By David Loewenstein
Delivering a stimulating creation to 1 of the main influential texts of Western literature, this publication highlights Milton's resourceful bold, in contemplating the heretical dimensions of Paradise misplaced and its theology. It situates Milton's nice poem in its literary, spiritual, and political contexts and comprises a really worthy and newly up-to-date consultant to additional interpreting. First variation Hb (1993): 0-521-39303-5 First variation Pb (1993): 0-521-39899-1
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Extra resources for Milton: Paradise Lost (Landmarks of World Literature (New))
E. external] whitenesse,” Milton asserts that “that which purifies us is triall, and triall is by what is contrary” (YP 2:515–16), including trial which involves active engagement with evil and inner struggle with temptation. Milton’s tract everywhere valorizes energetic conflict and confrontation, much as Paradise Lost will later do: like Eve, as she responds to Adam in their critical pre-temptation discussion in Book 9, Milton argues passionately against “a fugitive and cloister’d vertue, unexercis’d & unbreath’d, that never sallies out and sees her adversary” (YP 2:515).
The relation of Milton’s ambitious prophetic poem to its classical precursors is made even more explicit in the invocation’s subsequent lines describing his advent’rous Song, That with no middle flight intends to soar Above th’ Aonian Mount, while it pursues Things unattempted yet in Prose or Rhyme. 13). The sacred subject matter of his inspired poem, as he asserts in Book 9, is “Not less but more Heroic” (14) than that of his classical precursors whose heroic values his poem continually challenges, subverts, and transcends.
22–3) Milton petitions the Holy Spirit at the outset of his poem, as he is about to begin his adventurous flight. 3]), which he shares with all mankind; on the other hand, it suggests the blind Milton’s enormous potential for inner vision, which he uniquely shares with the prophets of old. We shall have further occasion to examine the issue of poetic creativity and authority in Paradise Lost (section 8). But for the moment we can highlight more concretely the way Milton dramatizes his blindness and the need for internal illumination by looking at the poignant catalogue of loss which concludes his invocation to Light in Book 3: 22 PARADISE LOST Thus with the Year Seasons return, but not to me returns Day, or the sweet approach of Ev’n or Morn, Or sight of vernal bloom, or Summer’s Rose, Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine; But cloud instead, and ever-during dark Surrounds me, from the cheerful ways of men Cut off, and for the Book of knowledge fair Presented with a Universal blanc Of Nature’s works to me expung’d and ras’d, And wisdom at one entrance quite shut out.