Milton's Cosmos - PowerPoint by o1D45ZcK


									    Milton and the English Revelation
  Part I: Freedom, Deception, & Disguise

       Melissa Brotton, MS, Ph.D.
Department of English and Communication
          La Sierra University
 Milton and The English
    Revolution (1979)
   The Century of Revolution, 1603-
    1714 (1961, 1980)
   Society and Puritanism in
    Prerevolutionary England (1964)
   The World Turned Upside Down:
    Radical Ideas During the English
    Revolution (1972)
   Puritanism & Revolution: The
    English Revolution of the 17th
    Century: Studies in
    Interpretation of the English
    Revolution of the 17th Century
    (1958)                             Christopher Hill 1912-2003
                                       Leading Historian of 17th Century
 Poet-Prophet Motif
   Biblical Tradition
      To receive and to give a sacred message through language that
       illumined and stirred the mind, heart, and spirit
      The poets were God’s last prophets
   English Poet-Prophets since Milton
      Blake
      Wordsworth
      Byron (in reverse)
      Shelley
      Elizabeth Barrett Browning
      W. B. Yeats and T. S. Eliot
 The choice to study Milton
 Academy Experience of reading Paradise Lost
 Personal Spiritual Revival Understanding Milton
    through Adventist doctrine
   Parallels between Milton and Ellen White
   Parallels between Milton and Elizabeth Barrett
   Connections with the Romantic Period
   Experience with Professors
   Desire for a challenge – Lycidas
 Charming Cottages

 Idyllic Pastures

 Villages and Shires

 Farmers and Peddlars

 Transportation by horse
  and carriage
 Death of Shakespeare
   King James Version (1611)
   Baroque Music
    (Gesualdo, Gabrieli,
    Monteverdi, Corelli,
    Vivaldi, Purcell,
   Plague (1665)
   The Great Fire (1666)       The Great Fire of London in 1666,
                                Lieve Verschuier
 Rise in Puritan state        1640
   Regicide of Charles I      1648
   Commonwealth               1649
   Death of Oliver            1658
    Cromwell and Weakened
   Restoration of throne to
    Charles II
Milton loved having house
He would have warmly
 invited you into his
Asked you to sit down and
 stay to dinner,
Asked you if you might
 take down a few lines . . .
                               Milton’s Cottage home in Chalfont
                               St. Giles, Buckinghamshire
Come, and trip it as ye go
On the light fantastic toe,
And in thy right hand lead
  with thee,
The mountain nymph, sweet
And if I give thee honour
Mirth, admit me of thy crew
To live with her and live with
In unreprovèd pleasures free .
  . . . (L’Allegro 33-40)
                                 The Lady of Christ’s College
   Born in London (1608)            Became completely blind
   Entered St. Paul’s (1620)        Lost first wife & son 1652
   Began composing poems            Married Katharine
   Matriculated at Cambridge           Woodcock 1656
   Spent his post-grad years          Lost second wife &
    studying & writing poetry           daughter 1658
   Began private teaching             Imprisoned 1660
    career 1639                        Married Elizabeth
   First political tracts (1641)       Minshull
   Married Mary Powell                Publishes Paradise Lost
    (1642)                              1667
   Poetical & Political Career        Died 1674
 Early Poetry                         Mid-Life Poetry
     At a Solemn Music                  The Sonnets
     Comus Pastoral Play
     Lycidas Elegy                    Mid-Life Political Work
     L’Allegro (Cheerful)               Areopagitica
     Il Pensoroso ( Contemplative)      The Tenure of Kings &
 Early Political Works
   Divorce Tracts                     Late-Life Work
   Anti-Prelatical Tracts
                                         Paradise Lost
                                         Paradise Regained
                                         Samson Agonistes
1643 Parliament orders
  book licensing in a form
  Milton found intolerant.
Under the new order, no
  book was to be printed
  that contained forged,
  slanderous, scandalous,
  seditious, libelous, or

                             Areopagitica, Pamphlet title page
Many of Milton’s statements in Areopagitica formed the
  foundation for the First Amendment.
 Four Main Arguments against censorship (Michael
  Bryson, California State University, Northridge)
   The Catholic Church is the inventor of book licensing.
   Reading is a necessary acquisition of good and evil in a
    fallen world.
   The order was ineffectual in suppressing "scandalous,
    seditious, and libelous books.”
   The order will discourage learning and the pursuit of
Many there be that complain of divine Providence for
 suffering Adam to transgress. Foolish tongues! When
 God gave him reason, he gave him freedom to choose,
 for reason is but choosing; he had been else a mere
 artificial Adam, such an Adam as he is in the motions.
 We ourselves esteem not of that obedience, or love, or
 gift, which is of force: God therefore left him free, set
 before him a provoking object ever almost in his eyes;
 herein consisted his merit, herein the right of his
 reward, the praise of his abstinence. (John Milton,
 Areopagitica, 1643)
There are thousands today echoing the same rebellious
 complaint against God. They do not see that to deprive
 man of the freedom of choice would be to rob him of
 his prerogative as an intelligent being and make him a
 mere automaton. It is not God’s purpose to coerce the
 will. Man was created a free moral agent. (Ellen White,
 Patriarchs and Prophets, 331). 1890.
 Importance of intellectual diversity
 Complex and necessary interplay between good and
  evil in a fallen world –knowing good by evil
 The importance of even wrong ideas
 The educated prophets of the Bible, Moses, Daniel,
  and Paul “were skillful in all the learning of the
  Egyptians, Chaldeans, and Greeks” and that Paul
  “thought it no defilement to insert into Holy Scripture
  the sentences of three Greek poets, and one of them a
  tragedian” (Milton, Areopagitica, 1643)
But if they be of those whom God hath fitted for the
 special use of these times with eminent and ample
 gifts, and those perhaps neither among the priests nor
 among the pharisees, and we in the haste of a
 precipitant zeal shall make no distinction, but resolve
 to stop their mouths, because we fear they come with
 new and dangerous opinions, as we commonly
 forejudge them ere we understand them; no less than
 woe to us, while thinking thus to defend the Gospel,
 we are found the persecutors. (Milton, Areopagtica)
Good and evil we know in the field of this world grow up
 together almost inseparably; and the knowledge of good is
 so involved and interwoven with the knowledge of evil, and
 in so many cunning resemblances hardly to be discerned,
 that those confused seeds which were imposed upon
 Psyche as an incessant labour to cull out and sort asunder,
 were not more intermixed. It was from out the rind of one
 apple tasted that the knowledge of good and evil, as two
 twins cleaving together, leaped forth into the world. And
 perhaps this is that doom which Adam fell into of knowing
 good and evil, that is to say of knowing good by evil.
 (Milton, Areopagitica)
If we think to regulate printing, thereby to rectify
   manners, we must regulate all recreations and
   pastimes, all that is delightful to man. No music must
   be heard, no song be set or sung, but what is grave and
   Doric. There must be licensing of dancers, that no
   gesture, motion, or deportment be taught our youth,
   but what by their allowance shall be thought honest;
   for such Plato was provided of.
It will ask more than the work of twenty licensers to
   examine all the lutes, the violins, and the guitars in
   every house; they must not be suffered to prattle as
   they do, but must be licensed what they may say. And
   who shall silence all the airs and madrigals that
   whisper softness in chambers? The windows also, and
   the balconies, must be thought on; there are shrewd
   books, with dangerous frontispieces, set to sale: who
   shall prohibit them, shall twenty licensers?
For who knows not that Truth is strong next to the
  Almighty? She needs no policies, nor stratagems, nor
  licensings to make her victorious; those are the shifts
  and the defences that error uses against her power:
  give her but room, and do not bind her when she
  sleeps, for then she speaks not true, as the old Proteus
  did, who spake oracles only when he was caught and
  bound, but then rather she turns herself into all
  shapes except her own and perhaps tunes her voice
  according to the time, as Micaiah did before Ahab,
  until she be adjured into her own likeness.
Who knows how truth will take its shape in any given
 time or situation? Truth takes many shapes, according
 to what is needed. Might not Truth even take the
 shape of a lie, like it did in a classical as well as a
 Biblical story we know.
 A sea deity
 His name means “first-
 “The old Man of the Sea”
  (Homer, “The Odyssey”)
 He can answer questions,
  but you have to capture
  him and hold on because
  he changes shape to avoid
  telling the future.
King Ahab, at the bidding of
  King Jeshoshaphat, called
  his prophets together to
  determine whether or not
  he should go to war against
  the king of Syria in order to
  take back Ramoth-gilead.
He gathers all of his prophets
  together to inquire – all his
  prophets, that is, except for
  one. . . .
                                  Ahab Warned by Michaiah.
                                  Ultimate Bible Picture Collection.
                                  Web. Biblios.
Ahab’s courtroom
Ahab: Shall I go to battle against Ramoth-gilead, or shall
  I refrain?
The Prophets: Go up, for the Lord will give it into the
  hand of the king.’
Jehoshaphat: Is there not here another prophet of the
  Lord of whom we may inquire?
Ahab: There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of
  the Lord, Micaiah, the son of Imlah, but I hate him, for
  he never prophesies good concerning me, but only
Messenger: Behold, the words of the prophets with one accord are
  favorable to the king. Let your word be like the word of one of
  them, and speak favorably.
Micaiah: As the Lord lives, what the Lord says to me, that I will
Narrator: And when he had come to the king, the king said to him,
Ahab: Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall we
Micaiah: Go up and triumph; the Lord will give it into the hand of
  the king.
Narrator: But the king said to him,
Ahab: How many times shall I make you swear that you speak to
  me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?
Micaiah: I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, as
 sheep that have no shepherd. And the Lord said,
 “These have no master; let each return to his home in
Narrator: And the king of Israel said to Jehoshephat,
Ahab: Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy
 good concerning me, but evil?’”
Micaiah: Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the
  Lord sitting on his throne, and all the hosts of heaven
  standing beside him on his right hand and on his left;
  and the Lord said . . .
The Lord: Who will entice Ahab, that he may go up and
  fall at Ramoth-gilead
Micaiah: And one said one thing, and another said
  another. Then a spirit came forward and stood before
  the Lord, saying,
Spirit: I will entice him.
The Lord: By what means?
Spirit: I will go out and will be a lying spirit in the
  mouths of all his prophets.
The Lord: You are to entice him, and you shall succeed:
  go out, and do so.
Micaiah: Now, therefore, behold, the Lord has put a
  lying spirit in the mouths of all these your prophets;
  the Lord has declared disaster for you.
Narrator: After hearing the warning, Ahab had Micaiah
  imprisoned. He then went to battle and was wounded in a
  strange way. A stray arrow found its way into a small space
  between his scale armor and his breastplate.
33 And the battle continued that day, and the king was
  propped up in his chariot facing the Syrians, until at
  evening he died. And the blood of the wound flowed into
  the bottom of the chariot.
36 And about sunset a cry went through the army
Army: Every man to his city, and every man to his country.
Truth can take a variety of shapes, even the shape of a lie;
  therefore freedom to print unlicensed books is all the more
  important because what we may think of as a lie may
  actually be Truth in disguise. Even if what we read is evil or
  erroneous, God can still bring blessing out of it.
Milton’s argument that God can use a lie to bring about truth
  is related to an idea we will see in Paradise Lost, the
  doctrine of the fortunate fall.
Might not it be harder to disentangle truth from lies than we
Adam and Eve by Titan   Deciding on a story . . .
                        Milton’s early emphasis on
                         freedom of thought to
                         flourish unrestricted so
                         that truth could come out
                         appears in his epic,
                         Paradise Lost.
                        Milton’s decision to write a
                         story based on the fall of
                         man rested on a human
                         dilemma, or paradox.
 Poetic narrative of
  Scripture with details
  extending from Genesis
  through Revelation
 Reveals the cosmic
  conflict, specifically,
  Satan’s rebellion, as the
  source of human suffering
 More on Milton’s purpose
  to come                     Satan Cast out of Heaven,
                              Gustave Doré
 Narrative: story, history, a series of related events

 Drama: performed story, staged or screened,

 Epic: A long poem depicting a story about a hero’s

 Tragicomedy: A story having the elements of hero
  downfall and uplift
 Movement/Plot           Elevated language
 Chronology              “The content of language”
 Characterization           (Mary Oliver, A Poetry
                             Handbook, 3)
 Sense of expectation
                            Encrypted meanings
 Point-of-view
                            Symbolic meanings
                            Imagery
                            Comparative structures
                            Metered Lines
                            Form Variety/Conventions
 Performance
 Stage Effects
 Scenes
 Characterization
 Audience Distance
 Collapse of time and space between audience and
 stage through suspension of disbelief
 Satan
 Satan’s hosts
 Sin and Death
 The Father
 The Son
 Angels, principally Abdiel, Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel
 Adam
 Eve
 The Serpent
 You
With head uplift above the
  wave, and eyes
That sparkling blazed; his other
  parts besides
Prone on the flood, extended
  long and large
Lay floating many a rood, in
  bulk as huge
As whom the fables name of
  monstrous size. . . .
So stretched out huge in length
  the Arch-fiend lay
Chained on the burning lake. . .
  . (Bk. 1)
                                   Gustave Doré
 In Book III Satan travels from Pandaemonioum through
    space after spawning Sin and Death back to the gates of
   He passes through Chaos and “the Limbo of Vanity” on his
   Next he flies to the sun and finds Uriel, “regent of that orb.”
   He disguises himself as a holy angel, wishing to know the
    way to the new world and the man God has placed there.
   Uriel is at first deceived and instructs him how to get there
One gate there only was, and that looked east
On th’ other side; which when th’ Arch-felon saw
Due entrance he disdained, and in contempt,
At one slight bound high overleaped all bound
Of hill or highest wall, and sheer within
Lights on his feet. As when a prowling wolf,
Whom hunger drives to seek new haunt for prey,
Watching where shepherds pen their flocks at eve
In hurdled cotes amid the field secure,
Leaps o’er the fence with ease into the fold:
Or as a thief bent to unhoard the cash
Of some rich burgher, whose substantial doors,
Cross-barred and bolted fast, fear no assault,
In at the window climbs, or o’er the tiles;
So clomb this first grand thief into God’s fold:
So since into his Church lewd hirelings climb.
Thence up he flew, and on the Tree of Life,
The middle tree and highest there that grew,
Sat like a cormorant; yet not true life
Thereby regained, but sat devising death
To them who lived; no on the virtue thought
Of that life-giving plant, but only used
For prospect, what well used had been the pledge
Of immortality. (Bk. 4. 178-201)
O Hell! What do my eyes with grief behold,
Into our room of bliss thus high advanced
Creatures of other mould, earth-born perhaps,
Not Spirits, yet to Heav’nly Spirits bright
Little inferior; whom my thoughts pursue
With wonder, and could love, so lively shines
In them divine resemblance, and such grace
The hand that formed them on their shape hath poured.
Ah gentle pair, ye little think how nigh
Your change approaches, when all those delights
Will vanish and deliver ye to woe,
More woe, the more your taste is now of joy (358-69).
Then from his lofty stand on that high tree
Down he alights among the sportful herd
Of those four-footed kinds, himself now one,
Now other, as their shape served best his end
Nearer to view his prey, and unespied
To mark what of their state he more might learn
By word or action marked; about them round
A lion now he stalks with fiery glare,
Then as a tiger, who by chance hath spied
In some purlieu two gentle fawns at play,
Straight couches close, then rising changes oft
His couchant watch, as one who chose his ground
Whence rushing he might surest seize them both
Gripped in each paw: when Adam first of men
To first of women Eve thus moving speech,
Turned him all ear to hear new utterance flow. (395-410)
Gabriel Speaks:
Ithuriel and Zephon, with winged speed
Search through this garden, leave unsearched no nook,
But chiefly where those two fair creatures lodge,
Now laid perhaps asleep secure of harm.
This ev’ning from the sun’s decline arrived
Who tells of some infernal Spirit seen
Hitherward bent (who could have thought?) escaped
The bars of Hell, on errand bad no doubt:
Such where ye find, seize fast, and hither bring. (782-87)
So saying, on he led his radiant files,
Dazzling the moon; these to the bower direct
In search of they sought: him there they found
Squat like a toad, close at the ear of Eve;
Assaying by his devilish art to reach
The organs of her Fancy, and with them forge
Illusions as he list, phantasms and dreams,
Or if, inspiring venom, he might taint
Th’ animal spirits that from pure blood arise
Like gentle breaths from rivers pure, thence raise
At least distempered, discontented thoughts,
Vain hopes, vain aims, inordinate desires
Blown up with high conceits engend’ring pride. (797-809)
So spake the Enemy of mankind, enclosed
In serpent, inmate bad, and toward Eve
Addressed his way, not with indented wave,
Prone on the ground, as since, but on his rear,
Circular base of rising folds, that tow’red
Fold above fold, a surging maze, his head
Crested aloft, and carbuncle his eyes:
With burnished neck of verdant gold, erect
Amidst his circling spires, that on the grass
Floated redundant: pleasing was his shape,
And lovely, never since of serpent kind
Lovelier. . . .
                           With tract oblique
At first, as one who sought accéss, but feared
To interrupt, sidelong he works his way. (Bk. IX.494-512)
. . . .when contrary he hears
On all sides, from innumerable tongues
A dismal universal hiss, the sound
Of public scorn; he wondered, but not long
Had leisure, wond’ring at himself now more;
His visage drawn he felt to sharp and spare,
His arms clung to his ribs, his legs entwining
Each other, till supplanted down he fell
A monstrous serpent on his belly prone,
Reluctant, but in vain; a greater power
Now ruled him, punished in the shape he sinned,
According to his doom: he would have spoke,
But hiss for hiss returned with forkèd tongue
To forkèd tongue, for now were all transformed
Alike, to serpents all as áccessóries
To his bold riot: . . .(Bk. 10. 506-20)
. . . dreadful was the din
Of hissing through the hall, thick swarming now
With complicated monsters, head and tail,
Scorpion and asp, and amphisbaena dire,
Cerastes horned, hydrus, and ellops drear,
And dipsas (not so thick swarmed once the soil
Bedropped with blood of Gorgon, or the isle
Ophiusa); but still the greatest he the midst,
Now dragon grown, larger than whom the sun
Engendered in the Pythian vale on slime,
Huge Python, and his power no less he seemed
Above the rest still to retain; they all
Him followed issuing forth to the open field (Bk 10.521-533)
              There stood
A grove nearby , sprung up with this their change,
His will who reigns above, to aggravate
Their penance, laden with fair fruit like that
Which grew in Paradise, the bait of Eve
Used by the Tempter: on that prospect strange
Their earnest eyes they fixed, imagining
For one forbidden tree a multitude
Now ris’n, to work them further woe or shame;
Yet parched with scalding thirst and hunger fierce,
Though to delude them sent, could not abstain,
But on they rolled in heaps, and up the trees
Climbing, sat thicker than the snaky locks
That curled Megaera: greedily they plucked
The fruitage fair to sight, like that which grew
Near that bituminous lake where Sodom flamed;
This more delusive, not the touch, but taste
With spattering noise rejected: oft they assayed,
Hunger and thirst constraining, drugged as oft,
With hatefullest disrelish writhed their jaws
With soot and cinder filled;
                     so oft they fell
Into the same illusion, not as man
Whom they triúmphed once lapsed. Thus were they
And worn with famine, long and ceaseless hiss,
Till their lost shape, permitted, they resumed,
Yearly enjoined, some say, to undergo
This annual humbling certain numbered days,
To dash their pride, and joy for man seduced.

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