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Why Milton's Satan is Retro

Why Milton’s Satan is Retro. Hugh Macrae Richmond U.C. Berkeley In my sequence of Miltonic images on Flickr the most popular is one of Milton’s Satan – he may even out-rate Vampires. And I worry that this image appeals so much because recent discussion of Satan’ s “psychology” in “Paradise Lost” often seems too literal - absolutely anthropomorphic and archaically “realistic.” For he is not a human being, but an angel – and angels are not complex, variable human psychologies, just an affirming agency of a higher power. However, that ultimate power (i.e. Milton’s “Father”) also envisions some contrasting, more flexible beings, ones necessarily more finite, but nevertheless autonomous - no doubt for reasons seen in the epic’s revelation of a universal desire for meaningful company.

SHAKESPEARE v. MILTON

SHAKESPEARE v. MILTON
Intelligence Squared has released a podcast of a 'debate,' Shakespeare vs Milton: The Kings of English Literature, chaired on June 22nd 2014 by Erica Wagner between Professor James Shapiro (Columbia University) and Professor Nigel Smith (Princeton University), extolling Shakespeare and Milton, respectively . It is accessible at:

http://www.intelligencesquared.com/events/shakespeare-vs-milton/

Advocate for Shakespeare
James Shapiro
Professor of English at Columbia University and author of 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare.

Advocate for Milton
Nigel Smith
Professor of Ancient and Modern Literature at Princeton University and author of Is Milton better than Shakespeare?

A Reception History of "Paradise Lost"

John K. Leonard announces publication of his book, Faithful Labourers: a Reception History of 'Paradise Lost', 1667-1970 (Oxford University Press). The book was published on 1 March in the UK and is scheduled for publication on May Day in North America. Due to length (xviii + 853pp), the book is published in two volumes, 'Style and Genre' and 'Interpretative Issues'. Further details are available at the OUP website.

[Posted on old site: Wed, 03/20/2013 - 12:05pm]

Satan Reviewed

On 3/9/13 Beverley Sherry (University of Sydney) participated in a radio program on Satan. Other speakers included the High Priest, Church of Satan in New York; a Christian commentator; and an academic from the University of Melbourne. A separate interview with Beverley, speaking on Satan in Paradise Lost, has been added to the internet as an “Extra audio”.

Readings from Paradise Lost by Anton Lesser are incorporated into the main program and Beverley’s own readings are part of her separate interview. She covers a range of questions, from Milton in the seventeenth century to the longer legacy of Milton’s Satan and his relevance in modern culture.

[Posted on old site: Wed, 03/20/2013 - 12:05pm]

Approaches to Teaching Milton's Paradise Lost

Approaches to Teaching Milton's Paradise Lost, Second Edition.
Editor: Peter C. Herman. Modern Languages Association, Pages: xii & 232 pp. Published: 2012

"This is an exemplary anthology of essays, all of them anchored in pedagogical concerns."
Joseph Wittreich

This second edition of Approaches to Teaching Milton’s Paradise Lost addresses Milton in the light of the digital age, new critical approaches to his poem, and his continued presence in contemporary culture. It aims to help instructors enliven the teaching of Paradise Lost and address the challenges presented to students by the poem—the early modern syntax and vocabulary, the political and theological contexts, and the abounding classical references.

Milton's "Paradise Lost" as Opera

Krzysztof Penderecki composed an opera called Paradise Lost in two acts (divided into 42 scenes), with an English libretto by Christopher Fry, based on Milton’s epic. Penderecki called it a sacra rappresentazione, written on commission for the 1976 USA Bicentennial. The first performance was on 11/29/1978, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The same production was given at La Scala, Milan in 1979. Other productions were mounted in Stuttgart in April 1979 (touring to Munich and elsewhere); another in 2001 in Münster; and another in Breslau by Opera Wroclawska for the season 2009-10. For full details and illustrations see P. G. Stanwood, 'Paradise Lost, Epic and Opera', Early Modern Literary Studies 15.3 (2011). For a recorded performance of Act I Part 1 (51 minutes) see YouTube. The three further segments are also on YouTube.

Staged Reading of "Paradise Lost" (Newbury Library, 2010)

At the Newberry Library, Chicago, a Staged Reading of John Milton’s "Paradise Lost" was held on Saturday, May 22, 2010: adapted by Regina M. Schwartz, Northwestern University, and performed by The Shakespeare Project of Chicago, directed by Jeff Christian, Consulting Director: Chuck Smith of The Goodman Theatre. For details see third page, after Home, above.

[Posted on old site: Fri, 04/27/2012 - 1:12pm]

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