[Milton-L] help interpret a line

Robert Wiznura WiznuraR at macewan.ca
Tue Jan 20 13:14:02 EST 2004

I, personally, take the desire for analysis as an indication of the significance of this line. Rhythmically, the line is extremely regular, unlike the lines that surround it. The line swallows easily and is easy to read: eye candy. We arrive at the line with a sense of relief, even if the content evades us. The paradox itself also delights, whether or not it concludes the argument. I liken it to Eve's "For good unknown, sure is not had, or had / And yet unknown, is as not had at all" (IX, 756-7). We can unravel it, but being lost in the tangle of the logic or non-logic is precisely the point. I had a student this morning attempt to read the latter line three times: she failed every time to read each word or follow the word order correctly. The logic is insular and really leads nowhere. Satan manages to present this insularity "with guile" that delights (at least it is easier to read aloud). Eve's attempt to work through is awkward and confusing and muddled. Both are indications as to what is going on at this moment in the poem. 
Such are my thoughts.

Robert Wiznura
>>> mdanenichols at joimail.com 01/20/04 10:04AM >>>
Could someone provide an analysis of line IX.702: "Your fear
itself of death removes the fear"? 

Thank you, Dane 
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Dr. Robert Wiznura
Grant MacEwan College
CCC 5-177C
(780) 409-3919
wiznurar at macewan.ca

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