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Approaches to Teaching Milton's Paradise Lost
First Edition

Editor(s): Galbraith M. Crump

Pages: x & 201 pp.
Published: 1986
ISBN: 9780873524940 (paperback)
ISBN: 9780873524933 (hardcover)

"...a useful handbook for teachers of Milton on various levels, since it summarizes critical opinion about course materials (editions, recommended readings, teaching aids, the instructor's library) and approaches to teaching (from the University of Wisconsin to the Naval Academy)."
Milton Quarterly

"Milton's influence on later poets and his debt to earlier ones," writes the editor of this book, "define him as central to the study of English literature." Of all Milton's works, Paradise Lost is his supreme and most influential accomplishment, but the scope of the epic, the difficulties in its form, and the strangeness of its contexts challenge student and teacher alike. The essays collected here will help teachers at all levels make Milton's poem accessible to today's students.

The volume, like others in the MLA's Approaches to Teaching World Literature series, is divided into two parts. The first part, "Materials," reviews editions of Paradise Lost and of other works by Milton and surveys anthologies, reference works, background resources, and critical studies. In the second part, "Approaches," seventeen teachers, most of whom have taught Paradise Lost regularly for years, offer suggestions for presenting the work in the classroom. The first group of essays provides overviews of the epic and ways of introducing it to students. The next section offers specific teaching strategies, which range from approaching Paradise Lost by first reading Milton's sonnets to dealing with his treatment of Eve and of relations between the sexes. The final group suggests teaching the backgrounds and contexts of the poem, including the contemporary response to Paradise Lost and the epic's many allusions to classical literature.

Table of Contents

Approaches to Teaching Milton's Paradise Lost
First Edition

Introduction: Justifying Milton to the Modern Student

Galbraith M. Crump

Works of Milton
Texts of Paradise Lost

Required and Recommended Student Readings

Aids to Teaching

The Instructor's Library
Reference Works
Background Studies and Critical Works



General Overviews

Getting to Know Paradise Lost
Elizabeth McCutcheon

Their Faith Is Strong, but Their Prose Is Weak: Teaching Paradise Lost at Louisiana State University
Anna K. Nardo

Paradise Lost in Northern Wisconsin
Michael M. Levy

Teaching Paradise Lost at the United States Naval Academy
John Wooten

A Three-Pronged Method of Teaching Paradise Lost
Joseph E. Duncan

Specific Approaches

Approaching Paradise Lost through a Reading of Milton's Sonnets
Ellen S. Mankoff

Moments of Delay: A Student's Guide to Paradise Lost
Leslie E. Moore

Mazes of Sound: Toward the Metrics of Paradise Lost
Eugene D. Hill

"Proportion Due Giv'n and Receiv'd": Tailoring Paradise Lost to the Survey Course
Robert W. Halli, Jr.

A Guide for Paradise Lost, Book 9
George Klawitter

Visualizing Paradise Lost: Classroom Use of Illustrations by Medina, Blake, and Doré
Virginia Tufte

We Ribs Crooked by Nature: Gender and Teaching Paradise Lost
Joan E. Hartman

Paradise Lost and the Novel
Herman Rapaport

Teaching the Backgrounds and Contexts

Milton Contexts
Hugh M. Richmond

Methods and Muses
Sanford Golding

Naming and Caring: The Theme of Stewardship in Paradise Lost
Anne Lake Prescott

Dancing around Milton's Allusions
William Malin Porter

Works Cited


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© 2015 Modern Language Association. Last updated 02/24/2015.