Promiscuous Listening, Episode 4 Resources

In this episode, Marissa talks with Dr. Ari Friedlander (University of Mississippi) about sexuality and gender in book 4 of Paradise Lost. Here are some resources to support your listening:


  • wanton (e.g., Paradise Lost 4.306): 17th-century meanings range from rebellious to reckless, from playful and carefree to lustful and promiscuous (“wanton, adj. and n.” OED Online. December 2020. Oxford University Press.)
  • prelapsarian: Generally, a state of innocence. In specific relation to Paradise Lost, before the fall of humanity as related in Genesis
  • postlapsarian: Generally, a state of sin and guilt. In specific relation to Paradise Lost, after Adam and Eve’s disobedience to God.


  • Check out Milton’s initial outline for a play titled Adam Unparadised on the website Darkness Visible, a website on John Milton by Christ’s College at Cambridge University.
  • Michel Foucault, author of Discipline and Punish (original French publ., 1975; trans. into English, 1977) and A History of Sexuality (1976-1984; 1978-1986). Click here for the entry on Foucault in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • “Methought I saw my late espoused saint”: This sonnet may be accessed on The John Milton Reading Room as Sonnet 23 in Milton’s Poems (1673).

Select bibliography:

  • Ari Friedlander. “Roguery and Reproduction in The Winter’s Tale.The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare and Embodiment: Gender, Sexuality, and Race, edited by Valerie Traub. 491-505. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.
  • Ari Friedlander, Melissa E. Sanchez, and Will Stockton, eds. “Desiring History and Historicizing Desire.” Special Issue of Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies (2016).
  • David Glimp. Increase and Multiply: Governing Cultural Reproduction in Early Modern England. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2003.
  • Melissa Sanchez. Erotic Subjects: The Sexuality of Politics in Early Modern English Literature. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.

[Episode music courtesy of]

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