If they put that up on the marquis at the Chicago Theater, I doubt they could sell any tickets. My Milton professor likes to joke, "I'd love to just sit down and have a beer with so many of the greats -- James Joyce, Wordsworth... Shakespeare! Me and Shakespeare'd get roaring drunk! But not Milton. I wouldn't have a drink with him. What the hell would I have to say to Milton?"
Dr. Johnson ("This Dr. Johnson, not the other!" -- also a running joke) doesn't doubt that Milton has plenty to say, but what do you say back to someone who is so learned, so poetically gifted, so...temperate? If he were here, I don't know that he would enjoy a drink with any of us.
I'm taking a break from Milton midterm studying to do a big brain dump and ask a quick question, one I've asked here before. What the hell is "studying"?
Do you re-read everything? Re-skim it? Write stuff down? And what do you write down? In high school, in undergrad, I never really had to study, except to reread the philosophy a couple of times. I took notes in class, retained them in my noggin. I don't think that will continue to fly in grad school, especially reading a hundred pages a week per class.
Here's what I'm doing -- I made a chronological list of the works we've read, dated them, and wrote summaries of them from memory with key terms for each (i.e. pastoral elegy). Now I'm going to go back with the book and add in anything important that I missed. This is mostly for piece identification, since the essay is open book.
How do you study? Really, I'd like to know.