Acknowledgments     xiii
Introduction: Teaching Paradise Lost in the Twenty-First Century     1
God as Father in Paradise Lost     21
Satan, Interpretive Choices, and the Danger of Fixed Stories     33
Abdiel, Peer Pressure, and the Rebel Angels     53
Good Angels, Gratitude, and Growing in Communion     71
The Education of the Son     87
Raphael and the Challenge of Evangelical Education     105
Adam as Parent     119
Eve, Identity, and Growing in Relationship     137
Conclusion     157
Notes     163
Works Cited     167
Index     175
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