[Milton-L] The War in Heaven

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Mon Jul 10 20:31:53 EDT 2006

Michael Gillum wrote:
> 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.

Empson operated by the reasonable premise that the existence of god was
simply out of the question. God was strictly a human creation -- and
most gods so created, and in particular the xtian god, were horrors.
Hence one looks at the poem as an expression of human affairs projected
on a hypothetically supernatural plane. Of course the Chariot is
technological. It has wheels!


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