This comprehensive study interprets Paradise Lost as a rhetoric of literary forms, by attending to the broad spectrum of literary genres, modes, and exemplary works Milton incorporates within that poem.
Originally published in 1985.
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Barbara Lewalski is William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of English Literature and of History and Literature, and Director of Graduate Studies in English at Harvard University. She has been named honored scholar by the Milton Society of America, and has served as President of that organization and of the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women. Her numerous publications include "Milton's Brief Epic: The Genre, Meaning and Art of "Paradise Regained"" (1966)", Protestant Poetics and the Seventeenth Century Religious Lyric" (1979, winner of the James Russell Lowell Prize of the Modern Language Association)", Paradise Lost and the Rhetoric of Literary Forms" (1985), "Writing Women in Jacobean England" (1993), and "The Polemics and Poems of Rachel Speght" (editor, 1996).From Library Journal:
As in her 1966 study of Paradise Regained , Miltonist Lewalski discusses the poet's involved rhetorical structures. `` Paradise Lost is,'' she asserts, ``an encyclopedia of literary forms which also affords a probing critique of the values those forms traditionally body forth.'' This scholarly book's focus is, aptly, on the second claim. Lewalski argues persuasively that form suggests meaning, that things abstract and invisible are best figured forth through the implications of literary/rhetorical convention. Properly understood, this has practical, interpetational application: e.g., Satan's lack of access to the pastoral mode helps illustrate his impoverished consciousness. Textual analysis is close, argument is tight, and the prose is straightforwardinsights abound. Essential for academic and subject collections. Robert E. Brown, Onondaga Cty. P.L., Syracuse, N.Y.
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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