[Milton-L] epic thread

aberghof at uci.edu aberghof at uci.edu
Sat Dec 18 21:37:09 EST 2010

Here are some of my favorite books on the subject.  I find interesting the
mock-epic potential of Milton's use of epic simile (allegory) in the early
books of Paradise Lost, in relation to Satan, as well as the way epic
allusions have Cromwell-era and therefore sobering undertones that point
toward the limits of lived revolution.  It's also interesting, in my
opinion, to think about the paradox created when a mock-epic hero is used
to mock the abuses of power in the era of Cromwell, specifically in that
era's disputes over land rights.  The last book listed below has an
argument that shifts away from allusion and toward figurative language, in
its discussion of epic.  If anyone wants to pursue that line of reasoning
off-list (if it's overloading the listserv discussion), I'd love to chat
about the extent to which extended and therefore mock epic simile, in
itself, is a politically incendiary speech act.
Alice Berghof

Paradise lost : ideal and tragic epic / Francis C. Blessington
Blessington, Francis C., 1942-
Boston : Twayne Publishers, c1988

Paradise lost and the classical epic / Francis C. Blessington
Blessington, Francis C., 1942-
Boston : Routledge & K. Paul, 1979

The satanic epic / Neil Forsyth
Forsyth, Neil, 1944-
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2003

The ruins of allegory : Paradise Lost and the metamorphosis of epic
convention / Catherine Gimelli M
Martin, Catherine Gimelli
Durham [N.C.] : Duke University Press, 1998

Allegorical poetics & the epic : the Renaissance tradition to Paradise
lost / Mindele Anne Treip
Treip, Mindele Anne
Lexington, Ky. : University Press of Kentucky, c1994

The choice of Achilles : the ideology of figure in the epic / Susanne
Lindgren Wofford
Wofford, Susanne Lindgren, 1952-
Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, 1992

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