This is a short seminar series about English poetry. It will focus on Shakespeare, Milton and Blake, but will also involve a parallel exploration of sonnets by various poets. Participants will have the opportunity to read four sonnets for each seminar, and will, on an entirely voluntary basis, have the opportunity to recite and talk about them in class.
This course is a fresh look at some very intense metaphysical poetry. Shakespeare and Milton are arguably the best poets in the English language, and perhaps in the world. These texts we`ll talk about are all magical, and deal with the metaphysical underpinnings of Western civilization.
Participants who really put themselves into the course will widen their vocabulary to a great extent because of the rich language used by these poets.
The course will consist of three seminars.
1. In the first seminar, we will focus on Shakespeare and will look at some of the divine and diabolical passages of his plays. We will also look at some of the most famous of his sonnets and talk about the various forms of the sonnet in the English language.
2. In the second seminar, we will focus on Milton’s Paradise Lost and look at examples of how Milton was inspired by the passages from Shakespeare’s plays that we looked at last time. We will also look at one of Milton’s sonnets and continue our exploration of the sonnet.
3. In the third seminar, we will focus on William Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell and examine it as an answer to the parts of Paradise Lost that we looked at last time. We will also look at some of Blake’s most important poems, mostly from The Songs of Innocence and Experience. We will continue our exploration of the sonnet, in this final seminar giving some emphasis to the modern sonnet.
This is a course in English, so knowing English at a high level is a must, if you want to attend it.