[Milton-L] Abdiel

ann coiro annbaynes.coiro at gmail.com
Tue Jun 24 16:14:26 EDT 2008


being the occasion for discussion has enlivened my day!

I believe the point that interior monologues and soliloquies are
associated with fallen characters has a distinguished critical
history. David Robertson has a nuanced and thoughtful discussion,
including a summary of scholarship, in "Soliloquy and Self in Milton's
Major Poems" in Stanwood's Of Poetry and Politics (1995). I don't
think Abdiel's musing before he speaks have been included in earlier
discussions of interior monologues though--

On 6/24/08, Watt, James <jwatt at butler.edu> wrote:
> thanks, again, Michael, for keeping this alive.  'Fallen' and 'Un-fallen' are categories and, as such, suspect to prophets as well as poets.  Since our man was both, one needs be a little circumspect in using them.
>
> Remember Blake: 'Contraries are NOT negations' and 'without Contraries there is no progression.'  Given the entire subject of P.L. is progress and given the fact that P.R. makes absolutely no sense unless Jesus is completely human, one would be wise to avoid the company of folks betting on categories and ignoring the incredibly multivalent and unspooling life all around them.  As i recall it is the inhabitants of (their own self-realized) Hell who hoot Abdiel out out of their company.
>
> Jim Watt
>
>
> ________________________________________
> From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu [milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] On Behalf Of Michael Gillum [mgillum at unca.edu]
> Sent: Tuesday, June 24, 2008 3:36 PM
> To: milton-l
> Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Abdiel
>
> Incidentally, I thought Coiro's review was well done except that I was
> puzzled by this section. I wonder if there are other interior monologues by
> unfallen characters in the poem besides Abdiel's at 6.114.
>
> About Abdiel following Satan initially: Satan instructed Beelzebub to "Tell
> them that by command I am to haste. . . homeward. . . there to prepare fit
> entertainment. . ." (5.685-90).  So Satan's followers thought they were
> following God's orders. It's true that Beelzebub cast "ambiguous words and
> jealousies" (5.703) among his orders to the sub-commanders, but no telling
> whether these reached Abdiel.
>
> Michael
>
> On 6/24/08 2:12 PM, "Watt, James" <jwatt at butler.edu> wrote:
>
> > Thanks Michael:
> >
> > I am always amused by Miltonists who are determined to out angel his angels.
> > Here I am especially pleased to learn that Ms. Coiro believes that
> > subjectivity is a mark of the Fall (especially interesting in light of the
> > high degree of subjective and interior reflection manifested by the Elohim).
> > I wonder if gender is another mark of fallen subjectivity?  Or hell, what
> > about simple sex?
> >
> > Jim Watt
> > ________________________________________
> > From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu
> > [milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] On Behalf Of Michael Gillum
> > [mgillum at unca.edu]
> > Sent: Tuesday, June 24, 2008 11:31 AM
> > To: milton-l
> > Subject: [Milton-L] Abdiel
> >
> > Not much discussion of Milton¹s poetry here lately. What are people¹s
> > reactions to these points?
> >
> > ³Abdiel is a decidedly mixed character‹he did follow Satan initially; he is
> > capable of an interior monologue, a mark of fallen subjectivity; and he is
> > more zealous than brilliant in his argument with his fallen general. If there
> > is Miltonic representation here it is fractured and self-critical.²
> >
> > --Ann Baynes Coiro, review of Stephen Fallon¹s new book in latest MQ.
> >
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>
>
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