[Milton-L] help interpret a line

Rose Williams rwill627 at cox.net
Tue Jan 20 11:53:45 EST 2004

Milton had a classical disregard for English word order. In a convoluted
justification worthy of a universtiy student with outstanding debate skills,
Satan has said: "Since knowing good and evil would be beneficial to you, God
cannot punish you for seeking the beneficial. If He does, He isn't  just, he
isn't God, and therefore is not to be feared. Since you fear Him, He must be
God and just; therefore he can't hurt you for seeking the beneficial. Your
very fear of Him proves he is God and He won't hurt you for seeking what is
best.  So your fear of death, by showing that He is God, removes the fear of
death, because as God He must be just. Whew!

 the order can probably best be understood as:
Your fear (of God) itself removes the fear of death.
Rose Williams
----- Original Message ----- 
From: <mdanenichols at joimail.com>
To: <Milton-L at koko.richmond.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, January 20, 2004 5:04 PM
Subject: [Milton-L] help interpret a line

> Could someone provide an analysis of line IX.702: "Your fear
> itself of death removes the fear"?
> Thank you, Dane
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