[Milton-L] Update on "My Doom" Virus

Derek Wood dwood at stfx.ca
Fri Jan 30 12:49:41 EST 2004

On a list such as Milton-L, I wonder that no one has written speculating about the mentality of a virus infector or a worm breeder. I sometimes ask my undergraduate class to think of Satan as a super-vandal. He has no positive programme, no alternative set of aspirations, no dreams or ideals or objectives of his own, no world of his own designing which God prevents him shaping. He is wholly negative. Only in destroying finds he ease. He will find out what God plans to  make; he will wait for it and then he will spoil that creation. His satisfaction comes from destroying generations he does not know and has not been harmed by and cannot be said to wreak vengeance on.
    The virus spreader will not even oversee the dismay of the sufferer or the resulting mess which at least the arsonist can enjoy. I find such a mind particularly hard to enter into, where I can easily empathise with the thief, the adulterer, the murderer, the miser and even the sadist. Here, there is some sort of inverted lust-fantasy at work, a dream of pain enjoyed, a vicarious savouring of the unwitnessed results of sadism.
    Milton's amazing realisation of this mentality gives the lie (for me) to the old saw that he  was learned in books and not human nature. Milton interiorises such a consciousness even more sensitively, perhaps, than Shakespeare does Iago's. Iago is observed more externally, is he not, than Satan is in PL.IV and elsewhere?
    Best wishes,
    Derek Wood,
    St. Francis Xavier University.
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Carol Barton 
  To: John Milton Discussion List 
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