[Milton-L] Fallen and unfallen language

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Sat Mar 31 18:30:11 EDT 2012


Let's consider lying. Here is a lie:

Pope died in 1780.

Now, I don't know off hand someone who died in 1780, but someone certainly
did; call her Marie.

Marie died in 1780.

The lie represents different behavior, but I see no way to differentiate the
_language_ of the two statements. To determine the untruth of the first and
the truth of the second we do not examine the language; we examine the world
and compare it with the statements made. I should think a difference of
language would have to be revealed through analyzing the words, syntax, etc.
without reference to the aspects of the world to which the language refers
or the purposes it serves.

What makes unfallen language unfallen? _As langguare_, without reference to
its content? As Richard Strier indicates below, it Adam's misogyny not the
language in which it is expressed that is fallen. 

Carrol





-----Original Message-----
From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu
[mailto:milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] On Behalf Of Richard Strier
Sent: Saturday, March 31, 2012 4:32 PM
To: John Milton Discussion List
Cc: milton-l at lists.richmond.edu
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Fallen and unfallen language

I do not believe that there is, in fact, in the actions and attitudes,  
any significant difference between fallen and unfallen sex.  I am sure  
that there was intended to be such but think that here, as so often in  
the poem, Milton was saved from his conscious intentions by his poetry.

And I do not believe that there is any difference in language as such  
between before and after the fall.  The things A &E say are different  
(A is especially bad in his misogyny) but that is a different matter.

Sent from my iPhone

On Mar 31, 2012, at 4:01 PM, Roy <royflannagan at gmail.com> wrote:

> Must we be as complicated as this? Of course we need well-defined  
> terms and support from Milton's other works for what, say,  
> "hypocrisy" meant to him.  But we can say with some certainty that  
> fallen sex is nasty, and that unfallen sex had been beautiful and  
> good.  The language of Adam and Eve follows the same pattern.
>
> Roy



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