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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Milton's Two Cents

Paradise Lost...if you're hungry after reading this, go feast on the whole work.  Otherwise, enjoy the snack of a few profound statements from our friend, Milton.  Just realize that it won't be the same without the full richness of the context.  Paradise Lost is the epic to end all epics.  It is hard to read this for class because it's so intense.  It would be a little bit like spending an afternoon sitting by the ocean...and then being told that you're going to be given a test to assess your experience by the sea.  Ah...it just shouldn't be done!  But the work should be studied...hahaha...impossible to have both.  I submit to the study of it...but look forward to savoring it for years to come without having to analyze it for a grade.  :)


Paradise Lost

On the value of thankfulness as a concept: "...a grateful mind by owing owes not but still pays, at once indebted and discharged."

Satan's view of reality (and eerily similar to mine when I am not walking with the Lord...): "Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven."

Satan's realization of what he has lost (emphasis on the nature of goodness):  "All good to me is lost."  (Wow...what a statement of finality and severance from God...the source of all good!)

Satan's theory of what would happen if it were possible for him to repent and regain the glories of Heaven: "ease would recant vows made in pain."  (He knows that he wouldn't stay in Heaven even if given the chance because submission disgusts him utterly and that is the only posture Heaven knows.)

On the one forbidden tree in Eden: "Knowledge of good bought dear by knowing ill."

On the complementary relationship between Adam and Eve: "For contemplation he and valor formed, For softness she and sweet attractive grace, he for God only, she for God in him."

On the place of physical labor in Eden: "Man hath his daily work of body or mind appointed which declares his dignity."

Eve's view of submission to Adam as her head: "God is thy law, thou mine; to know no more is woman's happiest knowledge and her praise."

On the innocence of Adam and Eve they were commanded by the angel Gabriel: "Know to know no more." (In other words, know enough to be content with what you  know.  Knowing more is death itself.)

Adam on the proper place for delight as well as labor in Eden: "...smiles from reason flow...  For not to irksome toil, but to delight He made us and delight to reason joined."

Adam's rationale for letting Eve work by herself for a while: "Short retirement urges sweet return."

Milton on the wife's role in marriage: "Safest and seemliest by her husband stays, who guards her or with her the worst endures."

On fleeing temptation: "Trial will come unsought."

The scene when Adam and Eve separate, leaving Eve vulnerable to deception: "Thus saying, from her husband's hand her hand soft she withdrew...her long and ardent look his eyes pursued, Delighted yet desiring more her stay."

The position of Satan and his motives for tempting Eve: "...save what [pleasure] is in destroying, other joy to me is lost."

Milton emphasizes beauty over reason in relationship to the innocence and simplicity of Eden.  Therefore, it is marked that when Satan guides Eve to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, he "makes intricate seem straight."  He strips the complexity away and reasons her into sinning.  Complexity as reason for worship...???  Hm...there are several academic papers in there if necessary....and even more joy-of-writing papers I'm sure...

As Eve eats the fruit: "Greedily she engorged without restraint and knew not eating death." (both that she was eating death and the death was eating her...oh...wow...)

After Eve eats the fruit: "Earth felt the wound."

Adam's conscious decision to choose Eve over God: "So forcible within my heart I feel the bond of nature draw me to my own, my own in thee, for what thou art is mine.  Our state cannot be severed, we are one.  One flesh, to lose thee were to lose myself."


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