[Milton-L] just struggling

MarcPaul digitalplacebo at shaw.ca
Sat Feb 5 15:29:49 EST 2005

Some food for thought:
Better yet...does the Old Testament itself promote misogyny?  What is the 
typification of such a sentiment in the historicising of Christian 
history...(see Hellen Ellerbee's "Dark Side of Christian History..amongst 
MANY others)..Salem Witch Trials...etc (the list is long).
Just a thought...but I've often read antiquity as having put women in their 
place...and I would venture to guess,  that the Old Testament does just 

"Sum Ergo Cogito."
----- Original Message ----- 
From: <Walker at geneseo.edu>
To: <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Sent: Saturday, February 05, 2005 2:58 PM
Subject: [Milton-L] just struggling

> "Undoubtedly neither God nor Satan are nearly as misogynist as Paul."
> Oh, yawn.
> I have just joined this list, hoping for something like the level of
> discussion we get on the Spenser list.    Is this exchange typical?
> should I claw back that  space in my IN Box?
> Milton's God, Milton's Satan, Milton's Eve, and Paul -- whoever and how
> many people constitute Paul --  are cultural constructs, no?  (And if your
> blood pressure is rising about Paul, read some more about the Council of
> Nicea.)  You are discussing them as if they were running for office in the
> here and now.
> Whether or not Milton's Eve is intrinsically more frail than Milton's Adam
> is an open question only if you haven't read Book IV.  The lake scene,
> always called the pool scene because we all hear the Ovidian Narcissus
> echo so deafeningly, is about as unambiguous as it gets.
> Eve is weaker.  Does this make Milton a misogynist?  Have we flashed back
> to the 1970s and Gilbert and Gubar?  Or even back to Woolf?  How about
> someone re-reading Patricia Parker's "Coming Second"?
> What Eve becomes (as Milton's character) may be open to debate, but let's
> not start imaging her having coffee at Starbucks -- or working as a
> barista serving Paul his half-caff skinny latte.  But by the same token,
> could someone please explain to me what makes racism or sexism disarming
> if it's found in the (not The) garden?
> One of my friends recently sent me a neologism at which I laughed:
> "presentism."  I laughed because I thought lit people were beyond that
> sort of anachronistic fiddling.  Seems I'm wrong.
> off to Starbucks,
> Julia Walker
> On Saturday, February 5, 2005, at 02:59  PM, Hugh Wilson wrote:
> The issue of whether or not Milton portrays
> Eve as really intrinsically more frail than Adam
> is an open question.  Some scholars, like John
> Ulreich, have credibly argued that Eve is heroic.
> In some significant respects, she seems morally
> superior to Adam.
> When Milton was three, in Salve Deus Rex
> Judaeorum [1611], Emilia Lanier had already
> argued that Adam was more culpable
> for the fall than Eve.
> Hugh Wilson
> hwilson at together.net
> (518) 562-8027
> P.S.  Also, as an aside, insofar as
> "misogyny" means the hate of women,
> Paul isn't "misogynist" at all.  The word
> is devalued by being over-used.  Jason
> in Euripides' Medea is expresses genuine
> misogynist sentiments when he wishes
> that women never existed, and that men
> could produce children some other way.
> Garden variety sexism or unconscious
> prejudice isn't misogyny anymore than
> the garden varieties of unconscious racism
> are tantamount to membership in the
> Aryan Nation.
> Given the questions about Paul's authorship
> of the most controversial epistles, and the
> is debate about what they really meant, it
> seems that we should be more circumspect.
> At 06:35 PM 2/3/2005, you wrote:
> I think to answer your questions you'd have to ask either God or the Devil
> directly.  The best I can do is point to a textual tradition that Milton
> may have been following.  Undoubtedly neither God nor Satan are nearly as
> misogynist as Paul.
> Jim
> BlevinsJake at aol.com wrote:
> Jim,
> Paul of course wrote from the perspective that Satan's deception of Even
> already occurred, so yes it was woman who was deceived. The question, I
> guess, would be did it have to be that way? PL depicts an Adam who, I
> believe, could have been swayed--albeit, as I said before, perhaps by a
> different mode of attack. The very fact that Adam is not "tricked" by Eve
> but falls with full knowledge, so to speak, makes it difficult for me to
> imagine that he couldn't have been tricked into doing the same thing.
> You're right that an important aspect becomes why did Satan choose to go
> after Eve first--it could just be Milton's following the "historical"
> account of the story or the general idea that woman is somehow a lesser
> version of man, or Satan was privy to Eve's attitudes toward herself at
> the pool. Regardless, none of that necessitates the idea that Eve was
> without a doubt more vulnerable to the attack--only that Eve was indeed
> vulnerable. Remember, Satan HOPES to find Eve alone, but isn't he prepared
> to tempt the both of them if need be?
> Jacob
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