[Milton-L] Fallen and unfallen language

James Rovira jamesrovira at gmail.com
Sat Mar 31 20:34:35 EDT 2012


"Representations of sexuality" is a fairly generic term.  The act of sex
itself was undoubtedly the same in PL before and after the fall, just as
the tenor or emotional tone of sex in PL was undoubtedly different before
and after the fall.

Language before and after the fall is a more difficult subject. I think we
should begin with the understanding that to Milton, fallenness was not
merely a literary convention or a part of his "fictionalized" world any
more than gravity, when its effects appear in a novel, is to ours.  I would
think that on Milton's terms, he's attempting to use fallen language to
represent an unfallen state, hence continual appeals to the Muse.  I also
suspect that, on Milton's terms, the Muse so moved and elevated him above
those limitations.

But wouldn't Milton still his own English as being a postlapsarian
invention?  Did Milton believe that Adam and Eve spoke Hebrew in the
garden?

Jim R
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