Final Examination

ENGL 622: Milton in Context

Dr. Fike


Final Examination: Wednesday, December 4th, 6:30-9:00 p.m.

Your final examination provides an opportunity to reflect on the semester's readings and to put the material together in a way that you have perhaps not considered up to this point. You are very welcome to select your own theme or to work on one of those I identify below. Just one: I am interested in depth over breadth. Give me a thoughtful, detailed analysis; do not give me all previous thought. Write an essay in which you consider a theme in Paradise Lost in terms of the poem's multiple contexts--Milton's life, his minor poetry and prose, his major prose, the late poems, non-Miltonic literature, and 17th-century history. In other words, select something from the great poem and discuss how an understanding of contexts informs your reading of it. Depending on the theme you choose, some contexts may require more emphasis than others; others may be irrelevant. An ideal essay will touch on at least five different contexts. Here are some suggested themes.

A. Milton's vocation as a writer.

B. Milton's theology.

C. Milton's politics.

D. Milton on temptation.

E. Milton on history.

You may use your books and notes. You are not required to do research in secondary sources; however, if you do, they must be properly documented in your essay. Please identify any quotations that you include by page number or book/line numbers. You will write your essay in class in a large (8.5x11") bluebook, using a blue or black ballpoint pen. It would be wise to bring two bluebooks because I want you to write on only one side of each page. Please use section labels to indicate which contexts you are talking about. If you want to create your essay ahead of time and transcribe it during the examination period, that is just fine with me: low stress, high quality. However, your examination essay should not reproduce anything from your term paper.