[Milton-L] Tasso, Milton, and James Cameron

Dario Rivarossa dario.rivarossa at gmail.com
Tue Jun 21 17:06:38 EDT 2011

Dear scholars

many months ago I happened to write in the List that the basic
structure of James Cameron's movie "Avatar" seemed to have been taken
from Paradise Lost. And, Milton's long poem was inspired by Tasso's
"Il Mondo Creato."

Now, the alien, paradise-like planet in which the sci-fi movie is set
is called Pandora. And just now, while rereading Il Mondo Creato, I
noticed this verse, referring to Eden: "Certa, maravigliosa, alma
Pandora" (7.819), "Firm/reliable, wonderful, life-giving Pandora."
Taking it for granted that Cameron could not possibly know Tasso's
poem, it may be interesting to see whether Milton, by following his
Italian forerunner, in case, employed the myth of Pandora as a
metaphor for paradise. I honestly cannot remember, or rather, Milton
_did_ quote Pandora in his description of Eve in Bk 4, but not of
planet Earth as a whole, in its innocent condition. Or, did he?

Many thanks.

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