[Milton-L] Thoughts on Milton and Satan?

Heather Moon hthrmn7 at gmail.com
Wed Dec 4 19:04:12 EST 2013


I also found it interesting that so many commentators are focused on
Milton's relationship with Satan. I've been thinking that this relationship
between Milton and Satan isn't necessarily a moral relationship, but rather
a rhetorical and aesthetic one. Perhaps Milton is humanizing and
identifying with Satan in order to make use of rhetoric and persuasion. Any
thoughts?


On Wed, Dec 4, 2013 at 3:27 PM, <srevard at siue.edu> wrote:

> What comes out with amazing clarity is not that Milton identifies with
> Satan,
> but that so many commentators on the Milton list do.  Wouldn't that make an
> interesting topic for a panel, a paper, even a dissertation:  "'With leer
> malign':  just who is really 'of the devil's party,' and do they know it?"
> Can
> we look forward to etchings or lithographs of critics sitting nude in their
> Blakean gardens, somewhat like students in the back of a room at the end
> of a
> semester, giggling as they tweet "I just photoshopped Milton Frenchkissing
> Satan!" and "Better yet, here's a view of them flying through Hell with
> Satan
> not yet out of Milton's head!" Envy of the smartest guy and best poet in
> class,
> I suppose, has nothing to do with it--Satan might admit that as his
> motive, but
> twitterers probably would not. Milton's Satan admits that he hates the
> Sun's
> beams--but only in a soliloquy, not to his followers.
>
> All in fun of course.
>
>
> Quoting "Bryson, Michael E" <michael.bryson at csun.edu>:
>
> > John Leonard (on page 549 of *Faithful Laborers* Vol II) renders the
> quote
> > this way (from page 239 of from Tillyard's *Milton* [1930]):
> >
> > "Had Milton been 'stranded in his own Paradise', Tillyard continues, he
> > 'would very soon have eaten the apple on his own responsibility and
> > immediately justified the act in a polemical pamphlet.'"
> >
> > Michael Bryson
> >
> >
> > ________________________________________
> > From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu
> > [milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] On Behalf Of Stephen Buhler
> > [sbuhler1 at unl.edu]
> > Sent: Wednesday, December 04, 2013 11:04 AM
> > To: John Milton Discussion List
> > Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Thoughts on Milton and Satan?
> >
> > Frank Kermode credits E. M. W. Tillyard with the remark.  See Kermode,
> *An
> > Appetite for Poetry* (Harvard UP, 1989), p. 76 (in his essay on "Milton
> in
> > Old Age") -- we'll all be digging through Tillyard now!
> >
> > With every good wish,
> >
> > Steve
> >
> > Stephen M. Buhler
> > Aaron Douglas Professor and Vice Chair of English
> > University of Nebraska-Lincoln
> > sbuhler1 at unl.edu
> > 402-472-1784
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu
> > [mailto:milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] On Behalf Of Richard A.
> Strier
> > Sent: Wednesday, December 04, 2013 12:33 PM
> > To: John Milton Discussion List
> > Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Thoughts on Milton and Satan?
> >
> > This reminds me:  does anyone know who made what I consider the greatest
> > remark ever made about JM-- namely, that if he had been in Eden, he would
> > have eaten the apple and then written a pamphlet defending have done it.
> >
> > I've always wanted to quote this, and have done it orally but never in
> print,
> > because I never had a source.  Can anyone help?
> >
> > RS
> >
> > ________________________________________
> > From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu
> > [milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] on behalf of Bryson, Michael E
> > [michael.bryson at csun.edu]
> > Sent: Wednesday, December 04, 2013 1:03 AM
> > To: John Milton Discussion List
> > Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Thoughts on Milton and Satan?
> >
> > You'll want to look at Neil Forsyth's work--The Satanic Epic (2003) and
> The
> > Old Enemy (1987)--to start with. Others here will have plenty of
> additional
> > suggestions, but Forsyth should be at the top of your list.
> >
> > Good luck with your research,
> >
> > Michael Bryson
> > ________________________________________
> > From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu
> > [milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] On Behalf Of Heather Moon
> > [hthrmn7 at gmail.com]
> > Sent: Tuesday, December 03, 2013 10:34 PM
> > To: milton-l at lists.richmond.edu
> > Subject: [Milton-L] Thoughts on Milton and Satan?
> >
> > Hello everyone,
> > I'm new to the list but I've been doing some research on Milton and his
> > connection to the character Satan in Paradise Lost. I've noticed some
> > similarities between Milton and his character Satan, mainly that they are
> > both ambitious, they both fight against authority, and they're both
> radicals.
> > I also noticed that the views in writing in Satan's speeches are similar
> so
> > some of Milton's early work, particularly in his piece Against Prelaty.
> I've
> > been theorizing that Milton may have been putting his own personality and
> > views into his character Satan in order to fight against the church,
> > particularly against the prelates and possibly Calvinism. Do you have any
> > thoughts on this matter and where I might go for further research?
> >
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