Lecture 2 - The Infant Cry of God

author: John Rogers, Department of English, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: May 25, 2011,   recorded: September 2007,   views: 2639
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)
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Description

Milton's early ode, "On the Morning of Christ's Nativity" (1629) is presented and discussed. The author's preoccupation with his standing as a novice poet and his early ambitions, as carefully outlined in the letter to Charles Diodati, are examined. The ode's subject matter, other poets' treatment of the Nativity, and Milton's peculiar contributions to the micro-genre are discussed, including his curious temporal choices, the competitive attitude of his narrator, and the mingling of Christian and classical elements. The rejection of the pagan world in the poem's final stanzas is explicated and underscored as an issue that will recur throughout the corpus. Additional reading assignments for this class meeting include "At a Vacation Exercise in the College" (1628), "On the Death of a Fair Infant" (1628), and "Elegia sexta" (1629).

Resources Handout: The Infant Cry of Our God [PDF]

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