John Milton’s seventeenth-century epic, Paradise Lost, provides a masterclass in worldbuilding. After an introduction to Milton, we will begin with Milton’s conception of Hell, which is not in the center of the earth, as Dante has it. We travel next from the depths of the Inferno to the heights of Heaven. After three sessions, we finally arrive in Paradise and meet our first parents, Adam and Eve, who are being stalked by the shapeshifting Satan. A storytelling episode in the center of the epic takes us back to Heaven to observe war between the angels of light and the angels of darkness. When we return to Paradise, however, it is only to watch it fall, and the final session wraps up the epic as we are shown Exile—life after Paradise lost.
The Dover edition is inexpensive. Alternatively, the poem is also available online--your preceptor recommends using the Dartmouth website.
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Days and Times
Meeting Tuesdays & Thursdays @7:00 PM for eight 1-hour sessions (Eastern Time), beginning Nov 1 and ending on Nov 29 (with no class on Nov 24).