Category Archives: Uncategorized

“. . . he was a true poet and of the Devil’s party without knowing it”

Readers of Paradise Lost have argued this perennial question of Milton’s problematic depiction of Satan. As William Blake so beautifully puts the pro-Satan reading, “Milton was of the Devil’s Party without knowing it.” In The Satanic Epic (2003) Neil Forsythe … Continue reading

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John Milton and Thomas Hobbes on the Natural State of Humanity

Let me set the stage for you -England had been embroiled in civil war for nine years, from the opening battle at Edge Hill in 1642 to the trial/execution of King Charles I in January, 1649. The country was divided … Continue reading

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Donne’s Unearthly Lovers

Let me start this blog off by proclaiming how much I love John Donne’s poetry. Beyond the beauty of his verse, his poems are just brilliantly intricate. He is able to take love poetry and turn it into an intellectual … Continue reading

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A Priest, a Maypole, and Paganism!

  If you are looking for a poet who celebrates sexuality, none can really top Robert Herrick (1591-1674). Despite being an Anglican priest, he wrote about giving up drinking and then falling back off the wagon (“His Farewell to Sack,” … Continue reading

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Shakespeare’s Henry V – Creation of a National Hero

Let’s start by pointing out that Henry V is the last play in Shakespeare’s second Henriad, the tetralogy of plays dealing with four monarch – Richard II, Henry IV, Henry V, Henry VI, and Richard III.  The second Henriad, which … Continue reading

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Marie de France

Marie de France was a 12th Century author who wrote between roughly 1160 and 1215 and is consider the pinnacle of Anglo-Norman literature. We know so little about her life that scholars aren’t quite sure which Marie she is. We … Continue reading

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Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales

Frame Story: Chaucer sets up his collection of stories as his chance meeting in tavern Southwark, where in he encounters 29 pilgrims on their way to Canterbury and the shrine to St. Thomas a Beckett, the Archbishop Canterbury (1163-1170) murdered … Continue reading

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The Fall and Rise of English in England

The Norman Invasion Last week we explored the earliest form of our language, that of the Anglo-Saxons. Now we are moving ahead to the next period in the development of our language, known as Middle English, and this period starts … Continue reading

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Meet the Anglo-Saxons

WHO ARE THE ANGLO-SAXONS? First, you must understand that England is a land that has been conquered many times over. The earliest culture to inhabit that island were the Celts, who first came to the British Isle during the Bronze … Continue reading

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Wikipedia as a scene of writing,pt. 4 (final)

The semester is finishing up, and I am finalizing my students’ grades. This is the second term that I have had students work through the Wikipedia project, adopting and becoming an editor of an article of their choosing. As with … Continue reading

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