[Milton-L] Is Paradise Lost

Mario DiCesare dicesare1 at mindspring.com
Thu Apr 16 10:49:10 EDT 2009

Jim Rovira is absolutely right -- Milton knew exactly what he was doing. As a 
refugee classicist basking in Milton's poetry forty years ago, I wrote a piece, 
"Advent'rous Song: The Texture of Milton's Epic," for "Language and Style in Milton: 
A Symposium," edited by Ronald Emma and John Shawcross (NY 1967), 1-29. (That volume 
celebrated the tercentenary of "Paradise Lost.") The essay concluded that the notion 
of a Latinate style in Milton is superficial and half-baked at best. (No, I didn't 
put it so bluntly then! But the subject did provide the opportunity to go a good 
deal further than inquiry into style.)

I couldn't put it any better than Jim did: Of course Milton knew what he was doing.


Mario A. DiCesare

James Rovira wrote:
> Not to me.  It indicates to me a giving up on the ability of English
> to communicate eloquently on the syntactic level and produce
> unnecessarily obscure sentences at times.  But sentence construction
> alone can never make any work "timeless" and "transcendent" -- if
> Milton were to write his shopping list in this form we wouldn't be
> discussing it except as a curiosity.
> Of course Milton knew what he was doing.
> Jim R

> On Thu, Apr 16, 2009 at 7:09 AM, jonnyangel <junkopardner at comcast.net> wrote:
>> And it's the Latinate construction (the thing after the "thing") of PL that
>> makes it unique, transcendent, and timeless,
>> Donch'a think?
>> Either Milton knew what he was doing, or he didn't.
>> (Oh, and give me Beethoven over Mozart- Mozart sounds like Bubble-Gum.)
>> JonnyA

More information about the Milton-L mailing list