[Milton-L] Is Paradise Lost

Yuko Nii wahcenter at earthlink.net
Tue Apr 14 16:26:56 EDT 2009


Guys:
One final point. I think you must all go back to "Flannagan's  
mirror" (thanks Roy) and bounce around  the concep. I think it has  
relevance to what is thought to be great and why.

And Jeffery, I never could find the colorful visual imagery and the  
philosophical depth in Shakespeare I found in Milton. I revere Hamlet  
and King Lear and all the rest. But I could never be inspired to paint  
them because they do not lend themselves to fantastic extraordinary  
visions; nor do I find in Shakespeare implications to Plato's Theory  
of Forms or Aristotle's permutations of possibility and actuality, and  
all of the rest of the great ideas with which i am perpetually  
engaged, at least without without reaching. I will not say Milton is  
greater than Shakespeare. Shakespeare certainly grasps the human  
condition and the human dilemmas and is brilliant in presenting them.  
Apples and oranges, I guess. Love them both. Terrance




  Terrance
On Apr 14, 2009, at 3:47 PM, Horace Jeffery Hodges wrote:

> Bets on this Canonical Face-Off can now be placed online:
>
> http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/2009/04/discussory-channel-presents-canonical.html
>
> In humor,
>
> Jeffery Hodges
>
> --- On Tue, 4/14/09, Horace Jeffery Hodges <jefferyhodges at yahoo.com>  
> wrote:
>
> From: Horace Jeffery Hodges <jefferyhodges at yahoo.com>
> Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Is Paradise Lost
> To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
> Date: Tuesday, April 14, 2009, 1:50 PM
>
> Jeffrey Shoulson wrote:
>
> "Until the MLA gets some sense and realizes the commercial value in  
> instituting a playoff system, we'll never the know the real answer  
> to this question anyway."
>
> Jeffery Hodges concurs:
>
> That's not a bad idea, but I think that the competition should be  
> held like "Animal Face-Off" on the Discovery Channel.
>
> 'Shakespeare was a playwright who wrote some of England's greatest  
> dramas. Milton was a poet who wrote what is disputably the greatest  
> poem in English. But whose words had greater power? On Discussory  
> Channel today, we'll see Shakespeare and Milton pitted against one  
> another in a wild poetry slam to answer once and for all this  
> overwhelming question.'
>
> Jeffery Hodges
>
> --- On Tue, 4/14/09, Jeffrey Shoulson <jshoulson at mail.as.miami.edu>  
> wrote:
>
> From: Jeffrey Shoulson <jshoulson at mail.as.miami.edu>
> Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Is Paradise Lost
> To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
> Date: Tuesday, April 14, 2009, 11:24 AM
>
> Until the MLA gets some sense and realizes the commercial value in  
> instituting a playoff system, we'll never the know the real answer  
> to this question anyway.
>
> Jeffrey S. Shoulson, Ph. D.
> Associate Professor of English and Judaic Studies
> University of Miami
> PO Box 248145
> Coral Gables, FL 33124-4632
>
> (o) 305-284-5596
> (f) 305-284-5635
>
> jshoulson at miami.edu
> www.as.miami.edu/english/people/#jshoulson
>
>
>
> On Apr 14, 2009, at 11:53 AM, Peter C. Herman wrote:
>
>>
>> I don't suppose it would matter to anyone that in the early modern  
>> period, the term "poet" encompassed both drama and verse. There are  
>> "poets" in theatres as well as bookstalls.
>>
>> pch
>>
>> At 08:39 AM 4/14/2009, you wrote:
>>> It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors--Oscar  
>>> Wilde
>>>
>>> Of course, Wilde wasn't a poet either...another stringer together  
>>> of "emotionless words [...] for their own sake" no doubt.
>>>
>>> Michael Bryson
>>>
>>>
>>> ---- Original message ----
>>> Date: Tue, 14 Apr 2009 11:30:12 -0400
>>> From: jonnyangel <junkopardner at comcast.net>
>>> Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Is Paradise Lost
>>> To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> The only thing I’ll give Bill’s Sonnets (which have never left  
>>> the top of my toilet, where I’ve read them for years on the  
>>> crapper) is that he eventually got little playful with the form,  
>>> whereas Milton never did. But I’m not talking about Sonnets.  
>>> Shakespeare’s sonnets mean nothing – they’re transparent,  
>>> emotionless worrds strung together for their own sake. Look at  
>>> Milton’s, especially the one’s where he muses about how his  
>>> time was spent. Shakespeare’s “poetry†isn’t transcendent  
>>> because it didn’t “mean†anything. I hate to mention that  
>>> anti-Semite/Milton-hater Ezra Pound, but at the very least he knew  
>>> that emotion in poetry was its only transcendent quality.
>>>
>>> And yes, Shakespeare “could†be both a Playwright AND a poet  
>>> (and even a plumber), but he wasn’t. He was a playwright, and  
>>> his sonnets pale in comparison to Milton’s, and comparing the  
>>> two as “poets†is like comparing an orange to motor oil.
>>>
>>> And I don’t need to “limit†Shakespeare by stating that he  
>>> wasn’t a poet...hell, he did that all by himself.
>>>
>>> I love Shakespeare, but the guards changed with Milton.
>>>
>>> And thank God for the changing of the guards.
>>>
>>>
>>> J
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
>>> Coral is far more red, than her lips red:
>>> If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
>>> If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
>>> I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
>>> But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
>>> And in some perfumes is there more delight
>>> Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
>>> I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
>>> That music hath a far more pleasing sound:
>>> I grant I never saw a goddess go,
>>> My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
>>> And yet by heaven, I think my love as rare,
>>> As any she belied with false compare.
>>>
>>> -Bill
>>>
>>> When I consider how my light is spent,
>>>     E're half my days, in this dark world and wide,
>>>     And that one Talent which is death to hide,
>>>     Lodg'd with me useless, though my Soul more bent
>>> To serve therewith my Maker, and present
>>>     My true account, least he returning chide,
>>>     Doth God exact day labour, light deny'd,
>>>     I fondly ask; But patience to prevent
>>> That murmur, soon replies, God doth not need
>>>     Either man's work or his own gifts, who best
>>>     Bear his milde yoak, they serve him best, his State
>>> Is Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
>>>     And post o're Land and Ocean without rest:
>>>     They also serve who only stand and waite.
>>>
>>> -M
>>>
>>>
>>> On 4/14/09 9:34 AM, "Josh Fischer" <josh at louisvillegolf.com> wrote:
>>>
>>> As my favorite Wendell Berry likes to espouse - a human is  
>>> irreducible, and to reduce Shakespeare to only a playwright is to  
>>> reduce him to the parts of him that are popular and ignore the  
>>> beauty of his sonnets, which gather less press but are impressive  
>>> nonetheless.
>>>
>>> He can be both - playwright and poet, and to reduce him is to  
>>> limit his greatness. Limitations are needless, especially when  
>>> there are so many actual limitations placed on us by being human.
>>>
>>> We are all such "complicated monsters."
>>>
>>> - Joshua Fischer
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>>
>>> From:  jonnyangel < mailto:junkopardner at comcast.net>
>>>
>>> To: John Milton Discussion List < mailto:milton- 
>>> l at lists.richmond.edu>
>>>
>>> Sent: Tuesday, April 14, 2009 8:05  AM
>>>
>>> Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Is Paradise  Lost
>>>
>>>
>>> Thank you Marlene.
>>>
>>> But Shakespeare *wasn’t* a  poet. Not that it’s a “bad† 
>>> thing, but he was a playwright.
>>>
>>> Milton...now that’s a poet. And I will deny Shakespeare as a  
>>> poet till  the day I die, unless a real poet shows me something I  
>>> missed.
>>>
>>> “I've  been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn and a  
>>> king
>>> I've been up  and down and over and out and I know one thing
>>> Each time I find myself  layin' flat on my face
>>> I just pick myself up and get back in the  race.â€
>>>
>>> (Thank you Frank.)
>>>
>>> And yes, I say Shalom and mean it, but  Shakespeare isn’t going  
>>> to dig himself out of his grave and write poetry  either way.
>>>
>>> And BTW, Keats, Chaucer and Pope couldn’t catch Milton if  you  
>>> dug them all up now and gave them a 200 year head start. You see,   
>>> time doesn’t exist.
>>>
>>> And it sure as hell ain’t ever gonna change  the facts.
>>>
>>> Peace, Love, and Billy Jack,
>>>
>>>
>>> J
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On 4/14/09 6:40 AM, "Marlene  Edelstein"  
>>> <malkaruth2000 at yahoo.co.uk >  wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>> Shalom? Shalom? If it's peace and harmony you're  after don't go  
>>> about calling Shakespeare a one-trick pony and denying that  he's  
>>> a poet. Why the need to establish a hierarchy of the greatest? My  
>>> love  of poetry and language was nurtured by by both Shakespeare  
>>> and Milton (and  Keats, Chaucer and Pope, by the way); returning  
>>> to either is a  rebirth.
>>>
>>>               Marlene  R.  Edelstein
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> believe  everything, believe nothing
>>>
>>> --- On Tue, 14/4/09, jonnyangel  <junkopardner at comcast.net >  wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>> From: jonnyangel <junkopardner at comcast.net >
>>> Subject:  Re: [Milton-L] Is Paradise Lost
>>> To: "John Milton Discussion List"  <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu >
>>> Date:  Tuesday, 14 April, 2009, 10:55 AM
>>>
>>> Re: [Milton-L] Is Paradise Lost  Yes, Yes, and Yes. PL is the  
>>> greatest work of literature in the “English† Language; how  
>>> could it not be? And you really can’t compare Shakespeare to   
>>> Milton (or vice versa), because Bill was a playwright and John was  
>>> (first  and foremost) a poet. But you you can compare them with  
>>> regard to  the fact that both were writer’s, and both wrote in  
>>> the English language.  Shakespeare was a phenomenal verbal  
>>> linguist, and you can’t deny that. But  Milton was a poet (which  
>>> is something Shakespeare simply wasn’t), AND  Milton could also  
>>> handle an epic narrative, multiple characters, temporal  space,  
>>> and the single largest topic that exists: Man/Woman, Heaven/Hell,   
>>> God/Satan, and all of the binaries of life’s Black/White  
>>> morality forming  grey areas that are still being sought, fought,  
>>> and argued over in the  21st century.
>>>
>>> Look, when it comes to the heavyweights, whether  it’s Milton/ 
>>> Shakespeare or Frazier/Ali, it’s all subjective. Is Godzilla  â 
>>> €œgreater†than King Kong? Is an electrolyte imbalance “greaterâ 
>>> € than  cancer? They can (and often will) take you to the same  
>>> place at the end of  the day.
>>>
>>> But if I could be fortunate enough to have an escort to  that  
>>> place, I hope Milton is my escort.
>>>
>>> Shakespeare, for all of  his brilliance, was a one trick pony.  
>>> Milton was a jack of many trades,  and the master of most of them.
>>>
>>> Even though you can argue someone  till you’re blue in the face  
>>> that PL is the greatest work of English  Literature ever written,  
>>> you will still get arguments to the contrary –  but there are  
>>> other factors/variables in the equation to be considered.
>>>
>>> Shakespeare carved out his slice of the pie, and Milton served up   
>>> the rest.
>>>
>>> Shalom,
>>>
>>> Jonathan B. Colburn
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On 4/14/09 12:22 AM, "Alan Rudrum" <alanrudrum at gmail.com>  wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>> the greatest single work of  literature in the English language,  
>>> as was stated on this list  recently?
>>>
>>> Certainly it might be argued that it is; but when I  raised the  
>>> question with the scholar nearest to hand, we said  simultaneously  
>>> "What about King Lear?"
>>>
>>> And then there is Wordsworth's Prelude,  which begins with a  
>>> meaningful echo of Samson Agonistes, - not  every Milton scholar  
>>> of my acquaintance managed to see this for  himself,- and speaks  
>>> at least as well as Paradise Lost to the  concerns of many people  
>>> one would hesitate to condemn as  stupid.
>>>
>>> Alan Rudrum
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
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