[Milton-L] De Doc and PL

Michael Gillum mgillum at unca.edu
Wed Jan 7 10:10:25 EST 2009

John, perhaps in traditional usage ³esoteric² would mean the deeper or
higher meaning, but I think in Harold Skulsky¹s analysis it refers to a
subordinate meaning. Arguments about Christology are secondary to Milton¹s
main purposes in PL, which are to affirm divine justice, to explore the
nature of the Fall, etc. I suppose Milton did not want to fudge his Arian
positions but neither did he want to thrust them into obvious view‹ not only
because he wanted to avoid trouble, but also because he wanted to avoid
alienating otherwise ³fit² readers. So he dramatized the Son¹s subordination
in an understated way rather than stating it overtly.


On 1/6/09 8:38 PM, "John Hale" <john.hale at otago.ac.nz> wrote:

>     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 what?)

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