21L.995 | January IAP 2008 | Undergraduate

Special Topics in Literature: Milton's "Paradise Lost"

Related Resources

Background Information

A John Milton Chronology - Key dates and events in the poet’s life.


Milton Reading Room - A reliable Milton site, including hypertext edition of the poem with annotations.

The Bible - Searchable text; use the King James Version.

Ovid, Metamorphoses, Book 11 [1]: The Death of Orpheus - This passage from Ovid describes the death of Orpheus, the “first poet” of Greek myth whose songs had tamed nature and built the walls of the first cities. When his wife Eurydice died, Orpheus went down to Hell and by his art persuaded the gods of the underworld to let Eurydice come back with him; their condition was only that, on her way back up to earth, she not look back. Eurydice did look back, and Orpheus lost her forever. In his grief, he swore that he would never love another woman (this vow did not preclude loving other men, however). Here, he runs afoul of the Bacchantes, women who are worshippers of Dionysus (or Bacchus), the god of inspiration, madness, and drink; they are offended by his rejection of women, and in their frenzy they attack him, kill him, and throw the pieces of his body in the river Hebrus.


William Blake’s “Satan, Sin, and Death: Satan Comes to the Gates of Hell” (ca. 1806) - The Romantic poet and artist’s image of a scene from Milton’s poem.

Illustrations to Milton’s Paradise Lost - Some great images from William Blake, a great Romantic interpreter of Milton.

Course Info

As Taught In
January IAP 2008
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Notes
Written Assignments