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Miltons Paradise Lost ENGL 203 Dr. Fike. Milton Handout Be sure to read this document.

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Presentation on theme: "Miltons Paradise Lost ENGL 203 Dr. Fike. Milton Handout Be sure to read this document."— Presentation transcript:

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? –What happens to nature?

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 a 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 H&H: 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) 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 1 st 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: Adam:Eve::Samson:Dalilah 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. Thus the poem ends with something that is period-specific.) END


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