[Milton-L] Fallen and unfallen language

jsavoie at siue.edu jsavoie at siue.edu
Sat Mar 31 20:25:49 EDT 2012

My essay recently published in the Milton Quarterly argues for a strong and
consistent distinction in Milton's representations of sexuality before and
during/after the fall.


John Savoie

Quoting JD Fleming <jfleming at sfu.ca>:

> Where does the text support that alleged certainty?
> It seems me (as usual when this issue comes up) that the interesting
> questions only get going when we recognize how surprisingly _little_
> difference there is between Milton's representations of sexuality before and
> after the fall.
> JD Fleming

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.

--Richard Strier

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Roy" <royflannagan at gmail.com>
> To: milton-l at lists.richmond.edu
> Sent: Saturday, March 31, 2012 2:01:07 PM
> Subject: [Milton-L] Fallen and unfallen language
> 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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