[Milton-L] Milton's Cosmos and Universe

James Rovira jamesrovira at gmail.com
Wed Jan 20 11:40:00 EST 2010


Do the lines quoted specify an intent on the part of the mountains to
assault heaven, or are they hyperbole employed to describe the fearsome size
of these mountains: "Mountains so big that they look like they could assault
heaven's height"?  "As" mountains to assault implies a simile.  Also,
assaulting "heaven's height" is not the same as assaulting heaven -- more,
possibly, an implication of a contest of size, isn't it?  Seems like the
point of the passage is the fearsomeness of chaos from the perspective of
its observers.  Even Rafael should be afraid.

Jim R

On Wed, Jan 20, 2010 at 11:27 AM, John Leonard <jleonard at uwo.ca> wrote:

>
> O no?  Setting aside book 2, which might be dismissed as "Satan's
> perspective" (convenient fall guy, Satan), look at 7 210-15, which is
> Raphael's perspective:
>
>  On heav'nly ground they stood, and from the shore
> They view'd the vast immeasurable Abyss
> Outrageous as a Sea, dark, wasteful, wilde,
> Up from the bottom turn'd by furious windes
> And surging waves, as Mountains to assault
> Heav'ns highth, and with the Center mix the Pole.
>
> If that is not Chaos threatening to invade ("as Mountains to assault") then
> I do not know what is.
>
> John Leonard
>
>
>
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