[Milton-L] O Eve, in evil hour...

Rose Williams rwill627 at cox.net
Tue Nov 22 12:49:53 EST 2005


Depends, I suppose, on the films. Perhaps I am thinking more of stage 
productions. I saw "Canterbury Tales" in London, and two years later in the 
States. The production in London was light, spicy and fun, with no leering 
overtones. The one in the US was just flat nasty. The difference was one of 
tone and approach. I think we Americans are still pushing too hard, trying 
to get back at the Puritans. The British, having shipped a great many of 
their Puritans off to our shores, maintained more of the old spirit. 
Possibly some of the early American writings, thundering against the 
Maypole, Christmas merriment, and everything else faintly suspected of being 
fun, warped our sensibilities. Perhaps we are like the Romans, who  left 
their Puritan background but never felt totally comfortable about it.  It 
may be that we still feel sex is dirty, and find ourselves portraying it 
that way, to a greater degree than the British.
Also, there is a difference between "innocent" and "ignorant." Innocent, 
from the Latin means, 'doing no harm.' "Ignorant" means "unaware." To be 
fully aware of sex and yet to believe that it can be, in its best form, 
harmless, is no small achievement.
Rose Williams
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Carrol Cox" <cbcox at ilstu.edu>
To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, November 22, 2005 11:44 AM
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] O Eve, in evil hour...


>
>
> Rose Williams wrote:
>>
>> I agree that it could be achieved, but only by the very best and least
>> sensational of directors and actors.
>> Who is doing this film? Sorry, compatriots, but I would prefer to entrust
>> this to Britons. We Americans are too deeply involved in Post-Puritanical
>> Reaction.
>> Rose Williams
>
> I find this contrast of "Britons" and Hollywood odd. I've never noticed
> that much difference in the treatment of sex in British or Hollywood
> films.
>
> On another question, Aers & Hodge in a 1979 _Milton Studies_ essay
> suggested that the sex in Book IV was essentially more obscene, that in
> Book IX less so. I think they quote one of their students (a woman)
> saying of Book IX, "But that's the way I _like_ it."
>
> Carrol
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