English 3311: John Milton

Dr. Mark Womack Spring 2015
Roy Cullen 235B
Office Hours:
MW 7:00-8:00 (& by appointment)

Time Room Section
T/Th 8:30–10:00 Agnes Arnold Hall 208 #19634

Required Texts

Milton’s Selected Poetry and Prose
(Norton Critical Edition)
Jason P. Rosenblatt, ed.
Paradise Lost
(Norton Critical Edition)
Gordon Teskey, ed.

Course Policies


You should attend all of every class. Be in class on time with your reading done and your text in hand. I don’t take roll, but I don’t take kindly to students who skip class or arrive late either. It is your responsibility to find out, from your classmates, what you missed when you are not in class.


You will write ten Analytical Observations on texts discussed in class and two Essays that focus on reading Milton’s language closely. The Final Exam will be in essay format and will be comprehensive. Assignments not submitted on time will receive a zero. I never assign extra credit or make-up work. I discuss grades only in private, and only forty-eight hours (at least) after I have returned an assignment.

Cell Phones

You may not use cell phones in class. Keep your cell phone turned off and out of sight from the moment the class starts until the moment it ends. Every time I see or hear your cell phone during class, I will deduct ten points from your Final Average. (Notify me before class begins if there is an emergency situation that absolutely requires you to leave your cell phone on.)

Laptops & Tablets

You may use your laptop or tablet computer only for taking notes, accessing the class website, or other specifically class-related work. If you use it to IM, e-mail, play games, shop, or any other such activity during class, you lose ten points from your Final Average and forfeit your right to bring the device to class for the rest of the semester.

Blackboard Learn

You will submit your Essays, and Final Exam on-line through Blackboard Learn:


I will make all course materials — including the syllabus, assignment sheets, handouts, and so on — available on the class website:

Course Grade
Analytical Observations 25%
Essay 1 25%
Essay 2 25%
Final Exam 25%

Numerical Values of Letter Grades
A+ (100–97) A (96–93) A- (92–90)
B+ (89–87) B (86–83) B- (82–80)
C+ (79–77) C (76–73) C- (72–70)
D (69–60)
F (59–0)

Schedule of Readings & Assignments

Week One
T 1/20 Introduction
Review of instructions, policies, and syllabus
Th 1/22 Assignment for Essay 1
“On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity” (3–13)
Week Two
T 1/27 English Sonnets: 7, 13, 18, 19, 20, and 23 (79–90) and “Milton’s ‘How Soon Hath Time’” (472–84)
Th 1/29 “The Passion,” “On Time,” “Upon the Circumcision,” “At Solemn Music,” and “On Shakespeare” (19–24)
Week Three
T 2/3 “L’Allegro” and “Il Penseroso” (25–34)
Th 2/5 A Masque Presented at Ludlow Castle [Comus] (37–68)
Week Four
T 2/10 A Masque Presented at Ludlow Castle [Comus] (37–68)
Th 2/12 “Lycidas” (69–75)
Week Five
T 2/17 Areopagitica (333–80)
Th 2/19 Paradise Lost, book 1 (2–26)
Week Six
T 2/24 Paradise Lost, book 1 (2–26)
Th 2/26 Paradise Lost, book 2 (26–55)
Week Seven
T 3/3 Paradise Lost, book 3 (55–76)
Th 3/5 Paradise Lost, book 4 (77–105)
Week Eight
T 3/10 Assignment for Essay 2
Paradise Lost, book 4 (77–105)
Th 3/12 Paradise Lost, book 5 (105–32)

SPRING HOLIDAY: 3/16 — 3/21

Week Nine
T 3/24 Paradise Lost, book 6 (132–58)
Th 3/26 Paradise Lost, book 7 (158–77) and Genesis 1 (307–08)
Week Ten
T 3/31 Paradise Lost, book 8 (177–95)
Th 4/2 Paradise Lost, book 9 (196–229) and Genesis 1 (310–11)
Week Eleven
M 4/6 Last Day to drop a course or withdraw with a “W”
T 3/31 Paradise Lost, book 9 (196–229)
Th 4/2 Paradise Lost, book 9 (196–229)
Week Twelve
T 4/14 Paradise Lost, book 10 (229–59)
Th 4/16 Paradise Lost, book 11 (260–84)
Week Thirteen
T 4/21 Paradise Lost (284–303)
Th 4/23 Samson Agonistes (153–204) and Judges 13–16 (451–57)
Week Fourteen
M 4/27 ESSAY 2 DUE
T 4/27 Samson Agonistes (153–204)
Th 11/27 Review for Final Exam
Final Exam
T 5/12 The final will be available on Blackboard Learn all day on May 12.
You will have three hours to complete the exam.
On the honor system, you may use your text books during the exam but no other materials.

Your instructor, Mark Womack, reserves the right to amend any policies listed here with sufficient written and verbal notice.

Page Last Updated: 19 August 2016