[Milton-L] Milton's use of sublime in Paradise Lost

merlinjones merlin77_7 at yahoo.com
Fri Nov 19 11:01:06 EST 2004


Longinus 

http://www.classicpersuasion.org/pw/longinus/index.htm


...is quite the fellow with the sublime.


 I totally agree that Milton anticipated Edmund
Burke's "theory" of the sublime. Gosh, I know that
"Paradise Lost" is utterly "sublime" in many ways!

I really recommend this book!

[re: Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Enquiry Into the
Origins of Our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful,
(1757), ed. James Boulton, (Oxford: Basil Blackwell,
1987)].

...as well as anything you can get your hands on by
Peter Stanlis (like, Edmund Burke and the Natural Law)


 but then you have Anne Radcliffe...

http://www.engl.virginia.edu/enec981/Group/chris.terror.html

 and John and Anna Aiken 

http://www.english.upenn.edu/Projects/Gothic/barbauld.html


...giving Edmund Burke a run for his money with the
sublime as well.



The sublime is a very nice thing to learn more about
and that is why I am putting hyperlinks in my post for
Anna's benefit. Please note that I do not know of the
sublime as how it would pertain to Early British
literature as well as I do for the British Romantics,
but maybe the hyperlinks will be helpful to Anna.

peace,



peace,


http://www.classicpersuasion.org/pw/longinus/index.htm

--- tuck at mail.utexas.edu wrote:

> Anna,
> 
> Colin Burrow's essay "Combative criticism: Johnson,
> Milton,and classical
> literary criticism" in _The Cambridge History of
> Literary Criticism, Vol. 3: 
> The Renaissance_  (Cambridge, 1999) contains the
> statement, "Satan is just such
> a sublime surrogate artist in his relations with Sin
> and Death" (497). I believe
> that's the sentence you're paraphrasing.  
> 
> Burrow's observation does not have anything directly
> to do with Milton's _use_
> of the sublime.  Instead Burrow compares Satan's
> generation of Sin and Death
> with a celebrated effect of the literary sublime
> described by Longinus:  true
> sublimity in verse makes itself known in the
> powerful (if irrational) feeling
> that we ourselves have somehow authored the things
> that astonish us.
> 
> In fact, according to orthodox literary history, the
> sublime simply was not
> there to be used when Milton wrote _Paradise Lost_. 
> The article on the sublime
> in _The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and
> Poetics_, for instance, would lead
> you to believe that Milton just missed the boat. 
> The aesthetic category we
> call the sublime was spawned, the story goes, by
> discussion of _On the Sublime_
> in the popular translation of 1674--the year Milton
> died.  Leslie E. Moore's
> book _Beautiful Sublime:  The Making of Paradise
> Lost, 1701-1734_ (Stanford,
> 1990) is an excellent source for understanding early
> eighteenth century English
> critics' development of the sublime in connection
> with _Paradise Lost_.  Moore
> is concerned with Addison, Dennis, Richardson, and
> others as "creators of [the
> sublime] Milton" (5).  Although she does not address
> Milton's own poetics
> directly, Moore expresses doubt that the eighteenth
> century sublime was "even
> remotely close to the 'sublime art' envisioned in
> Milton's _Of Education_"
> (4).
> 
> A different view of Milton's relationship to the
> sublime has begun to emerge,
> however, as Burrow indicates on the previous page of
> the same essay:  "Recent
> critics have detected signs that Milton anticipated
> the interests of Addison,
> Burke, and Dennis by writing with Longinus's
> theories in mind" (496). 
> Specifically, Burrow cites Annabel Patterson,
> _Reading Between the Lines_
> (London, 1993), pp. 256-72, who as far as I know is
> the first to claim that
> Milton invented the modern sublime.  I make the same
> claim in my dissertation,
> but argue that Milton's poetics of the sublime,
> though perhaps influenced by
> _Peri Hypsous_, owe much more to own his radical
> development of Renaissance
> theories of wonder and the marvelous.  Boileau
> himself reflexively drew on
> existing theory of the marvelous to conceptualize
> Longinus's topic, which he
> describes in his title as _le traite du Sublime ou
> du mervelleux_; but it is
> Milton's epic that bridges the worlds of Renaissance
> wonder and the eighteenth
> century sublime.
> 
> To sum up, I think it's an exciting and timely
> subject matter, and well worth
> attempting to map out; but if you want to say that
> Milton was _using_ the
> sublime (and I think he was) you've got your work
> cut out for you.
> 
> Sincerely,
> 
> Matt
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> Matthew Tucker, Ph.D. Candidate
> Department of English
> University of Texas at Austin
> 
> 
> 
> Quoting Anna Santiago <natsantiago at hotmail.com>:
> 
> > Satan is said to be a sublime surrogate artists in
> his relations with Sin 
> > and Death. I found this in the Cambridge History
> of Literary Criticism. 
> > Could any of you explicate on this subject matter?
>  Thanks,
> > 
> > Anna
> > 
> > 
> > <html><DIV><FONT face="Lucida Handwriting,
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> > size=1>Anna N. Santiago</FONT></DIV>
> > <DIV><FONT face="Comic Sans MS" size=1>James
> Madison University</FONT></DIV>
> > <DIV><FONT face="Comic Sans MS" size=1>College of
> Arts and 
> > Letters</FONT></DIV>
> > <DIV><FONT face="Comic Sans MS"
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=====
Haz el bien, y no mires a quién.   
 
Death is a commingling of eternity with time; in the death of a good man, eternity is seen looking through time.

~ Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe ~






		
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