[Milton-L] Re: Eve seeking temptation
Horace Jeffery Hodges
jefferyhodges at yahoo.com
Wed Sep 9 16:47:31 EDT 2009
As I understand the expression "devil's advocate," it means to propose a position that one does not oneself accept but that one thinks deserves to be addressed. I used it in that sense -- but with an implicitly ironic allusion to Satan in the PL text (as a bit of humor).
--- On Wed, 9/9/09, James Rovira <jamesrovira at gmail.com> wrote:
From: James Rovira <jamesrovira at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Re: Eve seeking temptation
To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Date: Wednesday, September 9, 2009, 3:37 PM
Apologies if I misunderstood you, Jeffery, but I till can't say that I do at present. If you believe that Milton was playing "devil's advocate" (a term that would be taken literally for the text of PL), then either you mean he was using PL to ask a rhetorical question (for which he assumed an answer), or literally advocating for the devil in order to challenge then-current beliefs about God. It's possible to pose this challenge from an orthodox point of view, but I'm curious what you think was the content of this challenge.
<<I didn't think of the 'God' question as simply "rhetorical" if that means that no answer would be offered. I don't actually recall using the term "rhetorical," for that matter, though one could also provide an answer to a rhetorical question. But perhaps you're referring to my recent remark about Milton raising the question as a "devil's advocate"?
At any rate, I'm not a Gnostic, I don't think that Milton was one, and I take it that we now understand each other.
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