Start Date:

This class isn't on the schedule at the moment, but save it to your Wish List to find out when it comes back!
If you're enrolled in an upcoming date, this simply means that date has now sold out.

Midtown, Manhattan
247 West 37th St 5th Fl
Btwn 7th & 8th Avenues
New York, New York 10018
Save to WishList

4 people saved this class

Class Level: All levels
Age Requirements: 21 and older
Average Class Size: 14

What you'll learn in this lecture class:

What, if anything, should paradise mean to us right now? Paradise Lost, John Milton’s seventeenth-century epic of the Fall, which begins with “man’s first disobedience,” constitutes a heroic attempt to “justify the ways of God to men.” 

A poem that shifts from rebel angels waging war in heaven to the pageantry of hell to Adam and Eve in the lush confines of the Garden of Eden, Paradise Lost wrestles with questions of human freedom, divine providence, political organization, religious tolerance, the relationship between church and state, the possibility of marriage between equals, and—crucially—the nature of good and evil. 

This canonical epic in blank verse, far from reproducing a doctrinaire version of the story of Adam and Eve, invents an entire mythology and, along with it, a poetic moral calculus uniquely expressive of Milton’s contradictory position in an age of civil war and radically changing social formations.

In this course, students will read the whole of Paradise Lost in the context both of Milton’s poetic career and of the poem’s complex and curious reception, with particular attention to Milton’s meditations on the nature of paradise. 
  • Is the figure of Satan—“better to reign in hell than serve in Heaven”—best understood as the embodiment of pure malevolence or as a tragic hero? 
  • Was Milton, as the Romantic poet William Blake put it, “of the Devil’s party without knowing it”? 
  • To what degree do Adam and Eve bear responsibility for their exile from Eden? 
  • Is the Fall of Man, in fact, a fortunate fall? 
  • How should we think about the operations of gender and desire over the course of the poem? 
  • What are the poem’s politics and to what degree do they map onto the frameworks of the English Civil War and the Restoration? 
  • How have readers ranging from Andrew Marvell to the Romantics to contemporary scholars understood the poetic, philosophical, and historical implications of this monumental work in verse?

Still have questions? Ask the community.

Upon request, we will refund the entire cost of a class up until 1 week before its start date. Students who withdraw after that point but before the first class are entitled to a 75% refund. After the first class: 50%. After the second: 25%. No refunds will be given after the third class.


Google Map
Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

All classes at this location
Start Dates (0)

This class isn't on the schedule at the moment, but save it to your Wish List to find out when it comes back!

Benefits of Booking Through CourseHorse

Booking is safe. When you book with us your details are protected by a secure connection.
Lowest price guaranteed. Classes on CourseHorse are never marked up.
This class will earn you 3150 points. Points give you money off your next class!
Questions about this class?
Get help now from a knowledge expert!
Questions & Answers

Get quick answers from CourseHorse and past students.

Reviews of Classes at Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

(10 Reviews)

School: Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research was established in 2011 in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. Its mission is to extend liberal arts education and research far beyond the borders of the traditional university, supporting community education needs and opening up new possibilities for scholarship in the...

Read more about Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

CourseHorse Approved

This school has been carefully vetted by CourseHorse and is a verified NYC educator.

Want to take this class?

Save to Wish List
Taking this class for work? Get exclusive perks & discounts for free. Learn More