[Milton-L] Satan

Peter McDermott mcdermot at clunet.edu
Wed Feb 16 16:29:11 EST 2005


I wonder if that shouldn't be the 1560 Geneva Bible.
Peter L. McDermott, M.d., Ph.D.
is cunning sometimes quantitative?
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Matthew Stallard [mailto:ms493101 at ohio.edu]
>Sent: Wednesday, February 16, 2005 03:57 PM
>To: 'John Milton Discussion List'
>Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Satan
>
>	I tend to read the generous development of Satan's character taking place 
>early in the epic diegesis as a means for Milton to mitigate the 
>sinful/"missing the mark" actions of Adam and Eve. The Hebrew text of the 
>Genesis narrative by contrast, aside from Satan's brief but dense 
>rhetorical flourish in Genesis chapter three, does nothing to suggest the 
>appearance of nobility (faux or vrai) in the serpent. I suppose one could 
>make a case that the serpent's designation "more subtil than anie beast of 
>the field" suggests a cautious and perhaps disingenuous spirit. "Subtil" is 
>a rendering of ARUWM which suggests a qualitative cunning, craftiness, or 
>prudence.
>	More likely, though, the glosses of the 1530 Geneva Bible do more to 
>condition the response of the Calvinist reader. On verses 1-5: "As Satan 
>can change himselfe into an Angel of light, so did he abuse the wisdome of 
>the serpent to deceaue man. God suffered Satan to make the serpent his 
>instrument and to speake in him. In douting of Gods threatning, she yelded 
>to Satan. This is Satans chiefest subtiltie, to cause vs not to feare Gods 
>threatenings. As thogh he shulde say, God doeth not forbid you to eat of 
>the frute, saue that he knoweth that if you shulde eat thereof, you shulde 
>be like to him."
>
>Matthew
>
>__________________________
>Matthew Stallard
>Ohio University
>Department of English
>347 Ellis Hall
>Athens, OH 45701
>matthew.s.stallard.1 at ohio.edu
>
>
>
>--On Tuesday, February 15, 2005 4:27 PM -0500 James Rovira 
><jrovira at drew.edu> wrote:
>
>> I suspect that just as Milton could assume the majority of his audience
>> would be repulsed by Satan from the start, so can Ms. Ostriker assume
>> that her audience will at least understand attaction to Satan from the
>> start.  We do spend a great deal of time with Satan at the beginning of
>> Paradise Lost before meeting any other characters -- without a prior
>> commitment to rejecting the Satanic as evil this, by itself, could be
>> enough.  But I think the distinction between assumption and demonstration
>> is a good one.
>>
>> Jim Rovira
>>
>> Angelica Duran wrote:
>>
>>> Dear scholars,
>>>
>>> Someone on this list recommended Alicia Ostriker's _Dancing at the
>>> Devil's Party: Essays on Poetry, Politics, and the Erotic_.  Thank you
>>> for the reference: there are so many important books to read, and we
>>> can't be aware of all of them. I would recommend the slim book: very
>>> interesting. The book, however, left me still wanting an account of the
>>> attraction to Satan in _Paradise Lost_.
>>>
>>> Angelica Duran
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
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