[Milton-L] Re: help interpret a line

ZámbónéKocic Larisa larisa at galamb.net
Mon Jan 26 17:21:43 EST 2004

Not to disagree with the notions below, I just want to remark that God did much more then merely declared "Because I said so!" as most of us parents tend to do to brush of the tedious task of explanation :-) After all, he did send Rafael to instruct the human pair (quite resonable, after all, if we abide by the premise that God created them reasonable creatures - which Milton isists upon quite forcefully - then it is not mechanical obedience that he expects but one based on reasoning, "authors to themselves in all / both what they JUDGE and what they choose." Not that remembering His love towards them is not an act of reasoning  and judging accordingly :-)))
With respect, 

Ps. "Because I said so" parents remind me of Disney modeled parents like Ariel's father Triton in the Little Mermaid.... Triton might have some resemblance with Michelangelo's rendering of the Father, but surely nothing do with Milton's God :-)

> Make Eve (as Marjorie Hope Nicolson did, for a similar argument) a sixteen
> year old. The benevolent parent (God) has forbidden her to date the 25
> year-old with whom she believes herself "in love," without wanting to
> explain why: the standard parental logic "BECAUSE I SAID SO!" obtains. If
> Eve believes that the parent loves her, she does as bidden (Ophelia, giving
> Hamlet back his gifts). If she's hell-bent on doing as she pleases (and the
> phrase is an apposite one here) she dates the young man anyway---and suffers
> the consequences of the ignorance from which obedience to the parental
> command would have protected her. (Eve pre-enacts this when she leaves
> Adam's side, again with a specious argument: "Whatsamatter, you don't think
> I'm smart enough to handle Satan alone? How am I 'free,' strait'n'd by a
> Foe?" and so on.
> Milton is not arguing against the use of right reason (far from it!), but
> against the self-serving abuse of reasoning by which we entrap ourselves and
> justify that which we should know better than to do because it comports with
> our *desires*---not our intellects---as Gardner has suggested.
> Best to all,
> Carol Barton

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