Forsyth Neil

Forsyth Neil

Contact Curriculum Research Publications

Research areas

Littérature britannique
Early Modern literature

John Donne

Spatial studies

John Milton
The Satanic Epic, a book published last year by Princeton University Press, sets out to read Paradise Lost from the perspective Milton provides for us, the figure of Satan, and tries to show why this is important. There are chapters on the history of Satan within the Judeo-Christian tradition, on Milton's own situation, and on such related matters as witchcraft and astronomy. The book is mainly a close reading of the poem from Satan's point of view, with students in mind

The Devil
My book, the Old Enemy: Satan and the Combat Myth, offfers a narrative history of the devil, the opponent or adversary, from the earliest times, the Epic of Gilgamesh, up to the writer who defined Christian belief for the Middle Ages, Augustine. Further research has now been included in The Satanic Epic

Shakespeare and Film
A series of articles on films of Shakespeare plays, which use the basic languages of film as a way to read the differences of interpretation. The supernatural in Macbeth films (and the play itself) is the focus of one such article, of the supernatural in comedies another

Exploration of the ways in which modern writers and filmmakers use classic texts as their points of departure. Apart from work on Dickens films, this research is ongoing and has not yet been published

The English Alps
Explorations of the various links between the English and the Alps, and the ways in which the two cultures interact both historically and in present circumstances. So far only a little has been published of this research, which is being carried out in collaboration with Digby Thomas and with the Fonds National Suisse

La Construction de l'Humaine
An ongoing project, of which a long article on the Romantic Prometheus, especially Frankenstein, has now been published by Payot. This work is part of my collaboration with the Programme in Comparative literature



Projets FNS

Landscape and habitats of the Alps
PNR 48 : Habitats et paysages de l'arc alpin


Contracts and mandates

Biographie de John Milton
grant-giving organisation: LionHudson
Etude vulgarisante de la vie de John Milton pour l'année de son 400ème anniveraire. En anglais




Skakespeare_the_illusionist.png (Skakespeare_the_illusionist)

Forsyth, Neil. Shakespeare the Illusionist. Magic, Dreams, and the Supernatural on Film. Ohio University Press, 2019

In Shakespeare the Illusionist, Neil Forsyth reviews the history of Shakespeare’s plays on film, assessing what filmmakers and TV directors have made of the spells, haunts, and apparitions— Puck and the fairies, ghosts and witches, or Prospero’s island—in his plays. A bold step forward in Shakespeare and film studies.

ISBN: 9780821446478

Publisher's Website



Forsyth, Neil. John Milton: A Biography. Oxford: Lion Hudson, 2008.

John Milton was born in 1608 and in the late 1630s he travelled to the Continent where he met, among others, Galileo and Grotius. A staunch republican, he served as Latin secretary to Oliver Cromwell during the Commonwealth. After the restoration of Charles II his life was probably saved by his fame as a poet. He was thrice married, his first two wives dying after childbirth. This serious yet accessible biography by a renowed Milton scholar tells the story of Milton's fascinating and troubled life on both the personal and political level.

ISBN: 9780745953106

Publisher's Website



Forsyth, Neil and Tournu C., eds. Milton: Rights and Liberties. Peter Lang: Bern, 2007.

On July 14th, 1790, a key figure in the French Revolution honoured Milton as a founding father of the French republic. In the light of this connection, it was appropriate that the 8th International Milton Symposium (7-11 June 2005) was held in Grenoble, cradle of the French Revolution. But the connection of Milton and Rights takes us well beyond the specific link with France, and the fascinating selection of essays assembled in this volume, many by leading Milton scholars, addresses the question in the poetry as well as the prose. Milton's fervent but changing attitude to liberties is debated from various points of view, so that the volume contains essays on topics ranging from the musical adaptations of Samson Agonistes to its angrily argued parallel with contemporary terrorism, from air pollution in Paradise Lost to Milton's supposed Puritanism and putative parallels with a French pornographer.

ISBN: 9783039112364

Publisher's Website



Forsyth, Neil. The Satanic Epic. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003.

The Satan of Paradise Lost has fascinated generations of readers. This book attempts to explain how and why Milton's Satan is so seductive. It reasserts the importance of Satan against those who would minimize the poem's sympathy for the devil and thereby make Milton orthodox. Neil Forsyth argues that William Blake got it right when he called Milton a true poet because he was "of the Devils party" even though he set out "to justify the ways of God to men." In seeking to learn why Satan is so alluring, Forsyth ranges over diverse topics--from the origins of evil and the relevance of witchcraft to the status of the poetic narrator, the epic tradition, the nature of love between the sexes, and seventeenth-century astronomy. He considers each of these as Milton introduces them: as Satanic subjects. Satan emerges as the main challenge to Christian belief. It is Satan who questions and wonders and denounces. He is the great doubter who gives voice to many of the arguments that Christianity has provoked from within and without. And by rooting his Satanic reading of Paradise Lost in Biblical and other sources, Forsyth retrieves not only an attractive and heroic Satan but a Milton whose heretical energies are embodied in a Satanic character with a life of his own.

ISBN: 978400825233

Publisher's Website



Forsyth, Neil, ed. Reading Contexts. SPELL 4. Tübingen: Gunter Narr, 1988.

ISBN: 9783878088448

Publisher's Website



Forsyth, Neil. The Old Enemy: Satan and the Combat Myth. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987.

ISBN: 9780691014746

Publisher's Website



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