This lecture focuses on the invocation to light at the beginning of Book Three of Paradise Lost. Milton's factual and figurative understanding of his blindness is traced through his letters, Sonnet XXII, and the later epic Samson Agonistes. Particular emphasis is placed on the transformation of blindness in the corpus from a spiritual punishment to a poetic gift. The implications of biographical interpretations of literature are also touched upon.
A study of Milton's poetry, with some attention to his literary sources, his contemporaries, his controversial prose, and his decisive influence on the course of English poetry.
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