[Milton-L] Directly

Horace Jeffery Hodges jefferyhodges at yahoo.com
Sat Jul 29 14:49:35 EDT 2006

Dr. Wilson has raised a grammatical point (as I now
understand, though I recall a cosmological point also
being raised by someone):

The trustworthiness of the Father's claim is not an
issue of cosmology, it's an issue of grammar. The
issue to consider is whether or not it is responsible
to read these lines as saying, "he wings his way / ...
/ Directly toward... / ...man..." My argument is that
it's not only responsible but necessary .... In sum,
"toward" is a necessary grammatical feature in order
for "Man" to make sense, and "Directly" necessarily
governs "toward" and everything in the prepositional
phrase that "toward" introduces .... The conclusion I
draw from analyzing the content and syntax of God's
speech and then comparing that analysis with the
events in the poem is that God is somewhat loose with
the Truth in this instance.

One response might be that at the moment of God's
speaking, the expression "directly toward ... man" is
accurate. By flying directly toward the world, Satan
is also flying directly toward man in the world, for
man is placed there. This would be consistent with
Milton's addition of the words "And Man there plac't,"
namely, to indicate that the directness of Satan's
motion depends upon man's being located within the
world toward which Satan is directly flying.

This seems to me a reasonable reading of the passage,
but I'm willing to hear otherwise.

Jeffery Hodges

University Degrees:

Ph.D., History, U.C. Berkeley
(Doctoral Thesis: "Food as Synecdoche in John's Gospel and Gnostic Texts")
M.A., History of Science, U.C. Berkeley
B.A., English Language and Literature, Baylor University

Email Address:

jefferyhodges at yahoo.com



Office Address:

Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
Department of English Language and Literature
Korea University
136-701 Anam-dong, Seongbuk-gu
South Korea

Home Address:

Dr. Sun-Ae Hwang and Dr. Horace Jeffery Hodges
Sehan Apt. 102-2302
Sinnae-dong 795
Seoul 131-770
South Korea

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