[Milton-L] death in Eden.

Salwa Khoddam skhoddam at cox.net
Sun Nov 21 18:29:22 EST 2004

Dear Douglas,
There is no death in Eden yet.  In Satan, yes because he has fallen. 
Therefore, he sees death where no death exists yet.  Death exists in the 
warped mind of Satan and through the imagery that Milton uses of our 
postlapsarian world, we the readers.
Salwa Khoddam
Professor of English
Oklahoma City University
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Douglass A Bourne" <DA-Bourne at wiu.edu>
To: "Milton" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Sent: Monday, November 15, 2004 4:39 PM
Subject: [Milton-L] death in Eden.

>I am a graduate student taking a Milton seminar.  Soon I must have a 
> thesis statement to present to the class.  I could use some guidance in a
> couple of areas.  I want to explore death in Eden.
> I am working with four images, three subtle and one blatant.  The three 
> subtle
> images involve Satan:  "As when a prowling Wolf, / Whom hunger drives to 
> seek
> new haunt for prey" (IV 183,184).  "Sat like a Cormorant" (IV 196).  A
> Cormorant eats dead things.  "A Lion now he stalks with fiery glare, / 
> Then as
> a Tiger, who by chance hat spi'd / In some Purlieu two gentle Fawns at 
> play, /
> Straight couches close, then rising changes oft / His couchant watch, as 
> one
> who chose his ground / Whence rushing he might surest seize them both / 
> Gript
> in each paw" (IV 402-408).  Satan wants to kill the deer but gets 
> distracted by
> Adam and Eve.
> The blatant image is also from book four.  A lion has a kid in its
> paws.  "Sporting the Lion ramp'd, and in his paw / Dandl'd the Kid" 
> (343,344).
> I checked the OED for definitions of the words out my (our) present usage 
> and
> it does indeed sound like the lion has killed a kid.
> The problems that I am having are that I can't find scholarship on death 
> in
> Eden.  I know there is a debate of something like; did nature fall before 
> man?
> Yet I can't find scholarship on the fall of nature.  Since Milton does 
> have
> some images of death in Eden I would like to explore possibly what that 
> says
> about the fall of nature.  Is death allowed in Eden for nature, without 
> nature
> falling?  If that is the case then Milton sets Adam and Eve clearly apart 
> from
> nature.  Nature has death, yet Adam and Eve do not.  Plus the lions, 
> tigers and
> bears (oh my), don't think of Adam and Eve as food.
> I am sure that I am not blazing a new trail.  There must be some articles 
> at
> least somewhat related to this idea.  But I am so frustrated with not 
> being
> able to find articles I'm thinking of scraping the idea.  Is a paper on 
> this
> idea feasible?  If so, are there some essays that I should read?
> I appreciate any and all guidance.
> Douglass Bourne
> Graduate Assistant
> Western Illinois University
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