ENG4455 – Reading Milton’s Paradise Lost

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course will give an introduction to Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost (1667). Through close reading, we will explore the poem’s main thematic concerns and poetic qualities. Since close reading goes hand in hand with contextualization, we will also develop an understanding of the poem’s various aesthetic, historical and intellectual contexts (literary, theological, political).

Alastair Fowler’s annotation of the poem will serve as the main point of entry to Milton scholarship. By writing a research paper, students will learn to engage in the lively critical debate on Paradise Lost.

Learning outcome

After completing this course, you:

  • can read Milton carefully and sensitively,
  • know how to ask productive research questions,
  • can use the library for academic research,
  • have engaged practically with Milton scholarship.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

The minimum number of attendants for the course is 5, the maximum 15.


Seminar, two hours per week for 10 weeks, 20 hours in all.

Attendance is obligatory 8 out of 10 seminars. Additional absences must be justified by documentation to the exam coordinator.

It is also obligatory to submit a first draft of your term paper within a set due date.

All obligatory assignments are only valid the semester you attend the course.


The exam is a term paper of 10 standard pages (4000 words). You will have the opportunity to receive comments on drafts of your paper. You are supposed to work with the assignment throughout the whole semester.

The term paper is the basis for the grade in this course.

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit assignments in Inspera.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

A term paper or equivalent that is passed may not be resubmitted in revised form.

If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Once the course requirements have been fulfilled, they remain valid for the current and the next two semesters that the course is taught.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Reports from periodic evaluations (in Norwegian)

Facts about this course






Autumn 2017


Autumn 2017

Teaching language