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Unformatted text preview: 1 John Rogers, Yale University Milton, English 220 Suggested Topics for the Longer Paper In this paper, which should be six to eight pages long, you will explore an aspect of one of Milton = s later major works. If you do not use one of the topics below, you must discuss your plans with your TA. But even if you do choose one of these topics, you will still need to define your focus. To avoid falling into too-easy generalizations, you should support--and nuance--your points by means of close reading and, where appropriate, real research: the Oxford English Dictionary , the texts to which Milton himself alludes, Miltons own treatments of related issues in his prose works, or the glosses and commentaries of other critics. (Sterling has concordances for Miltons prose as well as his poetry, resources that lighten considerably the burden of thumbing through all of Milton for a vaguely remembered image or phrase.) 1. Analyze Miltons use of a myth: e.g. Orpheus, Pandora, Bellerophon, Tantalus, Circe, Narcissus, Prometheus, Proserpina, Oedipus, the Phoenix ( Areopagitica , Paradise Lost 5.273, Samson Agonistes ). You should examine at least one of Miltons likelier sources for the myth, like Ovids Metamorphoses . 2. Compare and contrast Miltons representation of a particular phenomenon before and after the Fall. You could consider, for example, the problem of knowledge, sexuality, or style of speech (what are the characteristics of Adams and Eves alterd style [9.1131]?). 3. Trace a significant word or pair of words through the poem. You can demonstrate how Milton transforms or develops our understanding of words like fruit , taste , wandering , image , scales , parts , or pairs of words like Eve and Evn , light and alight , gratitude and...
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