[Milton-L] Abdiel

James Rovira jamesrovira at gmail.com
Tue Jun 24 22:43:48 EDT 2008

Depends upon the use of irony -- I don't think, in Kierkegaard, that
an individual has developed inwardness or subjectivity until after the
transition to the ethical sphere, which would mean after one has
sinned.  The ironic personality is still an aesthetic personality so
has not made conscious, self-defining choices -- irony exists
precisely for the purpose of avoiding self-defining choices.  One
could say irony itself is a self-defining choice, but one can have an
ironic stance even towards one's own irony, adopting a mock
seriosuness.  The ethical personality may wear irony as his/her
incognito, but is ultimately very serious.  Religious personalities
can use irony as a tool but it in no way represents a defining

Concept of Anxiety seems to associate Adam and Eve with the
personality described in Either/Or I as immediate pole of the
aesthetic sphere -- three stages of desire here: dreaming, seeking,
and desiring.  I get the impression that Milton's Adam and Eve can be
read as moving through these three stages of desire, then (perhaps)
skipping the reflective pole of the aesthetic sphere and leaping right
into sin and the ethical sphere.  Hard to say -- once a character
emphasizes or is characterized by language use they have become

Jim R

On Tue, Jun 24, 2008 at 9:24 PM, Alice Crawford Berghof
<aberghof at uci.edu> wrote:
> I think we can consider Adam and Eve fully developed subjectivities, even in
> a Kierkegaardian sense, and equally imbued with will, but reflecting two
> different rhetorical registers of motivation for failing to align their
> wills with God's.  These registers can be set against Satan's in terms if
> Kierkegaardian irony.  Eve's motivation emerges in the form of prosopopoeia
> in the present moment (the fruit solicits her longing eye - this is from
> memory...), Adam's in proleptic, lyric lament before the fact.  Back to my
> fallen powerpoint.  Hope to meet you in London.
> Alice Berghof

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