[Milton-L] Eve in PL:independant character ?

Jameela Lares Jameela.Lares at usm.edu
Thu Sep 24 14:17:04 EDT 2009


Prof Lares wrote:

> You write, inter alia,
> >
> > > "For example, in L´Allegro we notice that goddesses (and not gods) are related to beauty, youth, delight. "
> >
> > But in this instance is Milton not just conventionally depicting abstract qualities as feminine, following the grammatical gender they usually had in Latin?

> Dear Mr Lares:  the point that I wish to make is that regardless of the Latin grammatical gender, what seems to be obvious is that a goddess is 
> definitely a female deity and not a male deity. This fact, I suppose, reflects the historical gender roles of any given culture depending on which 
> goddess we may be talking about. It seems to me that Milton mentions goddesses whose features have traditionally been more related to feminine 
> features than male´s. Nevertheless, this is just one single aspect of the point that I was trying to make in the previous e-mail.

> Dario

Dario,

I'm also female, actually.  Jameela is fine.

Again, I'm only talking about the issue of Latin grammatical gender here and how abstractions tend to be iconographically feminized as a result.  By everyone.  It isn't only those obviously feminine qualities that are so treated, but also more intellectual abstractions, such as the seven liberal arts as handmaidens in Martinus Cappella and the like.  Milton makes Melancholia a female, but so does Dürer.  I am only insisting that however else Milton treats women, his feminizing of abstract qualities is too universal a practice to serve as a proof for anything other than that he knew Latin.

Jameela Lares
Professor of English
The University of Southern Mississippi
118 College Drive, #5037
Hattiesburg, MS  39406-0001
601 266-4319 ofc
601 266-5757 fax
________________________________________
From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu [milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] On Behalf Of dario gomez [darioeg at hotmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, September 24, 2009 11:39 AM
To: milton group
Subject: [Milton-L] Eve in PL:independant character ?

Prof Lares wrote:

You write, inter alia,
>
> > "For example, in L´Allegro we notice that goddesses (and not gods) are related to beauty, youth, delight. "
>
> But in this instance is Milton not just conventionally depicting abstract qualities as feminine, following the grammatical gender they usually had in Latin?

Dear Mr Lares:  the point that I wish to make is that regardless of the Latin grammatical gender, what seems to be obvious is that a goddess is definitely a female deity and not a male deity. This fact, I suppose, reflects the historical gender roles of any given culture depending on which goddess we may be talking about. It seems to me that Milton mentions goddesses whose features have traditionally been more related to feminine features than male´s.
Nevertheless, this is just one single aspect of the point that I was trying to make in the previous e-mail.

Dario


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