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 an essay on a provided topic as well as preparing for the exam, 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.


Seminars, 2 hours per week for 14 weeks. 28 hours in all.

Obligatory activity:

  • Attendance is obligatory 11 out of 14 seminars. Read more about rules concerning valid excuses and how to apply for approved absences or postponements here. Please note that absence exceeding 50 % of all seminars may not be approved, regardless of any excuses.
  • An assignment turned in by a stated deadline.

All obligatory activities must be approved for you to sit the exam. All obligatory activities must be approved in the same semester. Once the course requirements have been fulfilled, they remain valid for the current and the next two semesters that the course is taught.


The form of assessment is a 4–hour written examination.

Assessment guidelines

Written examination

The written examination is conducted in the digital examination system Inspera. You will need to familiarize yourself with the digital examination arrangements in Inspera.

Read more about written examinations using 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

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

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 2019


Autumn 2019

Teaching language