[Milton-L] Milton & Lilith

Salwa Khoddam skhoddam at cox.net
Tue Apr 19 10:15:42 EDT 2011

Thank you, Larisa.  This is one of the most helpful sources on Lilith.  Some critics see a relationship between her and The White Witch in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

Salwa Khoddam, Ph.D.
Professor of English, Emerita
Oklahoma City University
2501 N. Blackwelder
OKC, OK  73106
Phone:  405-208-5127
Email:  skhoddam at cox.net
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Zámbóné Kocic Larisa 
  To: 'John Milton Discussion List' 
  Sent: Tuesday, April 19, 2011 3:55 AM
  Subject: RE: [Milton-L] Milton & Lilith

  Dear Ryan,


  I have for some time entertained the notion myself, but after an in-depth research I discarded it as baseless  - the best one can come up with are conjectures. I doubt not, that Milton knew the story, but he obviously had no use for it in his epic.  I would say that Lilith plays greater role among his readers, especially those of the 18th and 19th century, who certainly wished to see Sin as prefiguring or embodying Lilith (Fuseli's painting of the Lapland witches comes readily into one's mind, and indeed, the Night-Hag part - "Lur'd with the smell of infant blood" - from Milton's extended simile does resemble Lilith, however, it is worth noting that Milton is comparing not so much Sin with the Night-Hag, but rather the Hellhounds surround Sin with those following the Night-Hag). If you student wishes to pursue this matter, I would recommend Amy Scerba online article on Lilth, in which she does make a passing remark to Milton identifying his Sin ("Snakie Sorceress [2.724]) to Lilith:


  I hope this was of some help.



  Larisa Kocic-Zambo



  From: Ryan Paul [mailto:ryanspaul at gmail.com] 
  Sent: Monday, April 11, 2011 8:51 PM
  To: John Milton Discussion List
  Subject: [Milton-L] Milton & Lilith


  Dear E-Miltonists:

  A student asked me about Lilith and whether Milton knew her story or was influenced by it. I assume that Milton was well aware of the story, but I have no idea if his works, PL or otherwise, make any references to her. A scan through the index of Shoulson's Milton and the Rabbis did not turn up any mention of her, and the only mention I could find in a (very cursory) web search of Milton scholarship turned up a brief aside in Denis Saurat's 1922 article "Milton and the Zohar," where he suggests that perhaps the character of Sin was based on the Lilith legend. All this suggests to me that Milton simply wasn't interested in her story, but I wanted to check with the list to see if any of you either knew of scholarship on the subject or had your own theories about her role in shaping Milton's theology or poetry.

  Thanks in advance for any thoughts.

  Ryan Paul


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