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John Milton: Making and Destroying the World

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Many of our contemporary notions of Heaven, Hell, and Eden come not just from the Bible, but from John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Milton did not contradict anything in Genesis, but built from centuries of interpretation and synthesis to create the most powerful images in English literature. He is also not, contrary to popular opinion, misogynistic or daunting to read! We will explore some selected scenes from this beautiful, tragic, and occasionally funny story to uncover Milton’s understanding of human and divine relationships, his perceptive views on self-knowledge and arrogance, and his belief that humans must go through tragedy to learn the hardest lessons.

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Margaret Oakes