ENG480.001 [Major Authors: Crossing Traditions]

The Question of Sin in the Works of John Milton and Neil LaBute

Fall 2007

Prof. Eileen Joy



Figure 1. image from New York production of Neil LaBute's Reasons to be Pretty (July 2008)

Always remember your most important Lovejoy Library resources:

I-Share (allows you to request books from other universities in Illinois that are not available at Lovejoy Library)

Illiad (allows you to borrow books and articles from universities outside the Illinois system of libraries)

Online Journal Databases: Academic Search Premier, JSTOR, Project Muse, MLA International Bibliography, Oxford English Dictionary  

I. Milton Studies

First: consult critical essays in our Norton Critical Edition of Milton's Paradise Lost (paying attention, also, to critical sources referenced in those essays), and also consult the suggestions for further reading at the back of this edition.

Second: consult the critical sources available on Milton and Paradise Lost on the Luminarium website here:

Essays and Article on John Milton (Luminarium)

*special note: you may not use the essays marked with an "s" (for student essay) as secondary sources, but you would be well served to read these exemplary essays by students such as yourselves, since it will give you some insight in how to write critically on Milton's poetry.

Third: consult the excellent list of bibliographical and online resources on Milton's life and work put together in the 1 August 1999 issue of Early Modern Studies:

R.G. Siemens, "Milton's Works and Life: Select Studies and Resources"

*special note: scroll down to see an excellent bibliography of criticism on Paradise Lost, arranged under the sub-headings: Broad Studies & Introductions; Theological Context; Narrator, Reader, and Argument; Epic, and Considerations of Form; War on Heaven; Eden, Edenic Life, and the Fall; and Further Considerations

Fourth: consult Dartmouth University's bibliography of recent criticism on Milton's work:

John Milton, Selected Criticism: 1987-2004

Fifth, and Finally: be aware that there are two major academic journals solely devoted to Milton's life and work (issues of the Milton Quarterly from 1997-2000 are available via Project Muse):

Milton Quarterly

Milton Review

II. Neil LaBute

a. Contemporary Academic Criticism:

Bigsby, Christopher. Neil LaBute: Stage and Cinema. Cambridge Studies in Modern Theatre. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Olson, Duane. "Fall, Creation, and Redemption in Neil LaBute's The Shape of Things." Journal of Religion and Film 8.1 (April 2004): no pagination (electronic journal).

Saal, Ilka. "Let's Hurt Someone: Violence and Cultural Memory in the Play's of Neil LaBute." New Theater Quarterly 24.4 (Nov. 2008): 322-36.

Rasband, R.W. "Without Mercy? Neil LaBute as Mormon Artist: A Consideration of Your Friends and Neighbors, Bash, The Mercy Seat, and The Shape of Things." Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 36.2 (Summer 2003): 217-223. Available electronically at http://dialoguejournal.metapress.com/link.asp?id=uxfpbaq2xabd8p0h.

Telotte, J.P. "LaBute's Frankenstein, or the Postmodern Prometheus." Literature/Film Quarterly 35.4 (2007): 330-36.

Wood, Gerald C., ed. Neil LaBute: A Casebook. New York and London: Routledge, 2006.

b. Interviews and High Cultural Critique:

Baitz, Jon Robin. "Neil LaBute." BOMB 83 (Spring 2003); available at bombsite.com.

Jordan, Pat. "Neil LaBute Has a Thing About Beauty." The New York Times Magazine. 25 March 2009.

"Neil LaBute's Fat Pig." Radio Interview with Neil Conan. Talk of the Nation (National Public Radio). 19 Jan. 2006.

Welch, Rosalynde. "An Interview with Neil LaBute." Times & Seasons. 19 Jan. 2005.

Yabroff, Jenny. "Playing the Game." Salon.com. 1 Aug. 1997.