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

Harold Skulsky hskulsky at smith.edu
Wed Jun 22 10:04:21 EDT 2011

Hi, John!

"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?"
In a sense, he wouldn't need to, given his capacious hellenism. Tasso, after all,  was simply adopting the Aristophanic epithet for the earth (Gk "pandora" = "all-gifted," hence "bounteous"). This epithet for earth also occurs elsewhere in Greek literature probably familiar to M (Philo, I think, Oppian, and Pseudo-Homer), and also with the same meaning in other contexts . Whether he actually used it, M would surely have noticed the irony of the terrene epithet, given the myth and the Genesis story and his own Hesiodic reference. I wouldn't be surprised if there's an allusion hidden in some nook or cranny of the Eden landscape in PL 4.
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