[Milton-L] Apples

Horace Jeffery Hodges jefferyhodges at yahoo.com
Fri Jul 25 09:49:03 EDT 2008


Jeffrey, that's precisely what I'm looking into . . . though I wasn't planning to be so upfront about it.
 
On Tuesday next week, however, I have a newspaper column for the Korea Herald's "Expat Living" section dealiing with this issue (in a slightly ironic way).
 
More importantly, I'm also trying to write a scholarly article on this point, so I'd like to know how to access secondary literature on apples in Milton.
 
I've found a couple of 17th- and 18th-century sources that use "apple" in the more generic sense of "fruit." When I have more information -- and after my newspaper column -- I'll post it.
 
Jeffery Hodges

--- On Fri, 7/25/08, Jeffrey Shoulson <jshoulson at miami.edu> wrote:

From: Jeffrey Shoulson <jshoulson at miami.edu>
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Apples
To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Date: Friday, July 25, 2008, 8:33 AM

One further follow-up on this matter.
I wonder to what extent apple is used as generic term for fruit.  In a  
number of languages (French and Hebrew come to mind), fruits are often  
give compound names that include the word apple:  "ground-apple"  
(potato), "gold-apple" (orange), etc.

Jeffrey S. Shoulson, Ph. D.
Associate Professor of English and Judaic Studies
University of Miami
PO Box 248145
Coral Gables, FL 33156

(o) 305-284-5596
(f) 305-284-2182

jshoulson at miami.edu
www.as.miami.edu/english/faculty.htm#shoulson


On Jul 25, 2008, at 9:12 AM, Horace Jeffery Hodges wrote:

> Thanks, Jeffrey and Nancy, for the posts. I had also noticed some of  
> these things and blogged about them soon after Salwa Khoddam points  
> out Satan's use of "apple":
>
> http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/2008/06/john-milton-how-do-you- 
> like-them-apples.html
>
>  
>
>  
>
> If "apple" is used elsewhere in Milton, I'd be interested in
knowing  
> (even if not obviously the fruit of the tree of knowledge).
>
>  
>
> Also, I'd like to know if any secondary literature exists on this  
> topic of "apple" in Paradise Lost (or in Milton generally).
>
>  
>
> Jeffery Hodges
>
>
>
> --- On Fri, 7/25/08, Jeffrey Shoulson <jshoulson at miami.edu> wrote:
>> From: Jeffrey Shoulson <jshoulson at miami.edu>
>> Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Apples
>> To: "John Milton Discussion List"
<milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
>> Date: Friday, July 25, 2008, 7:59 AM
>>
>> I can't provide a comment nearly as rich and suggestive as
Nancy's,  
>> but
>> I suppose it should be remembered that the apple is also a Latin pun  
>> on
>> malum.
>> Of course, that does not at all undermine the point about Satan's
>> trivialization of the matter.  Indeed, I think it supports the point
>> further.  Satan's depiction of the fruit as an apple happens even
>> earlier than when he returns to Hell to report on his success.  He
>> mentions the fruit when, as the serpent, he begins to entice Eve  
>> toward
>> the tree:
>>
>>   Till on a day roaving the field, I chanc'd [ 575 ]
>>   A goodly Tree farr distant to behold
>>   Loaden with fruit of fairest colours mixt,
>> Ruddie and Gold: I nearer drew to gaze;
>>   When from the boughes a savorie odour blow'n,
>>   Grateful to appetite, more pleas'd my sense, [ 580 ]
>> Then smell of sweetest Fenel or the Teats
>>   Of Ewe or Goat dropping with Milk at Eevn,
>> Unsuckt of Lamb or Kid, that tend thir play.
>>   To satisfie the sharp desire I had
>>   Of tasting those fair Apples, I resolv'd [ 585 ]
>>   Not to deferr; hunger and thirst at once,
>>   Powerful perswaders,  quick'nd at the scent
>>   Of that alluring fruit, urg'd me so keene.
>>
>>
>> Speculations about the specific kind of fruit tree that was the Tree  
>> of
>> Knowledge can be found in both the early rabbinic and early patristic
>> tradition.  Many possibilities were offered, many of them based on
>> similar kinds of puns and word plays.
>>
>> Jeffrey
>>
>> Jeffrey S. Shoulson, Ph. D.
>> Associate Professor of English and Judaic Studies
>> University of Miami
>> PO Box 248145
>> Coral Gables, FL 33156
>>
>> (o) 305-284-5596
>> (f) 305-284-2182
>>
>> jshoulson at miami.edu
>> www.as.miami.edu/english/faculty.htm#shoulson
>>
>>
>> On Jul 25, 2008, at 2:05 AM, Nancy Charlton wrote:
>>
>> > Salwa makes an interesting point: Milton, in either the
Poet's or  
>> the
>> > Narrator's voice, does not make use of the word
"apple."
>> Satan,
>> > rather, does indeed use it to "trivialize" it--to use
>> Salwa's term.
>> > Indeed, this sentence excerpted from Satan's rather frantic
>> > exhortation in Book X, makes the only use of the word
"apple" in
>> all
>> > of PL that I can find:
>> >
>> > Him by fraud I have seduced
>> >         485
>> > From his Creator, and, the more to increase
>> > Your wonder, with an apple!
>> >
>> > He goes on, with a sneer:
>> >
>> > He [the Father], thereat
>> > Offended—worth your laughter!—hath given up
>> > Both his beloved Man and all his World
>> > To Sin and Death a prey, and so to us,
>> >         490
>> > Without our hazard, labour, or alarm,
>> > To range in, and to dwell, and over Man
>> > To rule, as over all he should have ruled.
>> >
>> > I remembered today as I was performing some necessary garden  
>> clean-up
>> > and found a rose that was trying to develop a fruit (it isn't
the  
>> kind
>>
>> > of rose that has edible hips) that apples are in the same
taxonomic
>> > family as roses. Just prior to the "apple" sentence,
Satan
>> refers to
>> > the "fraud" of his seduction. The fruit, not the
flower, is the
>> > important concept here, perhaps. The Son is the fruition of
God's
>> > creating and is often symbolized by the rose. Milton mostly uses
>> > "rose" as the past tense of "rise," but in
the opening
>> of Book III
>> > singles out "sight of vernal bloom, or summer's
rose" as
>> specific
>> > deprivations of his blindness:
>> >
>> >  Thus with the year
>> >        
>> > Seasons return; but not to me returns
>> > Day, or the sweet approach of even or morn,
>> > Or sight of vernal bloom, or summer’s rose,
>> > Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine;
>> >
>> > He doesn't mention fruit, but it seems to me that there is
some
>> > significance in PL in the fact that it was an apple, when it
could
>> > just as well have been a pear or strawberry or a sexy bunch of  
>> grapes.
>> > But it was the fruit of autumn, of ripeness, by which Adam and
Eve
>> > were defrauded.
>> >  
>> > I'm not sure just where this is going, but in the invocation
to
>> "holy
>> > Light" (III.i) the poet feels that the fruition of his life
is the
>> > making of this poem, and thus it well may be that the apple, that
>> > oversized rose hip, is the appropriate pome.
>> >
>> > In PR II.337f. Satan conjures "a table richly spread in
regal
>> mode"
>> > for Jesus, of which the Narrator exclaims "Alas! How simple
to these
>> > cates compared,/ Was that crude apple that diverted Eve!" No
other
>> > mention of "apple" is made in the poems, but in the
Areopagitica
>>
>> > Milton makes a passing reference: "It was from out the rind
of one
>> > apple tasted, that the knowledge of good and evil . . . leaped
forth
>> > into the world." The "rind"! Not even the meat! No
wonder
>> the "table
>> > richly spread" goes poof! when Jesus doesn't bite.
>> >
>> > Thank you for raising this question. If I hadn't been out
with the
>> > shears and loppers today I'd probably never given it a second
 
>> thought.
>> >
>> > Nancy Charlton
>> > ------------------------
>> >
>> > Nancy Charlton
>> >  http://groups.google.com/group/paradiselostdaily
>> >
>> > When it's apple blossom time
>> > In Orange, New Jersey,
>> > We'll make a peach of a pair!
>> >
>> >
>> > --- On Thu, 7/24/08, Horace Jeffery Hodges
<jefferyhodges at yahoo.com>
>>
>> > wrote:
>> >> From: Horace Jeffery Hodges <jefferyhodges at yahoo.com>
>> >> Subject: [Milton-L] Apples
>> >> To: "John Milton Discussion List"
>> <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
>> >> Date: Thursday, July 24, 2008, 4:24 PM
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> Salwa and other Milton-Listers,
>> >>
>> >>  
>> >>
>> >> Can you direct me to what has been written on this issue of
apples  
>> in
>> >> Paradise Lost (or Milton generally)?
>> >>
>> >>  
>> >>
>> >> Jeffery Hodges
>> >>
>> >>  
>> >>
>> >>  
>> >>
>> >> Salwa Khoddam skhoddam at cox.net
>> >> Tue Jun 24 21:30:47 EDT 2008
>> >>
>> >>      •       Previous message: [Milton-L] Abdiel
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>> author ]
>> >> Jeffery,
>> >> I don't think Milton uses the word "apple" in
PL.  Satan
>> uses the
>> >> term  in order to trivialize it.  N'est pas?
>> >> Salwa Khoddam
>> >>
>> >
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