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Teaching Paradise Lost at Iranian Universities: A Cultural Study
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Volume 2, 2015
Issue 2 (May)
Pages: 22-27   |   Vol. 2, No. 2, May 2015   |   Follow on         
Paper in PDF Downloads: 21   Since Aug. 28, 2015 Views: 1728   Since Aug. 28, 2015
Mahdi Shafieyan, Department of Foreign Languages, Imam Sadiq University.
Studies on Milton have always decorated the pantheon of English literature since he is, as critics hold, the most challenging and the most inventive to a modern reader; that is because he is not limited to literature but explores political, religious, and gender domains, among others, as well as, according to recent studies, racial issues. Sometimes he is called a metaphysical poet for his difficult language, so working on him gives students a familiarity to the school's features. Besides, a course on Paradise Lost would be an introduction to the last Renaissance man’s masterpiece, the era which bore other great writers such as Shakespeare and Marlow. However, the problem begins when we see the present trend in the field English Literature that can complete its work without studying the important works in the literary history. Wordsworth had also the same argument in The Preface to the Lyrical Ballads: “The invaluable works of our elder writers … the works of Shakespeare and Milton, are driven into neglect by frantic novels, sickly and stupid German Tragedies, and deluges of idle and extravagant stories in verse”. To examine this problem beside its reasons and solutions, the researcher in this article tries to bring forth the ways Milton’s Paradise Lost, as a hard(-core) poem, could be taught. The study starts from the university courses at the B.A. to M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in order to present a level-wise piece of research. The main focus in this regard will be on students as foreign language learners; therefore, the Iranian universities will be taken as the case study. It is needless to say that the investigation homes in the cultural aspects that might help or hinder both teachers and students to take an easier path to the comprehension of this magnum opus.
Paradise Lost, Teaching, Iranian Universities, Cultural Study, Milton
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