[Milton-L] help interpret a line

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Wed Jan 21 18:11:02 EST 2004

James Rovira wrote:
> So while Milton's Satan is very much his own creation, for PL to "work,"
> and especially to "justify the ways of God to men," this Satan has to
> have something in common with current ideas about Satan during Milton's
> time. 

I would not accept the argument that for PL to "work," it must "justify
the ways of God to men" (or to women either for that matter). That it
flagrantly fails to do for me (since I do not take the premise of the
existence of god as even worth debating)  --  _unless_ one sees its
"God" as nothing but (nor nothing less) than an element in a poem. The
"justification" does not work "outside" the poem because its premise,
the metaphysical worth of "free choice for the sake of free choice," is
simply absurd as a perspective on "reality naked," however impressive as
an element in the poem.


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