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

srevard at siue.edu srevard at siue.edu
Fri Sep 25 10:30:19 EDT 2009


Mirth and Melancholy are more than abstract deities with
grammatically feminine genders.  Mirth is actually
the Greek Grace Euphosyne and Milton gives her the attributes
of the Grace, as well as a few more.  Melancholy, as I have
argued in a PMLA article and in my book (Tangles of Neaera's
Hair) has the attributes of the Greek Muse Urania.  Milton
takes care not just to make Mirth and Melancholy goddesses
but specific goddesses with specific traits.

Stella Revard

Quoting Jameela Lares <Jameela.Lares at usm.edu>:

> 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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