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Course, academic year 2022/2023
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Reading Milton: Subtleties and Anxieties in Paradise Lost - AAALA024A
Title: Reading Milton: Subtleties and Anxieties in Paradise Lost
Guaranteed by: Department of Anglophone Literatures and Cultures (21-UALK)
Faculty: Faculty of Arts
Actual: from 2022
Semester: summer
Points: 0
E-Credits: 5
Examination process: summer s.:
Hours per week, examination: summer s.:0/2, C [HT]
Capacity: unknown / unknown (unknown)
Min. number of students: unlimited
Virtual mobility / capacity: no
State of the course: taught
Language: English
Teaching methods: full-time
Is provided by: ATAPVP001
Note: course can be enrolled in outside the study plan
enabled for web enrollment
Guarantor: Mgr. Šárka Brotánková, D.Phil.
Last update: Mgr. Šárka Brotánková, D.Phil. (03.02.2023)
Reading Milton: Subtleties and Anxieties in Paradise Lost
Šárka Brotánková Tobrmanová, MA (Prague), D.Phil. (Oxford)

The course will be held at the Faculty’s Institute of Translation Studies in Hybernská: Wednesday, 10:50-12:20, room 202


This is a close-reading course. It aims to illuminate Milton’s Paradise Lost and show how innovative Milton is in his use of language and poetic form, as well as in his treatment of the simple Genesis story. We shall analyse selected passages and discuss the textual subtleties and anxieties that the text raises, particularly as they relate to Satan, the presentation of God, and Adam and Eve’s union and sexuality.<br>
The course is primarily intended for MA students and 3rd-year BA students, but it is open to anyone who wishes to discover how intricate Milton’s poem is and learn about the greatest epic poet in the English language – a controversial figure whose example and ideas have not ceased to inspire poets, writers and thinkers more than three hundred years after his death.


Students will be required to read about 500-700 lines per week before they attend the class (!) and participate actively in seminar discussions.
Regular attendance (3 absences are tolerated), active participation (50%) and required readings (50%).

MA students of Anglophone Literatures and Cultures will receive 5 credits in return for a final essay of about 3,000 words on a Milton topic of their choice (discussed with the teacher).

MA English Literature, elective seminar, 5 credits - includes a 3,000-word essay
Last update: Mgr. Šárka Brotánková, D.Phil. (03.02.2023)

Primary literature:

 FOWLER, ALASTAIR, ed., John Milton: Paradise Lost. 2nd ed. Harlow, Essex: Addison Wesley Longman Limited, 1998.

 HUGHES, MERRITT Y., ed., John Milton: Complete Poems and Major Prose. New York: Odyssey Press, 1957.

 LEONARD, JOHN, ed., John Milton: Paradise Lost. London: Penguin Books Ltd, 2000.

Thomas H. Luxon, The John Milton Reading Room (  


Handouts including selected prose and criticism will be provided.


 Secondary sources:

 DANIELSON, DENNIS, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Milton. 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 1999.

 MCDOWELL, NICHOLAS and NIGEL SMITH (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Milton. Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2009.

LEONARD, JOHN, The Value of Milton. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 2016.

 KEAN, MARGARET (ed.), John Milton’s Paradise Lost: A Sourcebook. Routledge: London and New York 2005.

 NOAM REISNER. John Milton’s Paradise Lost: A Reading Guide. Reading Guides to Long Poems. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, 2011.

SCHWARTZ, Louis (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Paradise Lost. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 2014.

Further reading for individual essay topics - to be discussed and recommended 

Teaching methods
Last update: Mgr. Šárka Brotánková, D.Phil. (02.02.2023)

A close reading seminar, based on a detailed textual analysis of selected passages from Milton's Paradise Lost

Last update: Mgr. Šárka Brotánková, D.Phil. (28.01.2016)


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