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

Salwa Khoddam skhoddam at cox.net
Fri Jan 8 18:42:06 EST 2010


Talking about the fruit tree . . . How did Satan know which specific tree Adam meant when Adam was telling Eve about God's commandment in Bk. 4?  I think I'm missing something.  Would appreciate it if you would point out where and how Satan learned about what specific tree to target.
Many thanks,
Salwa
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Michael Gillum 
  To: John Milton Discussion List 
  Sent: Friday, January 08, 2010 2:35 PM
  Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Re prelaps seasons: when is a question a good one?


  Dario, This is not a "nod" by Milton. Satan is just playing dumb. He wants her to restate the rules and perhaps notice the arbitrariness. It's significant that she never mentions the reason for the prohibition, although Adam has explained it and she approved of it as "just and right" (4.443).


  Michael


  On Fri, Jan 8, 2010 at 3:16 PM, Dario Rivarossa <dario.rivarossa at gmail.com> wrote:

    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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