[Milton-L] Milton's Bogey (and such)

Jamie Morton jlmorton at usc.edu
Thu Mar 1 19:32:38 EST 2007

Well I suppose it's about time to reach out to the Listserv for help  
and guidance.  I've been working diligently (haha) on my senior  
thesis, and I've been a bit closeted in my own brain.  I'm trying to  
connect the concepts of Milton's Eve, which I read as an enabling  
figure for women, Sandra M. Gilbert's reading of Eve as  "monster  
that Milton hints she is," and Woolf's cursory remarks on Milton and  
his "bogey" in A Room of One's Own.

My current hypothesis is that Milton wrote Eve as an enabling figure  
(although I would appreciate discussion on this point, as I'm not  
sure whether this is what Milton intended), and that PL was therefore  
an enabling text for women for many years.  At some point, then, the  
dominant reading of Eve and of PL in general must have shifted to, as  
Woolf says, "shut out the view."

So I'm first trying to find 16th- and 17th-century texts that support  
my theory that Milton's early female readers found Eve enabling.  I'm  
not sure where to go from there, but I think that Frankenstein might  
be instrumental in demonstrating a turning point in the dominant  
reading of PL, and particularly of Eve.

Comments, critique, and discussion highly appreciated!  Thanks a  
million, listserv.

"From error to error, one discovers the entire truth."
      - Sigmund Freud

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