[Milton-L] St. John and Jeremiah

Jameela Lares Jameela.Lares at usm.edu
Wed Mar 17 08:23:39 EST 2004

Dear Alice,

Best wishes on finishing your dissertation.  I have interlineated a few

> 1. Has any of you ever heard an echo of Jeremiah in the allusion to St. 
> John in the beginning of Book IV?

Not particularly, though there may be something to it.  The warning voice is
typical of prophets, not just Jeremiah.  It is true, of course, that both are
saying "Woe"--typical of the "jeremiad"--and in fact the epic presents a similar
prophetic situation where the warned persons do not respond.  On the other, I
think that if Milton specifically intended a reference to Jeremiah he would have
left further clues.
> 2. What is the difference, if any, between Milton's conception of 
> grammatical mood and Ramus', given that Ramus believed it to be a 
> function not of grammar but of free will?

If anyone can answer this question, it will be Linda C. Mitchell of San Jose
State University, who has probably read more early modern grammars than anyone
else living.  She's done unpublished work on Milton's grammar and its larger
context.  (Plus see her _Grammar Wars_, Ashgate, 2001.)  She's also mired in
several deadlines, but I'll send your query along to her.

> 3. Would Milton have agreed with Ramus that grammar, rhetoric and logic 
> should be distinct?

It depends on what you mean by "distinct."  Milton was no abecedarian, and his
"fuller" logic fleshes out Ramus's skeletal system.  Elizabeth Skerpan-- who
should probably weigh in here--has recently published on Milton as a logician
(Dictionary Literary Bibliography, 281; surely available from your library and
probably online at that).  

If you'll forgive the self-promotion, I also have a little publication on the
question of how Milton differed from Ramus in his take on Quintilian.  Since it
came out in an international proceedings from Spain, it's hard to find, but I'll
be happy to send you a photocopy if you'll give me a mailing address.

> - Alice Berghof <aberghof at es.nacs.uci.edu>


Jameela Lares
Associate Professor of English
The University of So. Mississippi
118 College Drive #5037
Hattiesburg, MS  39406-0001
+601 266-6214 ofc
+601 266-5757 fax

More information about the Milton-L mailing list