Thursday 13 May 2021, 5.15PM
Speaker(s): Sarah Knight (University of Leicester)
Sarah Knight is Professor of Renaissance Literature in the School of Arts at the University of Leicester. Much of her work has focused on early modern student life across Europe, on what authors wrote at or about institutions of learning (schools, colleges, universities, and Inns of Court). Professor Knight is particularly interested in writers who worked multilingually, writing and reading in older and newer languages as well as English, and is currently editing Milton’s Latin works the Prolusiones and the Epistolae Familiares, and Fulke Greville’s English plays Alaham and Mustapha.
This talk will focus on Milton’s Latin writing, especially the Latin letters, speeches and poems he wrote as a student. The rhetorical training he and his contemporaries received at school and university encouraged Milton’s interest in ‘Asiatic’ prose oratory, while the style and subject-matter of his Latin elegies show tendencies which later aesthetic classifiers might call ‘baroque’. The talk will explore how Milton’s rhetoric and poetics relate to what we might think of a broader phenomenon of ‘student baroque’, characterized by ambition, erudition, experimentation and effort.
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