[Milton-L] re: Theodicy

Harold Skulsky hskulsky at email.smith.edu
Fri Feb 11 14:08:01 EST 2005

For a systematic discussion of the "problem of evil" in the classical
and Christian terms Milton inherits, including traditional Jewish and
Christian objections to the whole enterprise; the formal and thematic
strategies available to him from the traditions of forensic and epic
narration; extensions of the "problem" suggested by the presocratic,
Lucretian, and Manilian genre of epic poetry on natural order; and
candidates for a notion of free will appropriate to solving the
"problem"; along with a discussion of the justice-mercy dilemma that
makes the problem insoluble, and of why Milton's dialectical failure
plays an essentiall role in the moral and artistic triumph of his poem,
see my *Milton and the Death of Man: Humanism on Trial in PL" (U. of
Del, 2000).


Harold Skulsky
Mary Augusta Jordan Professsor of English Emeritus, Smith College
Professsor of Philosophy, Hofstra University

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