[Milton-L] De Doc and PL
john.hale at otago.ac.nz
Tue Jan 6 20:38:09 EST 2009
Some brief points, on how this excellent strand of discussion has
1. Thank you, Roy, for amplifying your point, that De Doctrina
"works" for PL, or by its nature helps understanding PL, in the same
or similar way that some other prose texts underlie or prepare for
later greater works. But it's the relationship or gap between each
such pair of works that is still the fundamental problem. It will vary.
2. It will vary especially where the difference in genres is
greatest; which is the case with DDC and PL. It makes much more sense
to gloss the DDC and the Logic from each other, as they have similar
ground rules etc.
3. John Creaser's recent MQ essay captures some of the essential
differences as perceived in the detailed workings of the styles of
DDC and of PL. The style of the poetry is both more open and more
disciplined than Milton's prose.
4. Perhaps Milton reworked the verse more, and more systematically,
than he did the prose.
5. The distinction between PL's exoteric and esoteric meanings leaves
me unsure. The labels once explained two different sets of
philosophical writing, exoterikoi and esoterikoi logoi, for two
different readerships, whereas on this hypothesis both apply to one
and the same poem.
6. The idea certainly puts a new edge into the remark about "fit
audience though few," but at the cost of an even more complicated
theoretical tussle than usual about a poet's intention. Milton would
now have a twofold intention. (All the time, or some of the time, or
7. As teachers and publicists and performers of Milton it will become
tougher claiming that Milton is readily accessible.
8. What other poets would this idea work for? Dante?
Happy new year to all!
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