[Milton-L] Satan

Gardner Campbell gcampbel at umw.edu
Tue Feb 15 15:47:15 EST 2005


I'm curious: what do you mean by "the poem's power?"

Gardner Campbell
University of Mary Washington

>>> cbcox at ilstu.edu 02/15/05 02:47PM >>>

Angelica Duran wrote:
> Dear scholars,
> As with many works, Ostriker maintains, rather than describes or
> for, the assumption that all readers like Milton's Satan, or like him
> than Milton's God, Milton's Adam, etc. We have records of many early
> who did not find Satan attractive.

Liking or disliking literary characters is not, it seems to me, a
necessary accompaniment for admiring and responding to the work in which
they occur. I don't have that sort of response to _any_ of the
characters in either PL or PR, except, perhaps, to the narrator, and I
have never felt that to be any barrier to my delight in the poems.
Milton's Satan and his God seem rather inseparable: the one implies the
other, and both (taken outside the poem) imply a trivializing of human
life through the offensive doctrine of immortality. But that hardly (for
me) interferes with the poem's power, any more than Pound's repellant
politics interfere with that poem's power.


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