[Milton-L] Beauty dissertation (was "no subject?)

Andrew Herpich andrew.herpich at flinders.edu.au
Tue Jan 4 17:05:38 EST 2011


It is an interesting topic, but any theory that makes anything other than Eve's and Adam's choices the 'cause' of the Fall is misdirection. One of the most notable things about the Genesis text is Eve's reasoning over the serpent's words; this is amplified in Paradise Lost. And Adam in PL chooses his love for Eve - not based on her physical beauty alone, as his exchange with Raphael in Book VIII demonstrates - over obedience to God. Nevertheless, for that reason, any topic that puts the focus on Adam and Eve's love is a worthy one.

Andrew Herpich.

From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu [milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] On Behalf Of Jameela Lares [Jameela.Lares at usm.edu]
Sent: Wednesday, 5 January 2011 4:56 AM
To: John Milton Discussion List
Subject: RE: [Milton-L] Beauty dissertation (was "no subject?)


I am glad you are encouraging your student in what may indeed be a compelling topic.

There is, of course, the standard Neoplatonic stuff about beauty being the first rung on the ladder of Diotima.  (Cf. Spenser's Fowre Hymnes.)  I'm away from my library but could supply some titles later, always with the caveat that Neoplatonism works best during halcyon periods free of controversy.

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 Tony Demarest [tonydemarest at hotmail.com]
Sent: Monday, January 03, 2011 9:03 AM
To: milton-l at lists.richmond.edu
Subject: [Milton-L] (no subject)

Dear All-

First, Happy New Year to all; second, a problem: I have a student completing her senior thesis on PL, and she is gravitating
to the idea that beauty- physical and aesthetic- is the reason for the Fall. She argues that Eve's beauty is responsible for Satan's
focus upon her as target #1, and that it is also responsible for Adam's fear of immortality without her. Although my student is in the birthing throes of her thesis,
I find the subject provocative and worthy of further inquiry. I have put a reading list together (including texts from our list members), but I would also appreciate
any directions you may have.
Our college is small and I (a medievalist) have been teaching Milton for the past seven years- and that after a hiatus of 39 years as a public school administrator- so
my "scholarship" is quite pedestrian. So, that confession made, I would appreciate any assistance.
Thanking you in advance,


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