Overview: One of the most annoying obstacles to studying Milton is also one of its greatest strengths: Milton’s poetry and prose is highly allusive, and thus its study is intertextual. It sometimes seems as if Milton had all the learning of the ages (science, philosophy, classics, theology, rabbinics, and history) at his fingertips. Undergraduates are often snowed by the enormous learning Milton exhibits in Paradise Lost and elsewhere.
The World Wide Web and hypertext offer a virtual (though partial) solution to this problem, and thus a way to take advantage of Milton’s learnedness when teaching undergraduates. Most of Milton’s poetry is now available in electronic form for easy downloading. A group of scholars, organized by Richard Creamer of the University of Richmond, is transcribing Milton’s prose. Soon the entire corpus will be available in electronic format.
This project will create a website that will become a study center for Milton’s poetry and prose, where HTML versions of his works are 1) presented in standard formats, 2) hypertextually linked amongst themselves for ease of study and reference, 3) hypertextually linked to other sites that represent Milton’s huge body of learning, and 4) searchable both as parts and as a whole.