A study of John Milton’s poetry, his engagement with the cultural, social, and political struggles of the English Revolution, and his surprising influence on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American letters and religion. The focus of the course will be on Milton’s major poems, Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, and Samson Agonistes, as well as some of the earlier works, such as Comus and Lycidas. The semester will conclude with a consideration of Milton’s American legacy. We will examine, first, Thomas Jefferson and his contemporary, the freed slave Olaudah Equiano, as avid eighteenth-century readers of Milton. We turn next to the nineteenth century, with an examination of the religions of Mormonism and Seventh-Day Adventism, both of which were shaped at their founding by Paradise Lost.