[Milton-L] Re: orthodoxy

Dario Rivarossa dario.rivarossa at gmail.com
Sun Jan 24 02:31:40 EST 2010


Dear Carrol,

many thanks for your very intriguing essay.
Yes, I think you are right about Dante: he takes our moral agreement for
granted. Unless we choose to find a hidden message in his Comedy under the
plainer one. But, that would be a different approach: in the case of Milton,
the "accept or not" decision is required BY the text itself.

As for Milton, maybe he influenced the Anglo-Saxon views as far as the
individual / society issue is concerned, but - all in all - it seems to me
that he is still a big outsider in theology at least. In any Christian
Church the doctrines about God and mankind have not developed in the
direction of PL.
At his time (see some past post by Marlene, I think) he may have considered
as a defender ot traditional values, e.g. the role of woman; but, after some
centuries, we can better understand that he was not.

Milton's lasting novelty is anyway a good thing. Kahlil Gibran's religious
insights were great and shocking at the beginning of the 20th century, but
nowadays they just sound like the usual New Age stuff. So sad. Milton
succeeded in remaining The Original (Sin).

>the poem continually forces the reader to make a free decision as to
whether or not to accept the judgment of the narrator on his narrative
events. (I don't think this _ever_ happens in ... Dante's
Comedy...)
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