[Milton-L] Milton & Lilith

Salwa Khoddam skhoddam at cox.net
Wed Apr 20 00:04:55 EDT 2011


This Lilith figure is so intriguing.  In the passage from Lewis's LWW cited 
by Jameela (which slipped my mind, rather embarrassing since I just finished 
a book on The Chronicles of Narnia--coming out in June, 2011, published by 
Winged Lion Press), Lewis continues to say that Lilith was one of the Jinn 
(a spirit in Islamic mythology who appears in animal or human form)  and 
from the other side of her ancestry she comes from the giants.  Paul Ford in 
Companion to Narnia writes that Lilith is "A female demon of both Babylonian 
Mythology and the Hebrew tradition, who murders newborn babies, harms women 
in chldbirth, and haunts wildernesses on the lookout for children" (286). 
Sin in PL seems rather tame in comparison, but then Sin is an allegorical 
figure.
About the influence of George MacDonald's Lilith on Lewis's White Witch,
Glen GoodKnight suggests that there is an influence, but that Lewis in LWW 
emphasized her hatred of humanity and her child stealing rather than her 
attractiveness.  I haven't read MacDonald's Lilith yet.
Best Wishes,
Salwa

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: "Jameela Lares" <Jameela.Lares at usm.edu>
To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, April 19, 2011 10:12 AM
Subject: RE: [Milton-L] Milton & Lilith


Lewis himself identifies a connection with Lilith, actually.  In "What 
Happened after Dinner" in _The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe_, Mr. 
Beaver says of the White Witch, "she comes of your father Adam's . . . first 
wife, her they called Lilith" (page 81 in my edition).

What I am not sure about is how much of Lewis's mention has to do with 
George MacDonald's book, Lilith (1895). Much, I imagine, as Lewis was 
influenced by MacDonald.

Jameela Lares
Professor of English
The University of Southern Mississippi
118 College Drive, #5037
Hattiesburg, MS  39406-0001
601 266-4319 ofc
601 266-5757 fax
________________________________________
From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu 
[milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] On Behalf Of Salwa Khoddam 
[skhoddam at cox.net]
Sent: Tuesday, April 19, 2011 9:15 AM
To: John Milton Discussion List
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Milton & Lilith

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.
Best,
Salwa

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<mailto:skhoddam at cox.net>
----- Original Message -----
From: Zámbóné Kocic Larisa<mailto:larisa at lit.u-szeged.hu>
To: 'John Milton Discussion List'<mailto:milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
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:
http://feminism.eserver.org/theory/papers/lilith
I hope this was of some help.
Best,

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.

Best,
Ryan Paul

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