[Milton-L] Re: Eve seeking temptation

James Rovira jamesrovira at gmail.com
Tue Sep 8 15:38:17 EDT 2009

Jeffery -- assuming Milton is sincere in his claim to "justify the
ways of God to man," I think Milton gave us his answer by explaining
to his readers the very purpose of his poem.  If he makes that claim
ironically, then of course that changes the entire tenor of the poem.
And yes, in this case Milton should be read as a very sophisticated
Gnostic author writing a story about another fallen creator-god.  You
may believe that is true about the Jewish and Christian God, but was
that Milton's belief?

I'm fairly confident, however, that Milton's readers would know God
was good and Satan was not to be trusted even without Milton telling
them.  Seems like he does, though, here and there, does he not?   Even
apart from these widespread assumptions, doesn't Satan come to seem
very small and petty well before the end of the poem?  Even Shelley
didn't think he was a fit subject for his own mythological poem.

Jim R

On Tue, Sep 8, 2009 at 3:31 PM, Horace Jeffery
Hodges<jefferyhodges at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Jim Rovira wrote:
> "This reasoning assumes that God is indeed God, of course, which is an
> assumption that I think Milton held."
> But it's an assumption that Satan questions, and brings Eve to question, so
> Milton must be raising the issue, too. Satan and his fallen companions are
> shown openly questioning whether or not the God who has defeated them is
> truly God -- or merely a superior angel who happened to come into being
> before the rest of them and thereby had an advantage.
> What answer does Milton provide to this question?
> Jeffery Hodges

More information about the Milton-L mailing list