Week 9 Notes
Popular in British Literature to 1798
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Popular in Foreign Language
Justine Anne Guevarra
verified elite notetaker
This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Shelby Flippen on Thursday April 14, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ENGL 221 at Towson University taught by K. Attie in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 10 views. For similar materials see British Literature to 1798 in Foreign Language at Towson University.
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Date Created: 04/14/16
John Milton’s Paradise Lost 1 Milton’s Background Puritan Beliefs Desires a conservative return to origins Defender of individual conscience in religious matters Opposed Royalists Champion of liberty in all of its forms: religious, political, ideological, social, and domestic a The personal IS political At the end of the great war in 1660, there was a restoration of the English monarchy Milton was devastated b As seen through representation of parliamentary hell and monarchical heaven (ironically) 2 Style Influenced by classical poetry (mythological and Christian allusions) Virgil (Latin) Homer (Greek) No rhyme/blank verse Classical influencers Identity as poet AND activist a. Vernacular poetry b. Viewed rhyme as a kind of royal monarchical order (popular modern bondage) English heroic verse (classical influence with a twist) Epic convention: convocation of the muse a. BUT prayer, hymn b. BUT Christianizes and politicizes pagan tradition of deities (shift from Greek Urania inspiration by Moses or Solomon (old testament) old prophets holy spirit: “Dovelike sot’st brooding” (Book 1, line 21) Use of the word “tempt” in a few forms 3 Themes/Questions to Consider: What is the relationship between: Faith and reason Reason and choosing Choosing and sinning Predestination vs. divine foreknowledge Predestination: predetermined destiny of individual soul a that can be damned or saved (Calvinistic) b no one is predetermined to go to hell (Lutheranism) Predestination vs. providence Providence: god cares and has a plan BUT we can mess up his plan with free will Need for active questioning of religion Faith and reason are NOT mutually exclusive 4 Satan’s Rhetoric General rhetorical power But continually lies People of hell have no loss of free will or reason Represents God as an unjust tyrant (heavenly tyranny) Better off away from the tyrant: “farthest from him is best” (Book 1, line 247) Autonomy in hell: “better to rein in Hell, than serve in Heavn’n” (1, 263) Can reason oneself out of hell (illogical) “The mind . . . can make a Heav’n of Hell, a Hell of Heav’n” (Book 3, lines 254 255) 5 God’s Rhetoric Generally dull rhetoric Discussing Satan losing the light of heaven a Relation to Milton physically losing his sight (spiritual insight thus was strengthened) Plot Invocation of the holy light Reason and choice Choice depends on the ability to compare which necessitates envy – opens the door to sin BOOK 4: Relationship Between Good and Evil 6 Satan’s Soliloquy (lines 32113) Soliloquy: theatrical sense of character’s inner life Demonic Invocation of the muse Invocating light only to curse it: “how I hate they beams” (137) Insightfully admits regret Admits God was no tyrant because he merely required gratitude. a “What could be less than to afford him praise” (46) b God is always giving back his endless thanks, so it’s merely an exchange, not a debt. Debt = freedom. Admits he was bad, so heaven had to make him leave c Play on words: “’sdained” sounds like stained (50) d “Which way I fly is Hell; myself am He” (75) BUT logically and pridefully incapable of submission to God Cannot sincerely submit: “Submission; and that word / Disdain forbids me” (81 82) It would be a greater fall if he tries to go back to heaven God would know he’s still evil, so… 7 Eden Sensual abundance and beauty “A sylvan scene” (140) Restrained As opposed to Spenser’s Bower of Bliss in The Faerie Queene No excess of temptation (with the exception of the tree of knowledge) Juxtaposition of life and death (balance/temperance) “our death the Tree of Knowledge grew fast by [the tree of life]” (221) Difficult to enter BUT devil manages Mankind meant to have temptation/sin? a (Satan’s and) Milton’s argument: (Areopagitica) to understand and appreciate good, one must know bad 8 Adam and Eve Hair Man: short, controlled curls that “manly hung” (302) Woman: “wanton” curls a Connected to the vegetation: needs sexual or perhaps moral taming “vine curls her tendrils” (307) Adam Knowledgeable, but not necessarily wise a “so near grows death to life, whate’er death is” (425) b “inexperienced thought” (457) Eve Tendency to compare bad? a “less winning soft . . . / Than that smooth wat’ry image” (479480) b Due to less free will/choice? 9 Satan’s Argument Invalid because God is testing their obedience rather than necessarily not wanting them to be knowledgeable
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