[Milton-L] Re: Milton & Lilith

Bob Blair bblair48 at yahoo.com
Tue Apr 19 22:02:06 EDT 2011

That's a fairly obscure reference.  I admit I don't have access to it.  If you subscribe to jstor, it's at http://www.jstor.org/pss/4172365
I didn't recognize the adjective hexameral at first.  It of course refers to the six days of creation.  Did Milton ever use the word?

--- On Tue, 4/19/11, Qadir <ghadir2005 at gmail.com> wrote:

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

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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