[Milton-L] The War in Heaven

Michael Gillum mgillum at unca.edu
Mon Jul 10 21:07:25 EDT 2006


J. D. Fleming's comments are interesting and helpful. As I recall, 
Empson said the Chariot is something like a fear-inducing ray, which 
sounds technological. But it seems more like a  showing forth of what 
God's power is like-- it generates fear, but not in a technological 
way, rather by letting the rebel angels grasp what they are up 
against. It's interesting that Milton balanced this display of 
destructive wrath with the healing of the heavenly landscape in the 
wake of the chariot's motion.

Michael Gillum

>  >True, the Son rides the "Chariot of Paternal Deity" (6.750), which is a
>pretty good piece of kit. I take it, however, that the concept of technology
>entails a concept of progress ("more advanced"), which entails, in turn, a
>trope of invention. Thus Satan: "Not uninvented that" (6.470), etc. The
>Son's chariot, like Michael's sword, is no new invention -- we get no
>chariot-design scene. It is simply and suddenly presented as an intelligible
>item of the martial narrative that we have already been called upon to
>accept. Moreover, its main function in driving the rebels from heaven is to
>stand for and multiply the Son's gaze (6.845-852). This, to be sure, is
>power. But it is unique, unimprovable, and unattainable. Therefore,
>un-technological.
>
>JD Fleming


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