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

Carol Barton cbartonphd1 at verizon.net
Thu Jan 6 09:52:25 EST 2011


Jeffery (and Salwa), I'm not so sure that the dichotomy in Milton's mind is beauty vs. ugliness: I think it's more to do with proportion, with balance, with the "via media" vs. excess (as Salwa's comment suggests). The garden grows *too* abundantly; Adam's love for Eve is *too* great to allow him to worship and love God the way he should; Eve's appetite for wisdom is overreaching, instead of "lowly wise." Even their respective proposals for penance (abstinence, suicide, taking on the entire burden of sin oneself) are "too much of a much." There is the sense of excess that permeates the Garden of Acrasia in the _Faerie Queene_ as well--the failure of Temperance--suggestive, I think, of temptation so overwhelming that it obscures right reason.

By the way--apologies for the posting of a message intended to be private to the list.

Best to all,

Carol Barton
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