Category Archives: Milton

Thoughts on Milton and His Daughters

A couple of months ago I had the privilege of taking students in one of my electives to the New York Public Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. We were there to see some Shakespeare materials, but I can never visit the … Continue reading

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Dear Dad, I Hate to Inform You, But…

Now if it has happened that I have been born a poet, why is it strange to you that we, so closely joined by the loving bond of blood, should pursue related arts and kindred ways of life? It is … Continue reading

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Panopticon Eden

In Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, there are these amazing round sandbar/reefs. They look like huge lily pads when you spot them from H3, high above. When I lived in paradise on the bay, I used to kayak out to these reefs in the middle, … Continue reading

Posted in Areopagitica, Milton, Milton's Prose, Paradise Lost | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Much Writing, Many Opinions: A Review of John Leonard’s Faithful Labourers

Faithful Labourers: A Reception History of Paradise Lost, 1667-1970, John Leonard. Oxford. 853 pp. 2 Volumes. May 2012. ISBN 978 0 19 968180 8   The challenge for any reception history of a great poem is to give due coverage … Continue reading

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“Thir Song Was Partial”: Milton and Partisan Political Discourse

Thir Song was partial, but the harmony (What could it less when Spirits immortal sing?) Suspended Hell, and took with ravishment The thronging audience. With the end of semester rush, my musings have been more occasional than I intended. Granted, … Continue reading

Posted in Academics, Areopagitica, De Doctrina, Milton, Milton's Prose, Paradise Lost, Salmasius, Samuel Johnson | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Would John Milton Defend Your Freedom to Print a Gun?

By now you’ve probably heard about Cody Wilson’s fully functional, 3-D-printer-produced handgun. Last weekend, Wilson successfully test fired the “Liberator,” and posted its design on his non-profit company’s website. A 25-year-old student at the University of Texas Austin, Wilson is fond of … Continue reading

Posted in Areopagitica, gun control, Milton, Milton's Prose, The Ready and Easy Way | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Weekend in Miltonia: Jamaica Kincaid, Paradise Lost, Tyranny, Injustice, and Marathon Readings

You are not you, but—in your mind’s eye, something bigger than you is going on.                     – Jamaica Kincaid on invoking myths in everyday life.* Great (and surprising) Milton references keep rolling… last week, I wrote about how Vice President Biden referred … Continue reading

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They Also Serve: VP Biden Deploys Milton

Every so often, Milton crops up in ways that surprise even the most dedicated Miltonist. In remarks at a “Joining Forces” event on 30 April, Vice President Biden quoted Milton as he honored military families: But it’s not just about the returning … Continue reading

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Milton, Star Wars, and the Ever-Evolving Blog

This week, along with many of my readers, I’m in the end-of-semester grading crush. As I grade each essay in this unending stack, I try to keep in mind this passage from Areopagitica: Books [or student essays] are as meats and … Continue reading

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Milton On Shakespeare: All Those Monuments

What needs my Shakespeare for his honored bones, The labor of an age in piled stones, Or that his hallowed relics should be hid Under a star-ypointing pyramid?                                                        – Milton, “On Shakespeare” (1-4)*   In honor of Shakespeare’s birthday … Continue reading

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