[Milton-L] Info request - Uncreation in PL

Horace Jeffery Hodges jefferyhodges at yahoo.com
Wed Jul 30 03:24:51 EDT 2008


Yaakov, this might not be helpful, but just in case:
 
Paradise Lost, 1668-1968: Three Centuries of Commentary By Earl Roy Miner, William Moeck, Steven Edward Jablonski, Steven Jablonski
 
Page 128B
 
[Commentary to PL 2.911]
 
911 The Womb of nature and perhaps her Grave. Lucretius, De Rerum Natura 5.258-59, "beyond all doubt the mother of all [ie, the earth] is seen also to be the universal sepulchre. [N, citing Thayer] Steevens adds Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet 2.3.9-10, "The 
earth, that's nature's mother is her tomb; / What is her burying grave, that is her womb;" Malone adds Shakespeare, Pericles 2.3.46, "[Time's] their parent, and he is their grave." See also the similar description by [Francis] Davison, "To Time," "Thy womb, that 
all doth breed, is tomb to all." [T] The idea occurs also in Shakespeare's Sonnets 86.3, "Making their tomb the womb wherein they grew." [V] Sylvester's Du Bartas 2.4, "The Schisme" 1072, "This world to Chaos shall againe return." [H] With "perhaps" Milton avoids committing himself to any particular cosmological theory. [F] There is also the biblical example in Proverbs 30. 1 5- 16, "four things say not, It is enough: The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire." [EM]
 
I found this via Google Books. Perhaps there's more on this.
 
I also found this via Questia, but I don't have full access:
 
Robert Appelbaum, "Milton and the Ends of Time," CLIO, Vol. 34, 2005
 
Review:
 
Milton and the Ends of Time. Juliet Cummins, ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. 254 pages. 
 
"The Second Coming, whether or not accompanied by a thousand-year reign of the saints, is one of the crazier beliefs in Christianity; it is also one of the most important, particularly in the seventeenth century. Judaism looked forward to a Messiah. Christianity had its Messiah, but that was not enough. It had to have a Messiah a second time; only the..."

Maybe this helps.
 
Jeffery Hodges
 
P.S. Note the unusual spelling of my name.

--- On Wed, 7/30/08, Yaakov Mascetti <mascetti at gmail.com> wrote:

From: Yaakov Mascetti <mascetti at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Info request - Uncreation in PL
To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Date: Wednesday, July 30, 2008, 12:01 AM


Hello Jeffrey: thanks much for the tips. In truth I am more interested in the active undoing of creation by the hand of God - and the relationship between the disordering of things and the relapsing of existence into chaos. Do you know of any relevant critical readings on this matter? I read Regina's work on creation so long ago that I do not recall what she has on this point, but I'm sure she relates to it. Thanks again - Yaakov





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




“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



On Jul 30, 2008, at 4:23 AM, Horace Jeffery Hodges wrote:






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
Israel





“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


_______________________________________________
Milton-L mailing list
Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu
Manage your list membership and access list archives at
http://lists.richmond.edu/mailman/listinfo/milton-l
_______________________________________________
Milton-L mailing list
Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu
Manage your list membership and access list archives at http://lists.richmond.edu/mailman/listinfo/milton-l
_______________________________________________
Milton-L mailing list
Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu
Manage your list membership and access list archives at
http://lists.richmond.edu/mailman/listinfo/milton-l
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.richmond.edu/pipermail/milton-l/attachments/20080730/ec72418b/attachment.html


More information about the Milton-L mailing list