[Milton-L] Sacred symbols in late Renaissance poetry

Horace Jeffery Hodges horacejeffery at gmail.com
Sun Jun 9 17:22:50 EDT 2013


Finally, someone talks about the elephant in the room . . .

Jeffery Hodges


On Mon, Jun 10, 2013 at 6:19 AM, john rumrich <rumrich at austin.utexas.edu>wrote:

> You know, I think I'd vote for the elephant. He intentionally uses his
> rather serpentine nose to provoke innocent mirth, revealing both versatile
> intelligence and sweet-natured energy devoted to augmenting pleasure.
>
>
> On Sun, Jun 9, 2013 at 2:06 PM, Dario Rivarossa <dario.rivarossa at gmail.com
> > wrote:
>
>> >The dove _might_  be a worthy candidate.
>>
>> Dear Matthew, this introduces a significant shift: the dove is the
>> opposite of the serpent as its victim rather than its conqueror. That
>> may well work, as Jesus triumphed exactly by dying, by letting the
>> 'serpent' kill him.
>> Does Milton mention the dove in Paradise Lost? In PL 11: 185-6 "the
>> bird of Jove . . .  two birds of gayest plume before him drew." Ha, a
>> Linnean slip. I had looked for this passage in the conviction that it
>> dealt with a dove, probably because some parallel texts in literature
>> do so, but it was not the case.
>>
>> What about the Lamb, that/who shares several features with the dove
>> and is more explicitly 'Christic'? Surely William Blake would choose a
>> lamb, not an eagle, to represent Jesus. But Blake was not Milton.
>>
>> An animal very often linked to paradise in Renaissance art was the
>> deer, since it was believed to be (or is?) able to kill snakes, so it
>> foreshadowed Redemption from immediately after the original sin: a
>> truly Miltonian theological view, as such. But looks like only artists
>> took the deer seriously as a candidate to the seat of Christ.
>>
>> Back to the main subject, Jesus makes things more interesting by
>> asking us to be like serpents _and_ like doves at the same time (Mt
>> 10: 16).
>>
>> :-)
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>
>
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