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Miltons Paradise Lost

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In a nutshell, what do Adam and Eve say to each other? What happens to nature? Invocation (1-47) ... Adam and Eve suffer DESPAIR. They consider their options: 987ff. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Miltons Paradise Lost


1
Miltons Paradise Lost
  • ENGL 203
  • Dr. Fike

2
Milton Handout
  • Be sure to read this document.

3
Group Work on Your Question
  • 1. Invocation, 1-47
  • What is the tone here?  How is it different from
    the tone in Book 1's invocation?
  • What does Milton say about his blindness?  About
    his muse?
  • 2. Adam and Eve's quarrel, 205-385
  • Why does Eve want to "divide their labors" at
    line 214?  If you really want to be high tech,
    have a look at Milton's Areopagitica, which Eve
    paraphrases in her argument.  The key statement
    is "I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered
    virtue."  See the point of work at 4.325ff.
  • What words are ominous between 248 and 385?
  • 3. Satan, 500ff. 
  • What is up with Hermione and Cadmus?
  • What kind of imagery is Milton using to describe
    Satan?
  • 4. Eve's fall, 385ff. and Adams, 952-59
  • What are the temptations in lines 567-68?
  • How does Satan get Eve to eat the apple?
  • Why does Adam eat the apple?
  • 5. The Fall's results, 790-1131
  • In a nutshell, what do Adam and Eve say to each
    other?

4
Invocation (1-47)
  • Tone Sad/tragic, befitting the coming fall
  • Muse Urania (see line 47 for Ear) she is
    his Celestial Patroness because she is the muse
    of astronomy. Milton does not invoke divine aid
    here as he had in earlier invocations it is now
    always with him.
  • Miltons blindness
  • Grace shines with an inward light.
  • He has lost his sight, but he has gained vision.
  • Parallel to Homer (another blind epic poet).
  • What kind of heroism does Milton celebrate?

5
Adam and Eve's Quarrel (205-385)
  • Eve has the wrong idea about work. What is its
    true purpose? Two things
  • It should make work more enjoyable (4.325ff.).
  • It should manifest obedience to God.
  • This is the first time that Eve initiates a
    discussion with Adam.
  • When Adam points out that they would be safer if
    they stay together, she paraphrases Areopagitica
    at line 335 I cannot praise an fugitive and
    cloistered virtue.
  • Ominous words
  • 248 yield
  • 318 domestick Adam (note what he has just
    said about virtue)
  • 343 O Woman
  • 385-86 from her Husbands hand her hand / Soft
    she withdrew
  • She becomes like Proserpina, whom Dis preyed upon
    in a garden.
  • Feminine masculine passion reason and will
    (see lines 350ff.). Eve assumes the dominant
    role, but she is not prepared (esp. separated
    from Adam/reason) to match wits with Satan.

6
Satan (500ff.) 
  • Hermione and Cadmus
  • Hermione Daughter of Menelaus and Helen,
    married to Neoptolemus (Pyrrhus) after the Trojan
    War later, Orestes killed her husband and
    carried her off. Result a curse on the house
    of Atreus.
  • Harmonia and Cadmus As a wedding present
    Cadmus gave Harmonia a beautiful necklace whose
    history is a bloody trail of misfortune, lust,
    and murder (Miller 124). Beautiful, cursed
    treasure. Harmonia and Cadmus are destined to be
    turned into snakes.
  • POINT Mixing the stories together (not Harmonia
    and Cadmus but Hermione and Cadmus) invokes the
    twin curses.
  • Imagery for Satan
  • Compared to Alexander the Great and Scipio
    Africanus, both of whom are great seducers of
    women.
  • These figures claimed to be gods because their
    mothers had slept with Zeus who appeared in the
    form of a snake.
  • Note his language at 532ff. sibilance
    (snake-like s sounds)
  • Satan leads Eve to the tree on a twisted path at
    632.
  • Labyrinth at 183 suggests sensuality in the
    Renaissance.

7
More on Satan
  • 129 for onely in destoying I find ease / To my
    relentless thoughts
  • On the Morning of Christs Nativity Christ
    forsook Courts of everlasting Day for a
    darksome House of mortal clay Satans entrance
    into the serpent is a parody of this (165).
  • 171ff revenge, envy, spite

8
Description of Satan at 510-14
  • Scipio the highth of Rome. With tract oblique
  • At first, as one who sought access, but feard
  • To interrupt, side-long he works his way.
  • As when a Ship by skillful Stearsman wrought
  • Night Rivers mouth or Foreland, etc.

9
Description of Satan at 510-14
  • Scipio the highth of Rome. With tract oblique
  • At first, as one who sought access, but feard
  • To interrupt, side-long he works his way.
  • As when a Ship by skillful Stearsman wrought
  • Night Rivers mouth or Foreland, etc.

10
Acrostic
  • HH A composition, usually verse, arranged in
    such a way that it spells words, phrases, or
    sentences when certain letters are selected
    according to an orderly sequence.

11
Another Acrostic
  • Let us not slip th occasion, whether scorn,
  • Or satiate fury yield it from our Foe.
  • Seest thou yon dreary Plain, forlorn and wilde,
  • The seat of desolation, voyd of light, etc.
  • --Satan at 1.178-81
  • See 9.900 How are thou lost, how on a sudden
    lost

12
Eve's Fall (385ff., esp. 679-781) and
  • What are the temptations in lines 567-68?
  • Power, vanity, and knowledge
  • See 4.490 Eve notes How beauty is excelld by
    manly grace. Satan tempts her with a position
    about her beauty that she has already deniedand
    it works.
  • Satans other wiles
  • Courtly language
  • Paints her as a goddess at 547 see also 611
  • Tempts her to skip rungs in the Great Chain of
    Being (ventring higher then my Lot at line 690)
  • Arouses her curiosity (550ff.)
  • See lines 684 687 for the essence of
    temptation doe not believe look on mee.

13
How does Satan get Eve to eat the apple?
  • He gets her to substitute false rationality for
    right reason false premise (he ate the apple) ?
    false conclusion (it is okay for her to eat it
    too).
  • He calls God the Threatner (687) cf. Our
    great Forbidder (815) and threatning (939).
  • He LIES says that he has eaten the apple and
    that nothing bad has happened to him (688) and
    that eating the apple will bring happier life
    (697).
  • On the contrary, he says that ye shall be as
    Gods, Knowing Good and Evil as they know
    (708-09).
  • Notice the appeal to the senses at 734ff. Eve is
    hungry and thirsty.
  • She eats the apple at 781.

14
Adams Fall (952-1000)
  • Why does Adam eat the apple?
  • 914 The Link of Nature draw me
  • 956 The Bond of Nature
  • Adam chooses Eve over God.
  • 999 he is fondly overcome with Female charm
  • C.S. Lewis calls Eve a murderer.
  • 831 Adam shall share with me in bliss or woe

15
The Fall's Results (790-1131)
  • 791 gluttony, drunkenness, appetite
  • 800-01 breaking of the 1st commandment
  • 815 blasphemy
  • 820 avarice
  • 828 Eve wants to keep Adam for herself
  • 855 language falls (bland words)
  • 1001-03 nature falls
  • 1008-10 intoxication they feel like gods
  • 1012 1123ff. lust
  • 1029 Zeus and Hera (Iliad 14.315, page 302
    see next slide)
  • 1018 Sapience
  • 1053-65 innocence is gone shame and nakedness
  • 1059 AdamEveSamsonDalilah
  • 1102 parallel to Native Americans
  • 1119-31 chaos has come within see esp.
    1123-31 appetite reason
  • Adam and Eve blame each other
  • Adam at 1134-35 I told you so!
  • Eve at 1155-56 Its not my fault! You should
    have stopped me!

16
Lust
  • Zeus to Hera (who is wearing Aphrodites girdle)
  • For never before has love for any goddess or
    woman
  • so melted about the heart inside me, broken it
    to submission,
  • as now.
  • --Homer, Iliad 14.315-17 (Lattimore, trans.)
  • POINT Classical allusion signals extreme
    negativity as well as disobedience to God

17
Miltons Misogyny
  • Lines 1182-82
  • Thus it shall befall
  • Him who to worth in Women overtrusting
  • Lets her will rule, etc.
  • Allegorically, this means simply that letting
    passion rule reason gets you in trouble.

18
Book 10
  • Adam and Eve suffer DESPAIR.
  • They consider their options
  • 987ff. have no children, let the race die out
  • 1000ff. suicide
  • 1031ff. get revenge on the serpent
  • 1040 suffer their punishment
  • 1053ff. joy in children

19
Book 12 Felix Culpa
  • O goodness infinite, goodness immense!
  • That all this good of evil shall produce,
  • And evil turn to good more wonderful
  • Then that which by creation first brought forth
  • Light out of darkness! full of doubt I stand,
  • Whether I should repent me now of sin
  • By mee done and occasiond, or rejoice
  • Much more, that much more good thereof shall
    spring,
  • To God more glory, more good will to Men
  • From God, and over wrauth grace shall abound. 
  • (12.469-78)

20
A paradise within
  • If Adam and Eve embrace obedience, fortitude,
    faith, patience, temperance, love, and charity,
    then wilt thou not be loath / To leave this
    Paradise, but shalt possess / A paradise within
    thee, / happier farr (12.583-87).
  • POINT Happiness depends on VIRTUE.

21
Expulsion from Eden
  • Still, Adam and Eve must now leave the garden,
    and Milton describes this in the poems last five
    lines (next slide).

22
The Last Five Lines of PL
  • Some natural tears they drop'd, but wip'd them
    soon
  • The World was all before them, where to choose
  • Thir place of rest, and Providence thir guide
  • They hand in hand with wandring steps and slow,
  • Through Eden took thir solitarie way. 
    (12.645-69)
  • ?

23
Key Words
  • Some natural tears they drop'd, but wip'd them
    soon
  • The World was all before them, where to choose
  • Thir place of rest, and Providence thir guide
  • They hand in hand with wandring steps and slow,
  • Through Eden took thir solitarie way.  (12.645-69)

24
Explication
  • natural fallen and mortal also
    understandable cf. natures tears at line 1002
  • They may choose their place of rest, and
    Providence (Gods will) will be their guide.
  • But they may also choose whether or not
    Providence will be their guide. They have FREE
    WILL.
  • wandring Latin errare, to wander the root
    word of error (remember they are now fallen)
    cf. Dantes Inferno wandering in the woods at
    the opening.
  • slow The word takes a long time to say
    therefore, it suggests reluctance and regret.
    The word acts out its meaning.
  • hand in hand This is the good news, a sign of
    their reconciliation.
  • solitarie They are no longer in direct
    communication with God or even with nature, and
    each of them is an isolated soul in human flesh.
  • Thus the poem ends with a snapshot of the first
    marriage and reflects the Puritan idea that
    WAYFARING (journeying) is a metaphor for the
    Christian life. Man and woman (husband and wife)
    are now making their way in the fallen world.
    (Note The Puritans stressed two metaphors for
    the Christian life wayfaring and warfaring.)
    END
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