[Milton-L] Milton's use of rhetoric

Josh Scodel jscodel at uchicago.edu
Tue Mar 2 10:13:34 EST 2004

Hi.  The repetition seems to me a version of ring-structure (as it is 
usually called) central to Homer and other narrative oral poetry as 
well as to the Bible, where the repetition of elements serves to mark 
out a memorable unit (small or large).  Ring-composition, in 
imitation of Homer, is often found in secondary/tertiary epic as an 
epic marker and is also a feature of Biblical and Biblical-influenced 
composition (so presumably doubly attractive to Milton!).  While 
ring-composition often involves inverted repetition (A-B-C-C-B-A), 
Milton's A-B-A pattern is the basic module.  The particular resonance 
of the device in the  Milton passage, as in Hector's speech cited by 
John Leonard, is of course context-specific.


Josh Scodel

Joshua Scodel
Professor of English, Comparative Literature, and Interdisciplinary 
Studies in the Humanities
Chair, Dept. of Comparative Literature
Editor, Modern Philology
Resident Master, Burton-Judson Courts
University of Chicago
1050 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL  60637
jscodel at midway.uchicago.edu
(773) 702-8501
(773) 702-5101

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