[Milton-L] help interpret a line
R. Allen Shoaf
rashoaf at clas.ufl.edu
Mon Jan 26 06:50:33 EST 2004
At 03:33 PM 1/25/2004, you wrote:
>But is it the fruit itself or the act of disobedience that gives "new
>knowledge"? And would that knowledge have ranked as wisdom if the
>disobedience had not occurred? Is the mortality of the tree's "mortal
>taste" in the tree or in the act of tasting?
Perhaps it will be of interest here to recall another who tried to answer
"Or, figliuol mio, non il gustar del legno
fu per sé la cagion di tanto essilio,
ma solamente il trapassar del segno."
"Now, my son [says Adam to Dante], not the tasting of the tree [lit., wood]
was through itself the cause of so great an exile [i.e., the Fall],
but solely the transgression of the boundary [also: limit, marker, sign]."
R. Allen Shoaf, Alumni Professor of English 1990-93
Fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities 1982-1983 & 1999-2000
University of Florida, P.O. Box 117310, Gainesville, FL 32611-7310
Senior Editor, EXEMPLARIA, ras at ufl.edu
FAX 352.392-0860; VOICE 352.371-7149; 352.392-6650 x 264
725 NE 6th Street, Gainesville, FL 32601-5567
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