[Milton-L] Re: Re: Milton & Lilith

Qadir ghadir2005 at gmail.com
Mon Apr 25 02:50:31 EDT 2011

Dear Larisa,
Your point is surely interesting from the point of view of the history of
criticism. As for the allusion itself, I must say the reference to Hecate is
unmistakable, though the possibility of an alternative suggestion is indeed
By the way, I didn't see Fowler's formidable edition in your collection! He
glosses *Night-hag* as "Hecate, whose charms were used by Circe in her spell
against Scylla." Perhaps, that's why Milton thought of Hecate in the first
place: he thought of her the moment Scylla came to his mind. Still, there
remains the question whether Milton was aware of the Hecate/Lilith
association or not. I'd be surprised if he didn't.

I thank professor khoddam for her comment. I agree with her that we should
not so quickly load our imaginative guns and aim far. However, supposing
that Milton knew about the Hecate/Lilith association, I respectfully insist
there must be more to the allusion than she allows.

Qadir - Tehran

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Zámbóné Kocic Larisa" <larisa at lit.u-szeged.hu>
To: "'John Milton Discussion List'" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2011 10:48:39 +0200
Subject: [Milton-L] Hecate (WAS: Milton & Lilith)

Dear Qadir!

In almost  all editions of *Paradise Lost* that I have collected so far
(Hughes, Lewalski, Kerrigan-Rumrich-Fallon, Fletcher, Raffael) there is a
note to 2.662 identifying the Night-Hag with Hecate in more or less detail
(except for Elledge).

It is, however, interesting to note how earlier editions like Newton’s
(1750) and Hawkins’ (1824) make no mention of it. Wonder when and why Hecate
crept in? I guess, Prof. Leonard will know all about this „intrusion” for he
is surveying and summarizing the most influential criticism written between
1667 and 1970 for a *Milton Variorum* edition.

Larisa Kocic-Zambo (Hungary)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Salwa Khoddam" <skhoddam at cox.net>
To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Date: Thu, 21 Apr 2011 23:25:59 -0500
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Re: Milton & Lilith
There are two links here between Milton's Sin and Lilith:  Milton compares
Sin to a "Night-Hag" who, in the following lines, travels "in secret,. . .
Lur'd with the smell of infant blood" (2. 662. 2-4).   In Babylonian
mythology and Hebrew tradition Lilith is a female demon who appears at
night, on the lookout for children, and she murders new-born babies.
There's something here, maybe not more than an example of Milton's knowledge
of Middle Eastern mythology. In the following line, Milton links her with
Nordic witches, the "Lapland Witches" (665).  A powerful example of his

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
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