[Milton-L] Directly

ghmcloone at earthlink.net ghmcloone at earthlink.net
Sat Jul 29 16:39:20 EDT 2006


Re. "Directly":  This may have been noted already, but from the Father's point of view Satan's plan is of course under the direction of Providence, his journey "direct," especially as the word may refer to a design that is fundamentally (or perhaps ultimately) "just" or "right," as in the wider context here.  

George McLoone       

-----Original Message-----
>From: Michael Gillum <mgillum at unca.edu>
>Sent: Jul 29, 2006 2:16 PM
>To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
>Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Directly
>
>>
>>[MB wrote] Given all this, how can we understand "directly"?
>
>I think if we look at the immediate context, we can understand 
>"directly" as an accurate description of what is going on at the time 
>of speaking and of Satan's intention for the immediate future. When 
>previously seen, Satan spots the "pendant World" adjacent to Heaven 
>and "hies" toward it (2.1050 ff). At the moment the Father speaks, 
>Satan is cruising between Heaven and the World (cosmos) as he 
>anticipates landing on the latter:
>
>Coasting the wall of Heaven on this side night
>In the dun air sublime, and ready now
>To stoop with wearied wings, and willing feet,
>On the bare outside of this World . . . (3.71-74).
>
>The Father at this moment observes, correctly:
>
>  . . . he wings his way
>Not far off Heaven, in the precincts of light,
>Directly toward the new created World ],
>And man there placed. . . . (3.87-89)
>
>One can give a resistant reading of any passage, I suppose, but I 
>don't see the point in arguing with the obvious.
>
>As I said in a previous post, I can see the objection  to the 
>Father's lines about Satan breaking through all restraint. What God 
>says is literally true. However, we may hear in the lines a tone of 
>exasperation that seems ill-placed, since the Father didn't try very 
>hard to keep Satan in Hell.  Two possible responses are (a) Milton 
>did not intend that tone or (b) Milton intended to make the Father 
>seem a bit off.
>
>We might note that an aesthetic effect of the passage is to create a 
>sense of menace as the implacable enemy descends on his prey (us). 
>Possibly Milton was going for that more than intending to 
>characterize the Father.
>
>Michael Gillum



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