[Milton-L] Re prelaps seasons: when is a question a good one?

Dario Rivarossa dario.rivarossa at gmail.com
Fri Jan 8 15:16:15 EST 2010


Once again, there can be in PL a reference to Dante "plus" a modern approach
that conveys a more complex insight --- the outcome being sometimes a bit
contradictory, because Milton wants to save too many goats and too many
cabbages.
On the other hand, Dante's Eden, that is placed on top of the mount of
Purgatory, looks even more contradictory because it enjoys a "never-ending
Spring" though it belongs to our current post-lapsarian Earth. Just a sort
of miracle can grant its unnatural condition, in fact.

As for Milton, he often adds personal episodes to the previous tellings, but
at the same time he tries to keep any recorded detail in his own text, and
that's where the cocktail sometimes doesn't work.
E.g. in PL 9.656-657 the Satan-Serpent ask Eve, "Indeed? Hath God said that
if the fruit / Of all these garden trees ye shall not eat?", as he does in
the Bible, BUT Milton here forgets that just few lines before, v. 620, Eve -
unlike in Genesis - had already told the Tempter, "in such abundance lies
our choice".
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