[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 
this question:

"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]."

PARADISO 26.115-17


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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