[Milton-L] Satan Selfless? / Re: Satanic Monument Next to Ten Commandments

David Urban dvu2 at calvin.edu
Mon Dec 9 16:49:02 EST 2013


Like Jameela and James, Coleridge and even Percy Bysshe Shelley had
"difficulty linking 'selfless' and 'Milton's Satan.'"

Here's Coleridge:  ³The character of Satan is pride and sensual
indulgence, finding in the self the  sole motive of action.²

Coleridge continues: ³Milton has carefully marked in his Satan the intense
selfishness, the alcohol of egotism, which would rather reign in hell than
serve in heaven.  To place this lust of self in opposition to denial of
self or duty, and to show what exertions it would make, and what pains
endure to accomplish its end, is Milton¹s particular object in the
character of Satan.²

And here's Shelley, from the Preface to *Prometheus Unbound*:

³Prometheus is, in my judgement, a more poetical character than Satan
because, in addition to courage and majesty and firm and patient
opposition to omnipotent force, he is susceptible of being described as
exempt from the taints of ambition, envy,
revenge, and a desire for personal aggrandizement, which in the Hero of
*Paradise Lost,* interfere with the interest.  The character of Satan
engenders in the mind
a pernicious casuistry which leads us to weigh his faults with his wrongs
and
to excuse the former because the latter exceeded all measure.²


Cheers,

David


David V. Urban, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of English
Calvin College
1795 Knollcrest Circle SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546-4404
Office Phone: (616) 526-8646




On 12/9/13 3:47 PM, "Jameela Lares" <jameela.lares at usm.edu> wrote:

>I would have difficulty linking "selfless" and "Milton's Satan."
>Self-deluded, maybe.
>
>Jameela Lares
>Professor of English
>The University of Southern Mississippi
>118 College Drive, #5037
>Hattiesburg, MS  39406-0001
>601 266-4319 ofc
>601 266-5757 fax
>________________________________________
>From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu
>[milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] on behalf of Hannibal Hamlin
>[hamlin.hannibal at gmail.com]
>Sent: Monday, December 09, 2013 2:29 PM
>To: John Milton Discussion List
>Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Satanic Monument Next to Ten Commandments
>
>I regret there's no picture of the proposed monument to Satan. The
>Satanic Temple, however, seems straight-up and has a substantial website:
>http://www.thesatanictemple.com/. I'm intrigued by their statement of
>belief:
>
>"The Satanic Temple seeks to separate Religion from Superstition by
>acknowledging religious belief as a metaphorical framework with which we
>construct a narrative context for our goals and works. Satan stands as
>the ultimate icon for the selfless revolt against tyranny, free &
>rational inquiry, and the responsible pursuit of happiness."
>
>This suggests Milton's Satan, rather than the biblical-traditional one,
>is really at the center of their self-conception. Is the desire to
>separation Religion from Superstition and the acknowledgment of the
>metaphorical (think of the Eucharist) really so far from Reformation
>theology?
>
>Hannibal
>
>
>
>
>
>On Mon, Dec 9, 2013 at 11:56 AM, James Rovira
><jamesrovira at gmail.com<mailto:jamesrovira at gmail.com>> wrote:
>Gregory:
>
>I suspect he's living out Anton LaVey's parable in The Satanic Bible:
>
>One day, one man said to another man on the street, "I will give you the
>secret to lifelong happiness, prosperity, and power if you hand over to
>me all the money that you have in your wallet right now." The second man,
>surprised, quickly handed over his money, and then first man leaned
>forward and whispered into his ear, "There's a sucker born every minute."
>
>We should let them pay to erect a useless monument so what we can laugh
>at them for laughing at us for allowing them to pay quite a bit of money
>to erect a useless monument.
>
>Jim R
>
>
>On Mon, Dec 9, 2013 at 11:50 AM, Gregory Machacek
><Gregory.Machacek at marist.edu<mailto:Gregory.Machacek at marist.edu>> wrote:
>I take it the Satanist representative is being tongue-in-cheek when he
>says the following:
>
>"We believe that all monuments should be in good taste and consistent
>with community standards," Greaves wrote in letter to state officials.
>"Our proposed monument, as an homage to the historic/literary Satan, will
>certainly abide by these guidelines."
>
>I'll admit I don't know anything about serious modern-day Satanists, but
>it would seem to me that either 1) their monument should not be in good
>taste and consistent with community standards (i.e. be the negation of
>those) or 2) the "community standards" he references are, a la Young
>Goodman Brown, the actually Satanic ones in a professedly Christian
>community.
>
>I'm trying to get at Greaves' tone in this quote.
>
>
>
>Greg Machacek
>Professor of English
>Marist College
>
>
>-----milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu<mailto:milton-l-bounces at lists.ric
>hmond.edu> wrote: -----
>To: John Milton Discussion List
><milton-l at lists.richmond.edu<mailto:milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>>
>From: John K Leonard
>Sent by: 
>milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu<mailto:milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond
>.edu>
>Date: 12/09/2013 11:30AM
>Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Satanic Monument Next to Ten Commandments
>
>
>Interesting that the Satanists want to erect their monument as "an homage
>to the historic/literary Satan" (quotation from Jeffrey's link). I don't
>know what the Satanists mean by "historic," but I think I can guess just
>which literary Satan they have in mind. They have good taste, but why not
>raise a monument to Satan's creator (literary creator)? I'd be all for
>that, especially on this day.
>
>John Leonard
>
>On 12/09/13, Steve Fallon <sfallon at nd.edu<mailto:sfallon at nd.edu>> wrote:
>
>Hi Jeffrey,
>
>I'm glad that you liked the photo.  I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't
>think of the date until I saw the message below.  Thanks for making sure
>I didn't miss Milton's birthday!
>
>And thanks for the marvelous hospitality at the recent NEMS.
>
>All the best,
>Steve
>
>Stephen M Fallon | U. of Notre Dame | John J Cavanaugh Professor of the
>Humanities |Professor, Program of Liberal Studies and Department of
>English | 356 O'Shaughnessy Hall | Notre Dame, IN 46556 | Tel:
>1.574.631.6598<tel:1.574.631.6598> | pls.nd.edu<http://pls.nd.edu/>,
>english.nd.edu<http://english.nd.edu/>
>
>
>
>On Dec 9, 2013, at 10:41 AM, Shoulson, Jeffrey wrote:
>
>Perhaps some of you have already seen this article about a group of
>Satanists who, following the precedent set by their Christian
>counterparts in Oklahoma in erecting a monument to the Ten Commandments
>outside the state capitol, want to build their own monument to Satan
>(privately funded, of course):
>
>http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/oklahoma-satanists-seek-to-put-monument-
>on-capitol-steps-next-to-ten-commandments
>
>On Milton's 405th birthday, it's difficult to think if a better way to
>mark the occasion.
>
>Best wishes,
>
>Jeffrey
>
>
>
>
>_____________________________________________________
>Jeffrey Shoulson, Ph.D.
>Doris and Simon Konover Chair of Judaic Studies
>Director, Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life
>Professor of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages and Professor of English
>University of Connecticut
>Thomas Dodd Research Center
>405 Babbidge Road Unit 1205
>Storrs, CT 06269
>
>Tel:  860-486-2271<tel:860-486-2271>
>Fax:  860-486-6332<tel:860-486-6332>
>Mobile:  305-742-6973<tel:305-742-6973>
>
>http://languages.uconn.edu/faculty/details.php?id=281
>http://www.judaicstudies.uconn.edu<http://www.judaicstudies.uconn.edu/>
>
>Fictions of Conversion, now available
>http://www.upenn.edu/pennpress/book/15101.html
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>_______________________________________________
>Milton-L mailing list
>Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu<mailto:Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu>
>Manage your list membership and access list archives at
>http://lists.richmond.edu/mailman/listinfo/milton-l
>
>Milton-L web site: http://johnmilton.org/
>
>_______________________________________________
>Milton-L mailing list
>Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu<mailto:Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu>
>Manage your list membership and access list archives at
>http://lists.richmond.edu/mailman/listinfo/milton-l
>
>Milton-L web site: http://johnmilton.org/
>
>
>
>--
>Dr. James Rovira
>Associate Professor of English
>Tiffin University
>http://www.jamesrovira.com
>Blake and Kierkegaard: Creation and Anxiety
>Continuum 2010
>http://jamesrovira.com/blake-and-kierkegaard-creation-and-anxiety/
>Text, Identity, Subjectivity
>http://scalar.usc.edu/works/text-identity-subjectivity/index
>
>_______________________________________________
>Milton-L mailing list
>Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu<mailto:Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu>
>Manage your list membership and access list archives at
>http://lists.richmond.edu/mailman/listinfo/milton-l
>
>Milton-L web site: http://johnmilton.org/
>
>
>
>--
>Hannibal Hamlin
>Associate Professor of English
>Author of The Bible in Shakespeare, now available through all good
>bookshops, or direct from Oxford University Press at
>http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199677610.do
>Editor, Reformation
>The Ohio State University
>164 West 17th Ave., 421 Denney Hall
>Columbus, OH 43210-1340
>hamlin.22 at osu.edu/<http://hamlin.22@osu.edu/>
>hamlin.hannibal at gmail.com<mailto:hamlin.hannibal at gmail.com>
>
>_______________________________________________
>Milton-L mailing list
>Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu
>Manage your list membership and access list archives at
>http://lists.richmond.edu/mailman/listinfo/milton-l
>
>Milton-L web site: http://johnmilton.org/




More information about the Milton-L mailing list