[Milton-L] moloch

Duran, Angelica ADuran at sla.purdue.edu
Fri Sep 3 15:45:15 EDT 2004

Dear colleagues,

John Ulreich's comment helped me put together the helpful responses I received from John Rumrich, Diane McColley, Kemmer Anderson, and others on and off-list.  Any of the angels fighting would foreshadow the Last Judgement, and perhaps we could defend Milton's choice of any good angel fighting Moloch.  The rephrasing "why Gabriel rather than Michael?" made me locate my assumption that Michael is the warrior angel. In the world of PL, all angels are "warrior angels." That correction makes me understand the dispersal of heroism that Norbrook talks about in terms of republicanism, especially reinforced by the narrator's comment that "Men while in other parts like deeds deserved Memorial" (PL 6.354).

I also like the soft poetic reminder of Moloch and the sacrifice of infants in the wound Gabriel inflicts on Moloc: "Down cloven to the waist," which points to the bodily location of the womb.


Angelica Duran
Assistant Professor
English Department
Purdue University
500 Oval Drive
West Lafayette, Indiana 47907-2048
(765) 496-3957, phone
(765) 494-3780, fax
<aduran at sla.purdue.edu>

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