[Milton-L] Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night...

Andrew Strycharski andy at strycharski.org
Fri Dec 26 15:57:03 EST 2008

Horace Jeffery Hodges wrote:
> Cristina wrote:
> "In today's academies of consumer-based politics, Milton might have 
> gotten stuck in basic or developmental writing until he learned to have 
> a clear thesis statement."
> Good point, Cristina! Johnny can't write! I mean, look at this tangled mess:

I hope it's not too humorless of me to ask, what about this:

". . .  I shall now attend with such a homily as shall lay before ye, 
first, the inventors of it to be those whom ye will be loth to own; 
next, what is to be thought in general of reading, whatever sort the 
books be; and that this Order avails nothing to the suppressing of 
scandalous, seditious, and libellous books, which were mainly intended 
to be suppressed. Last, that it will be primarily to the discouragement 
of all learning and the stop of truth, not only by disexercising and 
blunting our abilities in what we know already, but by hindering and 
cropping the discovery that might be yet further made both in religious 
and civil wisdom."

Milton's own school exercises often have a clearly stated thesis. Of 
course, he made fun of the assignments while fulfilling them, as many 
precious youngsters do. That said, he was proud enough of several school 
compositions to have saved them.

And might it not be among the oddities of Paradise Lost within the epic 
tradition that it does state a more-or-less argumentative thesis?

Andrew Strycharski, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, English Department
Florida International University
Andrew.Strycharski at fiu.edu

DM 453
11200 SW 8th Street
Miami, FL 33199

phone: 305-348-2989
fax: 305-348-3878

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