Tag Archives: Paradise Lost

Warning Labels for the Classics

Suggestions that certain classics come with “trigger warnings” leads of the following reflection.

Posted in Chaucer (Geoffrey), Homer, Milton (John), Sir Gawain Poet, Sophocles, Wilde (Oscar) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Milton Would Call Paul Ryan a Wolf

Paul Ryan’s hypocrisy about the poor deserves a Miltonian rebuke.

Posted in Milton (John) | Also tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Pullman Is of the Devil’s Party

Philip Pullman based “Dark Materials” on “Paradise Lost” but came up with a theological muddle.

Posted in Blake (William), Milton (John), Pullman (Philip) | Also tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Last of Mohicans–America’s Great Epic?

An argument that “Last of the Mohicans” is the great American epic that 19th-century authors were striving to write.

Posted in Cooper (James Fenimore), Milton (John) | Also tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Satan Strikes Again, This Time in Aurora

The shootings in Aurora, Colorado call forth literary works about evil stalking the world, including “Beowulf” and “Paradise Lost.”

Posted in Beowulf Poet, Milton (John) | Also tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

The Brave New World of Twitterature

Depending on your point of view, literature reduced to tweets is either comic or horrifying.

Posted in Austen (Jane), Flaubert (Gustave), Forster (E.M.), Kafka (Franz), Milton (John), Proust (Marcel), Salinger (J. D.), Steinbeck (John) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Sin = Separation from Creation

Seeing sin more as human separateness from creation than as disobeying God may be a more powerful way to teach the concept to today’s students.

Posted in Marlowe (Christopher), Milton (John) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

A Bulimic Sees Herself in Milton’s Satan

One of my students who suffers from bulimia finds her condition mirrored in Satan’s rebellion against God.

Posted in Milton (John) | Also tagged , , | 3 Comments

The Most Delicious Feast Ever Served

For a description of a luscious Thanksgiving feast, turn to the luncheon that Eve prepares for Archangel Raphael in Book V of “Paradise Lost.”

Posted in Milton (John) | Also tagged , , | 2 Comments

A Paradise within Thee, Happier Far

By the end of “Paradise Lost,” John Milton has discovered a powerful response to suffering.

Posted in Milton (John) | Also tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Lost Paradise Syndrome in Tucson

Spiritual Sunday As I teach Beowulf for the umpteenth time, I am struck once again by its beautiful rendition of the Genesis creation story. I’m also struck by how the invocation of that beauty calls forth human horror. Exploring the linkage provides some insight into the mass killings we have almost come to expect. The […]

Posted in Beowulf Poet, Milton (John) | Also tagged , , , , | Comments closed

Gratitude, God’s Great Gift

  Spiritual Sunday I have been teaching Paradise Lost this past week so, in the spirit of the Thanksgiving weekend, I share here some of Milton’s insights into gratitude. Let me start with the prayer of gratitude that Adam and Eve offer up to God in Book IV. They have been working in the garden […]

Posted in Milton (John) | Also tagged , , | Comments closed

A Poem for Heroes and Mass Murderers

Since the World Cup is underway in South Africa, I watched Clint Eastwood’s Invictus last week, about the 1995 World Cup Rugby Tournament held in South Africa.  Based on a true story, the film notes that, while in prison, Nelson Mandela, like many black South Africans, would root against the South African rugby team, beloved […]

Posted in Uncategorized | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Trusting that Good Can Come from Ill

Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus What have I learned about literature and pain this past week? First, that writers have taken up the topic, just as they take up every aspect of human existence. They imagine what it is like to feel pain and, through poetic images and fictional stories, convey that experience to readers. By entering […]

Posted in Marlowe (Christopher) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Father-Son Conflict: The Comic Version

  In yesterday’s post I began giving an account of a car conversation I had with my two sons regarding stories that explore father-son relationships, as well as my desire for a story in which fathers and sons collaborate to handle the world’s challenges.  Darien, my older son, felt that the archetypal conflict as it […]

Posted in Uncategorized | Also tagged , , , , , | Comments closed


  • Literature is as vital to our lives as food and shelter. Stories and poems help us work through the challenges we face, from everyday irritations to loneliness, heartache, and death. Literature is meant to mix it up with life. This website explores how it does so.

    Please feel free to e-mail me [rrbates (at) smcm (dot) edu]. I would be honored to hear your thoughts and questions about literature.

  • Sign up for weekly newsletter

    Your email will not be shared or sold.
    * = required field

    powered by MailChimp!
  • Twitter Authentication data is incomplete