[Milton-L] taylor v smith, shakespeare v milton

Berglund, Lisa BERGLUL at BuffaloState.edu
Mon May 19 12:23:27 EDT 2008

I have always found more success in engaging students with Milton when I
talk about how difficult he is than if I try the soft sell. Yes, some
bail out immediately but most want to accept the challenge that Milton
poses. I often specifically observe that Milton is more difficult than
Shakespeare, who (as the most commonly taught early modern writer) is
the average college student's benchmark of literary obscurity. In
effect, Milton dares them to be his "fit audience though few" and many
students want to rise to the bait.


Lisa Berglund, Ph.D. 
Associate Chair, English Department 
Buffalo State College, SUNY 
Executive Secretary, Dictionary Society of North America 
http://polyglot.lss.wisc.edu/dsna/ <http://polyglot.lss.wisc.edu/dsna/>

Work: 716-878-4049; Fax: 716-878-5700 
berglul at buffalostate.edu 


Greg Machacek wrote, in part: I hate it that we have "sell" the guy to
an intellectually lazy generation, but if he's going to survive at all,
it will be as a result of how well we do sell him to them.  Because, on
another level, the Battle of the Bards is always going on.  And Milton's
true opponents aren't Shakespeare and Chaucer, but "My Name is Earl,"
"The Matrix," and "Grand Theft Auto IV." 

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