The American Scholar for Autumn 2017 has a review by Sarah Ruden of a new book by Stephen Greenblatt, The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve, Norton, 432 pp/ $27.95. She says “For the New Historicism, which stresses context over text, the reception of this tale is the ultimate playground.” She stresses that Greenblatt notes how “Milton was to have three wives in all, and enshrined marriage as hard work in a great poem: the erotic and companionable love of couples was fraught and permeated with tragedy”
John Milton’s Comus at the Wanamaker Playhouse
26 October- 19 November 2016
The temporary reign of Emma Rice as Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe has been sustained by a lively production in the indoor Wanamaker Theatre of John Milton’s masque, Comus, which validates the work’s unexpectedly long professional performance history (shown by the program notes of Jan Piggott). Despite charges against Rice of repudiating one of the Globe’s historical missions of recreating original performance styles, this production, directed by Lucy Bailey, was visually authentic: costumes were Caroline, and the performance made use of characteristic devices from the Inigo Jones/Ben Jonson masque tradition from which Milton’s script directly derived.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.