[Milton-L] Milton and Sin

Michael Gillum mgillum at unca.edu
Sat Jun 28 18:43:21 EDT 2008


I didn't intend my post to address only Harold Skulsky-- should have made
that clearer.

Raphael's line, "as thou thyself perceiv'st" (8.566), refers to Adam's
previously stated understanding that his reverence for Eve is out of
proportion, given that he is by nature slightly superior to her. I take
Raphael to be speaking here about objective reasoning rather than what we
would call point of view or individual perception. Adam's subjective view
combines this rational understanding with his passionate feelings for Eve,
and the latter will determine his fatal choice. It's not so much a defect in
judgment as a short circuiting of judgment.

The latter part of Adam's monologue ("How could I live without thee,"
9.908-16) is a pure lyric expression of emotion.


On 6/28/08 5:38 PM, "Alice Crawford Berghof" <aberghof at uci.edu> wrote:

> Dear Professor Gillum,
> I am certain Professor Skulsky will respond with greater knowledge and
> better judgment than I.  Just a few quick ideas: re your last point
> (5), John Leonard Naming in Paradise 213 and following.  Also, your
> point gets at the difference between knowledge and judgment - I'm
> trying to place your term "motivation" in here somewhere...  What do
> you think of Raphael's line, "as thou thyself perceiv'st" (VIII.566),
> in terms of whether Adam should've been able to perceive things from a
> perspective other than his own?  Would support your reading, I believe.
>   However, do you think it's possible that Adam knows "his decision is
> wrong from God's standpoint and in an absolute sense," as you say, but
> that he has not been provided with adequate judgment?  Perhaps he has
> sufficient knowledge but insufficient judgment to do the right thing.
> What would the right thing have been?  Dying for Eve would have been
> one possibility, acc to John Leonard in his fascinating discussion that
> brings us all the way to this idea: "The thought of bodily resurrection
> for Adam is not absurd" (page 218).
> Alice
> On Jun 28, 2008, at 1:34 PM, Michael Gillum wrote:

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