[Milton-L] "The liveliest pair"

Michael Gillum mgillum at unca.edu
Wed Oct 21 10:26:11 EDT 2009

According to the estimable Michael Lieb, their embraces were dutiful rather
than lively. However, I think in his reading of "nor turned I ween / Adam
from his fair spouse, nor Eve the rites / Mysterious of connubial love
refused," Lieb misses the tone. It is a litotes. Do others agree?
Speaking to Raphael at 8.522-30, Adam describes the sexual consummation as
"the sum of earthly bliss." He feels "vehement desire." Regarding Eve,
"transported I behold, / Transported touch. . . ." He is madly in love, and
it is a sexual passion as well as having other dimensions.
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