Spenser and Milton (Free Course)

Taught by William Flesch at Bran­deis Uni­ver­si­ty, Spenser and Mil­ton are the two great­est non-dra­mat­ic Eng­lish poets of the six­teenth and sev­en­teenth cen­turies, and they even rival Shake­speare.  Shake­speare read (and adopt­ed) Spenser; Mil­ton read and used Spenser as a way to think about poet­ic, aes­thet­ic, reli­gious and polit­i­cal issues in a non-Shake­speare­an way.  This course cov­ers all of Spenser’s great alle­gor­i­cal poem The Faerie Queene, and all of Mil­ton’s major poet­ry, includ­ing Par­adise Lost and Par­adise Regained. Any com­plete edi­tions of Spenser and Mil­ton will suf­fice.

1) Spenser: Book I of the Faerie Queene and the Spenser­ian stan­za: Audio

2) Alle­go­ry and char­ac­ter in Spenser: Audio

3) More on alle­go­ry and char­ac­ter, inner and out­er, with the exam­ples of Orgoglio and of Des­payre in Book I: Audio

4) Spenser: Book II: Spenser and cer­tain­ty.  Guy­on’s prig­gish­ness: Audio

5) Book II: Tem­per­ance and self-restraint.  The plea­sures of self-restraint.  Mirth and Mam­mon: Audio

6) Book II: The Bow­er of Blisse and the Love­ly Lay sung there: Audio

7) Book III: Why do Guy­on and Brit­o­mart (Tem­per­ance and Chasti­ty) fight?: Audio

8) Book III: Brit­o­mart and alle­go­ry: Audio

9) Book III: Alle­go­ry and human indi­vid­u­al­i­ty: Audio

10) Book III: Amoret, Belphoebe and what the House of Busir­ane is for: Audio

11) What it’s like to live in the Land of Faery; the Gar­den of Ado­nis: Audio

12) Mat­ter and Form in the Gar­den of Ado­nis: Audio

13) Book IV: Love and Friend­ship: Audio

14) Book IV: The Friend as Sec­ond Self: Audio

15) Book IV: Scu­d­amor at the Tem­ple of Venus: Audio

16) Book V: Vari­eties of Jus­tice: Audio

17) Books V and VI: The rela­tion of Jus­tice to Cour­tesy: Audio

18) Vari­ety and Uni­for­mi­ty in Books V and VI: Audio

19) Book VI as pas­toral: Audio

20) Last, best class on the Faerie Queene: Scopophil­ia and nar­ra­tive: Audio

21) Mil­ton: Lyci­das: Audio

22) Con­trasts and Debates in Mil­ton: Audio

23) Lyci­das and Comus: Audio

24) Comus, rape, and free­dom: Audio

25) Par­adise Lost and free­dom: Audio

26) Par­adise Lost: The mind is its own place.  The Lady from Comus and Satan: Audio

27) Par­adise Lost as anti-alle­gor­i­cal poem.  Invo­ca­tion to Book 3: Audio

28) Par­adise Lost: Who gets to judge God’s ways?: Audio

29) Par­adise Lost: Warn­ings and fail­ures to warn: Audio

30) Par­adise Lost: Prayer and Invo­ca­tion: Audio

31) Dreams, alle­gories, and oth­er minds in Mil­ton: Audio

32) Moral typolo­gies in Par­adise Lost: Audio

33) How humans think things through in Mil­ton: Audio

34) Temp­ta­tion in Par­adise Lost, Are­opagit­i­ca and Par­adise Regained: Audio

35) Last class: Sam­son and his blind­ness.  Clos­et dra­ma: Audio

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.