[Milton-L] Addendum to SA vs. PR

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Fri Dec 6 15:36:19 EST 2013


I've been trying unsuccessfully for about 20 years to get a handle on PR,
which seems to me a stronger poem in some ways than PL. And I see it as a
secular poem in theological wrappings. The Son considers one "standpoint on
actuality" after another, rejecting each in turn as inadequate. (That Satan
proposes them as temptations is a trivial matter of the poem's machinery.)
He then (sort of) tentatively determines that the questions he poses (for
himself, for the narrator, for the reader) cannot be answered abstractly
(philosophically) but only in action. He goes home to prepare for that
action at the appropriate time (which is provided by actuality, not
predictable in advance).

It is not a passive poem, unless you consider Thesis 11* on Feuerbach as
passive. That thesis is to be seen as an epistemological, not a political or
ethical proposition.

Carrol

*"The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the
point is to change it." (A vulgarized but useful wording:"If you want to
know what a pear tastes like you have to engage in changing the world by
biting into a pear."

-----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: Friday, December 06, 2013 1:41 PM
To: John Milton Discussion List
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Addendum to SA vs. PR

So after the slaughter he restores the landscape to a song -- so?  I don't
see any great moral lesson here (after you napalm a village, make it into a
park, and sing your own praises?).



________________________________________
From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu
[milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] on behalf of srevard at siue.edu
[srevard at siue.edu]
Sent: Friday, December 06, 2013 1:30 PM
To: John Milton Discussion List
Subject: [Milton-L] Addendum to SA vs. PR

SA reminds Milton's readers that Samson was by preachers presented as an OT
Type of Jesus, and that his bringing down the (Philistine) Temple
foreshadows the assertion by Jesus in the NT that he will destroy and
rebuild the Temple; but PR reminds Milton's readers that the defeat of
Satan/false gods/Philistines is by true Christ(ians) best accomplished by
"standing" not "slaughtering."  Just as, when the War in Heaven is over, and
the Son in his Chariot has driven the demons out of Heaven and into Hell,
the Son restores the "landscape" of Heaven, and this is celebrated in song
(see, of course, Lycidas, and On the Morning of Christ's nativity, and the
unfallen songs of Adam and Eve).

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