[Milton-L] The War in Heaven

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Tue Jul 11 11:21:04 EDT 2006

Richard Strier wrote:
> I know all about the Merkabah; that's not what we get in PL.  I love
> this discussion.  Makes me feel more and more like Empson.  Amazing
> how "Miltonists" will not accept what is clear in the text of PL:
> the resolution of the war in heaven is a paean to Power.  Milton
> loves seeing those rebels crushed-- however odd this may seem, given
> his politics.  Maybe think of them as if they were Irish?

I once began an essay: War, or at least civil war, implies a social
order of sufficient internal complexity to generate those antagonisms
which only force can resolve. So much is tautological. But heaven being
(as Raphael informs Adam) more like to earth than we might assume, we
would do well to explore not only the theological or moral meaning of
Milton's angelic actors but to ask what earthly social relationships are
the shadow of those which we see  angels enact in heaven.

Actually, of course,  earthly relations are the reality, heavenly
relations the shadow.

And Abdiel's last words to Satan switch from argument to the threat of


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