[Milton-L] Satan

Angelica Duran aduran at cla.purdue.edu
Tue Feb 15 13:44:30 EST 2005

Dear scholars,

I actually did re-read sections of _Surprised by Sin_ after reading
_Dancing_ and it seems that Fish's great argument does not focus on
accounting for readerly attraction to Satan: he gives sufficient bases for
readerly attraction to make his larger arguments, but it is not his focus.
I will have to read the postings more carefully (although I think I have
been reading carefully), since I have understood many of the postings to say
that they ultimately come to dislike Satan, etc. but have not stated that
they dislike him immediately.

I disagree with Adam being simply a "dear." To follow on the nicely
quotidian discourse in the posting below, his taking out the trash would
have to follow on an amazingly in-depth conversation about a
mutually-delightful topic and be for the benefit of clearing the house of
any smelliness before having the physical conversation (now picking up on
Milton's discourse) that the verbal conversation had elicited. Sounds very
nice to me: and if I may go so far to as to conjecture how much nicer and
exciting such conversations might have been had they become the kinds of
angels Raphael describes.  Sounds much better than Satan's and Sin's
encounters, which we read about pretty early on.


Angelica Duran
Assistant Professor
Department of English
Purdue University
500 Oval Drive
West Lafayette, IN 47907
(765) 496-3957
<duran0 at cla.purdue.edu>*
                         *Please note new email address as of February 2005.

> From: Julia Griffin <juliabgriffin at hotmail.com>
> Reply-To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
> Date: Tue, 15 Feb 2005 19:11:34 +0000
> To: <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
> Subject: RE: [Milton-L] Satan
> I'm surprised Professor Duran thinks there's a "hesitancy" about not finding
> Satan attractive: almost half the postings to this list seem to be some form
> of declaration to that effect, Fishite or not.  Just to open up the
> opposition, let me say that I cannot imagine not finding Satan attractive.
> I would have to have my heart removed.  The dynamism that can get the whole
> poem moving into the present tense, the courage to oppose the undefeatable -
> that's what stirs the blood.  Adam is a dear, certainly, up to the end of
> Book IX, and could be relied upon to take out the garbage, etc.; but his
> most attractive moment, I think, is his determination to eat with Eve: the
> moment when he, like Satan earlier and Eve later, tries to be a messiah.
> This is an emotional response, but basic morality, the instinct that
> religion can't drive out, seems to me to support that emotion.  What should
> you do with unquestionable, un-self-questioning omnipotence - the power that
> can damn a third of its creation and never feel the slightest responsibility
> for it?  If such a power exists, and you have the courage, fight back.
> Better that than endless choir-practice in a jeweller's shop, as Orwell so
> well put it.
> Ah well.  Let it come down.
> Julia
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