12 to 2:30 pm
Towner Fellows Lounge
Could Milton’s decision to use biblical rather than Arthurian materials for his national epic have been politically motivated? Can Paradise Lost be read as a response to the charge that he and other proponents of popular sovereignty rely on pagan, Graeco-Roman authors? Professor Nyquist will explore these possibilities by arguing that in its representation of the angelic Fall, Paradise Lost performs a complex, multiply ironized defence of Graeco-Roman antityrannicism. This will involve analyzing, first, Leviathan’s stunningly polemical interpretation of Graeco-Roman liberty and Asiatic monarchy as it relates to earlier defenses of absolutism; second, the continuing dominance of Romantic and neo-Romantic readings of Paradise Lost in critical literature; and, third, Paradise Lost’s use of Graeco-Roman critiques of ritual obeisance in representing the rebel angels as prehistorical “barbarians” in Books 5, 6, 1, and 2. Milton, this paper will suggest, continues to synthesize classical and scriptural traditions in Paradise Lost, which challenges specific tenets of absolutism, including Hobbes’s position on ritual obeisance.
The format is not a lecture, but discussion of a precirculated paper. The paper is sent electronically to those who register to attend.
Coffee and refreshments will be served before the seminar.
Learn more about the speaker: Mary Nyquist, University of Toronto.
Download a printable PDF flyer to post and distribute.
Organized by Stephen Fallon, University of Notre Dame; Christopher Kendrick, Loyola University Chicago; Paula McQuade, DePaul University; and Regina Schwartz, Northwestern University.
Faculty and graduate students of Center for Renaissance Studies consortium institutions may be eligible to apply for travel funds to attend CRS programs or to do research at the Newberry. Each member university sets its own policies and deadlines; contact your Representative Council member in advance for details.
Registration is now closed.