Paradise Lost: The Highest Mountain" /> <span>Milton’s <span style="font-style:italic">Paradise Lost<span style="font-style:normal">: The Highest Mountain</span></span></span> fullscreen background
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LIT 47 — Milton’s Paradise Lost: The Highest Mountain

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Tuesdays
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Sep 24—Dec 3
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm
Drop Deadline: Oct 7
Units: 2
Tuition: $485
Instructor(s): Nicholas Jenkins
Status: Closed
Please Note: No class on November 26
7:00—8:50 pm
Sep 24—Dec 3
10 weeks
Drop By
Oct 7
2 Units
Nicholas Jenkins
Please Note: No class on November 26
John Milton’s Paradise Lost (1667) is the most ambitious and complex poem ever written in English. Composed long after Milton had gone totally blind, and published shortly after he was forced into hiding for fear of public execution, it tells the Christian story of the angels’ rebellion in Heaven, the creation of the universe, and humanity’s fall into sin. One of the strangest and most eccentrically beautiful books ever written, it deals in a unique way with perennial themes of fear, sinfulness, revolt, free will, adoration, and love.

What does the Devil sound like? How do Adam and Eve talk to one another? What does Eden look like? Milton imagines all of this. Paradise Lost is a planet in the poetic sky, exercising a powerful gravitational pull on authors and thinkers from Wordsworth to Mary Shelley to Malcolm X, who read the poem while in prison.

The poem is long, dense, allusive, and controversial. It challenges readers to debate questions about gender roles, sexuality, destiny, nature, and evil. To study Milton alone, especially when reading him for the first time, is sometimes to feel lost. This course offers students an opportunity to explore Milton’s epic work together, appreciating its imaginative power and debating how best to understand it. Think of this course as a once-ina- lifetime journey best undertaken in a group.

Nicholas Jenkins, Associate Professor of English, Stanford

Nicholas Jenkins is the primary investigator for Kindred Britain, described by The Economist as “an amazing digital humanities website that traces relations between 30,000 British people.” He has contributed to the London Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, The New York Times Book Review, the New Republic, and The New Yorker. Jenkins is the literary executor of the ballet impresario Lincoln Kirstein. He received a DPhil from the University of Oxford.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) John Milton (Edited by David Scott Kastan), Paradise Lost, 3rd Edition (ISBN 978-0-87220-733-2)