[Milton-L] Milton and Portuguese poetry

Erick Ramalho ramalhoerick at yahoo.co.uk
Thu Nov 29 17:47:23 EST 2007

   In her chapter ‘The Genres of Paradise Lost’ published within The Cambridge Companion to Milton, Barbara K. Lewalski considers the epic Lusiads by the Portuguese poet Camões (sometimes spelled Camoens in English) to be one amongst Renaissance epics sharing important features with PL (others being Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso and Tassos’s Gerusalemme Liberata besides, obviously, Spenser’s Faerie Queene). 
    The context of her important study is one of ‘allusions to contemporary voyages of exploration and imperialism in Satan’s voyage to earth through chaos’ in which PL would encompass elements ‘derived from romantic epics or other Renaissance varieties of that kind’. By Romantic she means of course the late Medieval tradition and its influence on early modern epic in both England and Continental Europe. 
              Would any one happen to know any studies, if they are to be found, focusing on particular points Milton might have drawn from Camões or, maybe, studies on philologically proven common points in the two epics? Milton was known to have a reading knowledge of Spanish, besides his widely known native-like command of Latin, which would allow him to read a Renaissance Portuguese epic.
  I´m interested in spotting possible formal elements shared by both poets or punctual allusions to the Lusiads in PL. I´ve also searched studies in Portuguese, but none of them has yet dealt with the topic. 
  I do welcome suggestions.
  Erick Ramalho

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