[Milton-L] Is Paradise Lost

Marlene Edelstein malkaruth2000 at yahoo.co.uk
Tue Apr 14 06:40:42 EDT 2009


Shalom? Shalom? If it's peace and harmony you're after don't go about calling Shakespeare a one-trick pony and denying that he's a poet. Why the need to establish a hierarchy of the greatest? My love of poetry and language was nurtured by by both Shakespeare and Milton (and Keats, Chaucer and Pope, by the way); returning to either is a rebirth.

              Marlene R. Edelstein

                  

believe everything, believe nothing

--- On Tue, 14/4/09, jonnyangel <junkopardner at comcast.net> wrote:

From: jonnyangel <junkopardner at comcast.net>
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Is Paradise Lost
To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Date: Tuesday, 14 April, 2009, 10:55 AM



Re: [Milton-L] Is Paradise Lost
Yes, Yes, and Yes. PL is the greatest work of literature in the “English” Language; how could it not be? And you really can’t compare Shakespeare to Milton (or vice versa), because Bill was a playwright and John was (first and foremost) a poet. But you you can compare them with regard to the fact that both were writer’s, and both wrote in the English language. Shakespeare was a phenomenal verbal linguist, and you can’t deny that. But Milton was a poet (which is something Shakespeare simply wasn’t), AND Milton could also handle an epic narrative, multiple characters, temporal space, and the single largest topic that exists: Man/Woman, Heaven/Hell, God/Satan, and all of the binaries of life’s Black/White morality forming grey areas that are still being sought, fought, and argued over in the 21st century. 



Look, when it comes to the heavyweights, whether it’s Milton/Shakespeare or Frazier/Ali, it’s all subjective. Is Godzilla “greater” than King Kong? Is an electrolyte imbalance “greater” than cancer? They can (and often will) take you to the same place at the end of the day. 



But if I could be fortunate enough to have an escort to that place, I hope Milton is my escort. 



Shakespeare, for all of his brilliance, was a one trick pony. Milton was a jack of many trades, and the master of most of them. 



Even though you can argue someone till you’re blue in the face that PL is the greatest work of English Literature ever written, you will still get arguments to the contrary – but there are other factors/variables in the equation to be considered. 



Shakespeare carved out his slice of the pie, and Milton served up the rest. 



Shalom, 



Jonathan B. Colburn 













On 4/14/09 12:22 AM, "Alan Rudrum" <alanrudrum at gmail.com> wrote:



the greatest single work of literature in the English language, as was stated on this list recently?



Certainly it might be argued that it is; but when I raised the question with the scholar nearest to hand, we said simultaneously "What about King Lear?"



And then there is Wordsworth's Prelude, which begins with a meaningful echo of Samson Agonistes, - not every Milton scholar of my acquaintance managed to see this for himself,- and speaks at least as well as Paradise Lost to the concerns of many people one would hesitate to condemn as stupid.



Alan Rudrum











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