[Milton-L] Paradise Lost

Jameela Lares Jameela.Lares at usm.edu
Mon Nov 28 12:44:40 EST 2005

Sorry, Felicia, but according to our departmental philologist, who immediately
knew the line and supplied the pronounciation when I got to "eat," advises that
it is *unquestionably* the past tense.  The A-S verb "eton" was originally part
of the "strong verbs" whose paradigms were confused during the early modern
period.  (And wouldn't the verb have to be conjugated "eatS" in the present
tense anyway?)

Though this passage in PARADISE LOST is therefore not a good example of the line
of argument you are pursuing--that "the moment at which she first eats will
reverberate throughout time, affecting all mankind"--the argument itself seems
a promising one.  You may find some corroboration in discussions of the Lord's
Supper, actually.  I once heard an Anglican priest say that the moment of
communion annihilates all difference of time.  I know that Regina Schwartz once
did some work on Eucharistic issues in book 5; I can't remember if she pursued
them into book 9.


Jameela Lares, Ph.D.
Director of Graduate Studies
Department of English
The University of Southern Mississippi
118 College Drive, #5037
Hattiesburg, MS  39406-0001
601 266-6214 ofc
601 266-5757 fax

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