British Lit - John Milton's Paradise Lost
British Lit - John Milton's Paradise Lost EH 203
Jacksonville State University
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kimberly Burke on Thursday March 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to EH 203 at Jacksonville State University taught by Dr. Gates in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 19 views. For similar materials see Survey of English Literature I in Foreign Language at Jacksonville State University.
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Date Created: 03/03/16
British Lit – John Milton – Paradise Lost (Books 1, 2, 9, 12) • Poet – England’s prophetic bard o Alludes to crises in his own life – vocation choice, death of friends, marriage disappointment, blindness o Wrote about Western concepts taking form in his lifetime: companionate marriage, new science, freedom of the press, religious liberty & toleration, republicanism o Wanted to glorify England & the English language in poetry o Wrote pastoral elegy “Lycidas” – one of the greatest funeral elegies § Explores Milton’s deep anxieties about his vocation, terrors of morality in language, & apocalyptic diatribe to corrupt Church of England clergy o Wrote a funeral elegy for sister Anne’s daughter & educated her sons • Style o Pastoral – mode of early poems o Epic poems – mode of end poems o Models – Virgil & Spenser o Began by writing occasional poetry in Latin o Achieved a stylistic tour de force – wrote companion poems in octosyllabic couplets with entirely different sound, rhythm, & moods o Revolutionized genre with Petrarchan metrical structure with an urgent rhetorical voice & using the small sonnet form • Resembles Spenser is use of myth & archetype & readiness to juxtapose biblical stories to classical stories • Comes from Bourgeois family – cultured, staunchly protestant • Wrote “antiprelatical tracts” – denounces & satirizes bishops • Fought for reformed poetry, domestic liberty through needful divorce, & free press to reform English culture • Wanted to educate readers in moral & political wisdom & virtue • Pg.1900 – description of how Milton almost defied definition of Epic to write Paradise Lost • Working on behalf of a more democratic rule • 1660 – The Restoration – return to the monarchy • Milton has potential to be executed o Friends that knew he was a good poet saved him o Saw himself as more of a political exile o Spent 10+ years working for the commonwealth o Loosing his eyesight – tried leeches to heal his eyes o Some people see autobiography in his Satan character § Bad guy in revenge tragedy • “When I consider . . .” – pg.1942 o Sonnet on admiring Shakespeare o Knows he is near blind o Asking if he has to work for God even though he’s blind o Answered by Patience – reconciliation can be faith oriented without preaching everyday – patience & waiting • Paradise Lost o Characters st § Adam – 1 man and representative of humankind § Eve – 1 woman, representation of womanhood, approached by Satan as a serpent, falls to temptation of the fruit § God – all-knowing, all-powerful being, foresees Satan’s activities & humanity’s fall, extends His grace & brings forth good from evil § Messiah – only son of God, created to overthrow Satan & his legions in the War in Heaven, granted His wish to sacrifice Himself to redeem humanity § Michael – warrior angel that comes to Adam to foretell the future of mankind, chief of angelic forces in the War in Heaven, God’s messenger to tell Adam & Eve of their banishment & death § Gabriel – chief of the angelic guards in Paradise, leader in the War in Heaven § Raphael – God’s messenger to warn Adam of Satan & of Adam’s passionate adoration for Eve § Uriel – regent of the sun, angel, fails to see Satan in disguise as a lesser angel & directs the evil spirit to Paradise, tells Garbriel that an evil spirit entered § Abdiel – angelic servant of God, rewarded by God’s praise & the first blow against Satan in the war against rebel angels § Satan – Lucifer, chief of fallen angels, adversary to God & humanity § Sin – Satan’s daughter, born from Satan’s brain without a mother, keeper of Hell’s gates, mother of Death § Death – son of Sin & Satan, rapes Sin & causes a pack of dogs to torture her, would kill his mother if he knew if wouldn’t cause his destruction § Beelzebub – Satan’s chief lieutenant, works Satan’s will § Belial – fallen angel, favors peace & no fighting § Moloch – fiercest fallen angel, worshipped in later years with human sacrifice § Mammon – materialistic fallen angel, favors peace, wants to raise an empire to rival Heaven • Digger in the earth, makes Mulciber’s work possible § Mulciber – aka Vulcan, Mammon’s chief engineer & architect, in favor of open warfare o Epic, epic heroism o Protagonist – domestic couple instead of martial heroes – heroic martyrdom o Aspects of Epics § In media Res – Books 5,6,7 are backstory - in the middle of things • Raphael tells Adam how the world began § Focus on patience of Adam & understanding of Eve rather than battle hero o The Fortunate Fall – allowance God made room for to let Adam & Eve to make a choice b/c of future actions to come (Passion) o Epic Simile – “as when”/ “as whom” – multi-line comparison to a familiar association, usually include allusions § Pg.1950 – compare to other giant creatures § Pg.1951 – landscape of hell to other things that have been written about § Pg.1986 – Satan is getting the key out of Hell, sneaking out • Classic simile to ships hitting rocks to Satan leaving Hell § Pg. 2115 – Columbus • Adam & Eve ate the fruit, fallen, realize they are naked, ashamed • Nakedness to how Columbus found America o Pg. A 48 – diagram that Milton follows § Ptolemy’s theory was replaced by Copernicus’ § Ptolemy – sun revolves around planets § Copernicus – planets revolve around sun § Milton met Galileo, knew of Copernicus, chose to use Ptolemy’s work o Milton is the “I” voice at some places o Calls out to Urania – muse of astronomy & Moses’ inspiration – pg.1946 o Flashy showoff of classical & biblical references o Fallen angels licking their wounds in dark space § Satan wants to create counterforce for revenge for being kicked ndt of Heaven o Beelzebub – 2 in command to Satan – advocate, doing major speech making before Satan o Pg.1952 line 263 – glad to be the ruler, assertion of badness o Satan addresses the assembly – pg.1963 line 756 § Mulciber – another name for Vulcan, open war § Belial – pg.1967-1969 § Mammon – make the most, pg.1969 § Beelzebub – destroy practice, pg.1971 • Pg.1972 – corrupt them or bring them to our side – infiltrate paradise o Satan volunteers – Beelzebub made the speech to lead up to the heroic moment o End of Book 2 § Milton organizes Unholy Trinity – Death, Sin, & Satan • Counter to Holy Trinity – Father, Son, & Holy Spirit § Satan negotiates to get key out of Hell § Chaos – personified, lets Satan out of hell o Book 3 § Pg.1991 line 227 - Milton’s is original with the idea that Messiah/Son volunteered • God knows it is going to happen • Defeat death by rising from the dead o Book 5 – Abdiel chooses not to fall o Book 6 – Abdiel says “Better to serve in Heaven” – counter to Satan’s line earlier o Book 9 § Satan is manipulative & slips past Uriel • Uriel reports the slip to Gabriel, Gabriel warns Adam § Climax pg.2108 line 781 • Eve wowed by upright/talking serpent speaking o Tells her she can have parallel powers • Before – Eve is introduced, has a foreboding dream o Given task of encouraging Adam to let them work separately – advantage to serpent § Conceit – work for Paradise • Both eat fruit, fall begins • Philosophical thought o Eve contemplates keeping knowledge from Adam o Adam knows it’s bad, Eve doesn’t • Adam feels he has to eat it too b/c he makes the choice to be doomed with her – partnership o Pg.2102 – Can I get another wife/give up another rib § Eve is part of him – honorable decision o Pg. 2114 – 2116: Bickering o Satan thinks he will be received as a hero when he returns but receives boos in the form of hisses
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