-- Jan. 30
Selections from John Milton's Paradise Lost: Book IV lines 245-775;
Book VIII lines 249-653; Book IX lines 494-1161 (in Custom Xerox book)
Alexander Pope's, The Rape of the Lock, illustrated by Aubrey Beardsley
Sheppard, chap. 5
Carol H. Cantrell, "Analogy as Destiny: Cartesian Man and the Woman Reader" in
Hein/Korsmeyer, pp. 218-228.
[Essay develops a fairly standard argument on how culture and literature tend
to divide knowledge into binaries, which carry hierarchical values. Such
binary systems tend to denigrate the female body as rooted in the particular
and sensual as opposed to the universal and transcendent. She develops the
implications this has for readers of text that purport to explain the human
condition. Useful arguments to apply to Paradise Lost and the Rape
of the Lock.]
The Enlightenment: Origination Myths and the Representation of Beauty as Woman
Our readings for this week focus on two classic representations of beauty.
Pope's exquisite mock-epic is extremely influential, but the power of Milton's
images probably extends further than any other modern western cultural work.
Milton's work stands as the pre-eminent epic in the English language, while
Pope's is considered the best mock-epic. Form and content in these works are
both concerned with beauty. As we discuss these works, try to keep separate
the issues of poetic form and the ideas represented, but aim to find the
relationship between the two.
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