[Milton-L] Re: Milton & Lilith

Horace Jeffery Hodges jefferyhodges at yahoo.com
Tue Apr 19 21:53:14 EDT 2011

Satan and Sin beget Death. Death and Sin beget hell-hounds. I don't recall Sin 
ever begetting any 'devils'. Are you thinking of a passage in particular, Qadir?

Jeffery Hodges

From: Qadir <ghadir2005 at gmail.com>
To: milton-l at lists.richmond.edu
Sent: Tue, April 19, 2011 6:28:26 PM
Subject: [Milton-L] Re: Milton & Lilith

We know Burton mentions Lilith:
"Concerning the first beginning of them, the Talmudists say that Adam had a wife 
called Lilis, before he married Eve, and of her he begat nothing but devils."
>From what we read in PL, book II, Sin is only capable of begetting devils. And 
unless we believe PL (Satan and Adam) is a case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, there 
seems to be no compelling evidence as to the appearance, however distorted, of 
Lilith in PL. But since (like Jonathan Culler, unless my memory fails me) I find 
over-interpretations rather interesting, I want to clutch at this rather tenuous 
line of argument. Is anyone immediately aware of a passage in PL where Satan and 
Adam come face to face as opposed to a mere glance from afar like the one in 
book IV? I'm too curious to wait till my next reading of the epic?
I would like to know if this Dr Jekyll thing is even remotely possible and, in 
case it is more like a joke, whether it is a funny one at that?!

On a more serious note, you might find this article interesting: Commentaries on 
Genesis as a Basis for Hexaemeral Material in the Literature of the Late 
Renaissance by Arnold Williams. He proposes that Milton, like Raleigh and 
Browne, used the commentaries on Genesis written in the 16th and early 17th 
centuries rather than going exclusively to the original sources. There are also 
some passing references to Lilith and Burton.

Qadir - Tehran.
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