Approaches to Teaching Milton’s Shorter Poetry and Prose

  • Editor: Peter C. Herman
  • Pages: xii & 284 pp.
  • Published: 2007
  • ISBN: 9780873525947 (Paperback)
  • ISBN: 9780873525930 (Cloth)
Approaches to Teaching Milton's Shorter Poetry and Prose Cover

“This volume offers fledgling, even veteran, teachers an abundance of wisdom. . . . Herman and the MLA are to be congratulated for this fine book. Highly recommended.”


“. . . the volume attests to the care with which these teacher/scholars think not only about Milton, but also about their students and those particular students’ preparation, concerns, and needs.”

Milton Quarterly

Milton’s shorter poetry and prose can be challenging to teach, but they reward instructors and students many times over: they introduce in compact, accessible form the themes and difficult syntax of Paradise Lost, expand and comment on the epic and on one another, and provide students ideal training in close reading. The essays in this volume constitute a road map for exploring the most frequently taught of Milton’s shorter works—”Lycidas,” the Nativity Ode, Comus, Samson Agonistes, Areopagitica, and The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce—as well as the sonnets, Paradise Regained, The Reason of Church Government, and The Ready and Easy Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth, among others. The contributors demonstrate ways of incorporating Milton’s shorter works into a range of classrooms, from survey courses to Milton seminars; list specific tools to make the works’ relevance and aesthetic pleasures available to a wide variety of student populations; and offer a wealth of techniques for helping students navigate Milton’s demanding style and complicated historical context.

Like all volumes in the Approaches series, this collection includes a convenient survey of original and supplementary materials and a comprehensive array of classroom tactics. Three sections of essays provide general approaches to the poetry and prose, through biography, genre, literary and political history, and other methodologies. The fourth section addresses the teaching of individual poems, and the final section articulates ways into specific prose works.

Bruce Boehrer
Gardner Campbell
Alison A. Chapman
Matthew Davis
Stephen B. Dobranski
Angelica Duran
Andrew Escobedo
James Dougal Fleming
Mark K. Fulk
Wendy Furman-Adams
Lynne A. Greenberg
Gina Hausknecht
Laura Lunger Knoppers
William Kolbrener
Albert C. Labriola
Jameela Lares
John Leonard
Barbara K. Lewalski
Jennifer Lewin
David Loewenstein
Catherine Gimelli Martin
David Mikics
Curtis Perry
Richard Rambuss
Jason P. Rosenblatt
John Rumrich
Elizabeth Harris Sagaser
Elizabeth Sauer
John T. Shawcross
R. Allen Shoaf
Jeffrey Shoulson
Elizabeth Skerpan-Wheeler
David V. Urban
Joseph A. Wittreich
Matthew Woodcock
Shari A. Zimmerman