Milton and Poetry: select either Paradise Regained or Samson Agonistes to write about. How does Milton’s use of poetry help address some other question or dilemma in interpreting the work?

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7 page argumentative essay on the course topic of “Milton and Poetry.” You should research and cite at least one of the papers in the class research library (at edificeproject.ua.edu) in making your argument. If your second paper was selected for the Edifice website, see the revision instructions below under heading II. If not, you’ll be addressing the topic under heading I. Papers selected for our website were written by: Hannah Brawley, Tim Derrington, Hannah Dillashaw, Reed Gossard, Brittany Johnson, Jeremy Jones, and Andrew Westholtz. Congratulations! I. For those writing a new essay, you will select either Paradise Regained or Samson Agonistes to write about. How does Milton’s use of poetry help address some other question or dilemma in interpreting the work? If you write on Paradise Regained, you will want to think about the poetic language through which Jesus and Satan speak and think. What gets revealed through a comparison? Be sure that you don’t simply describe points of similarity and difference—make an argument about what they mean. If you write on Samson Agonistes, you may want to focus on a single character (Samson, Manoa, Dalila, maybe even the Chorus) and use the poetry to help answer some larger question about how we respond to or conceptualize that character. Or, you can make a comparison and think about the implications. For example, does Samson speak (and thus think) differently from the Chorus of his fellow Danites? Or what divides Samson and Dalila poetically? Or, you can look at the poetry at the end of the tragedy and think about what kind of emotional effect it produces: does Milton’s closet drama actually fulfill the promise of its introductory material? For either option, you may also briefly look at Paradise Lost or some other Milton work. In either case, keep yourself focused by concentrating on a few moments in the poetry instead of trying to cover everything. If you’re having trouble coming up with an argument, read a few papers on the Research Library and think about how Milton’s poetry in Paradise Regained or Samson Agonistes can help address the questions these papers are considering, whether about Milton’s God or the place of women in these texts.

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