[Milton-L] The War in Heaven

Harold Skulsky hskulsky at email.smith.edu
Tue Jul 11 13:13:02 EDT 2006

I don't see how anyone can disagree that PL 6 is a paean to power--in
fact, to the sole source of power in the universe as Milton assumes it
to be; and also a paean to the sole ground  of justice; and also a paean
to the sole author of every physical and mental excellence in his
defeated challenger--again on Milton's explicit and oft-repeated
assumptions. If PL 6 weren't a metaphysically complicated paean to all
these attributes and more, Milton (given his politics) wouldn't be
singing it, and inviting us to sing along.

We're within our rights to decline the invitation, or to issue
Empsonian catcalls. I for one am partial to both options; Miltonic
metaphysics doesn't grab me, and neither does Miltonic theodicy. I draw
the line at offering my catcalls as an interpretation.

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