[Milton-L] Info request - Uncreation in PL

Horace Jeffery Hodges jefferyhodges at yahoo.com
Tue Jul 29 21:23:07 EDT 2008

Yaakov, I'd begin by looking here, in PL 2.891-916 (esp. line 911):
The secrets of the hoarie deep, a dark
Illimitable Ocean without bound,
Without dimension, where length, breadth, & highth,
And time and place are lost; where eldest Night
And Chaos, Ancestors of Nature, hold [ 895 ]
Eternal Anarchie, amidst the noise
Of endless Warrs, and by confusion stand.
For hot, cold, moist, and dry, four Champions fierce
Strive here for Maistrie, and to Battel bring
Thir embryon Atoms; they around the flag [ 900 ]
Of each his faction, in thir several Clanns,
Light-arm'd or heavy, sharp, smooth, swift or slow,
Swarm populous, unnumber'd as the Sands
Of Barca or Cyrene's torrid soil,
Levied to side with warring Winds, and poise [ 905 ]
Thir lighter wings. To whom these most adhere,
Hee rules a moment; Chaos Umpire sits,
And by decision more imbroiles the fray
By which he Reigns: next him high Arbiter
Chance governs all. Into this wilde Abyss, [ 910 ]
The Womb of nature and perhaps her Grave,
Of neither Sea, nor Shore, nor Air, nor Fire,
But all these in thir pregnant causes mixt
Confus'dly, and which thus must ever fight,
Unless th' Almighty Maker them ordain [ 915 ]
His dark materials to create more Worlds,

(Luxon, Thomas H., ed. The Milton Reading Room, http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton, July, 2008.)
That "Grave" sounds like what you're interested in. Also, you could look at the creation scene in Book 7 and perform some 'reverse engineering' on that.
Does Milton anywhere talk about the eschaton? That would be relevant.
Jeffery Hodges

--- On Tue, 7/29/08, Yaakov Mascetti <mascety at mail.biu.ac.il> wrote:

From: Yaakov Mascetti <mascety at mail.biu.ac.il>
Subject: [Milton-L] Info request - Uncreation in PL
To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Date: Tuesday, July 29, 2008, 2:21 AM

Greetings to all - I am looking for info on the concept uncreation in Paradise Lost. Anyone have any initial tips on where to look for insights on the relapse of order into entropy? Any help would be appreciated... Thanks! Yaakov

Yaakov A. Mascetti, Ph.D.
Department of Comparative Literature
Bar Ilan University

“A theology which is not a plan of social action is merely a way of preaching and praying. It is a menu without the dinner.”  
-- Mordecai Kaplan, Not So Random Thoughts

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