Hugh M. RICHMOND
hmr at berkeley.edu
Wed Oct 23 23:24:13 EDT 2013
I do agree that our generic tastes are more circumstantial than absolute. I
always saw Satan as a mere element of human consciousness (an allegorical
figure?) not a complete personality, and his associates (and Sin and Death)
as aspects or consequences of that frustrated egotism, which we see
integrated into full human consciousness only in the psychological
progressions of Adam and Eve. This is how they all emerged in our
production of "Paradise Lost" (see "John Milton's Drama of 'Paradise Lost'
", Peter Lang, 1992). In our production, the encounter of Satan, Sin and
Death was a real shock to the audiences - perhaps Milton's violation of
decorum was deliberate. Best wishes, Hugh richmond
On Wed, Oct 23, 2013 at 5:38 PM, alan horn <alanshorn at gmail.com> wrote:
> We may regard our own standards of taste as natural and correct, but it is
> interesting to note how different standards have prevailed at other times.
> Addison and Johnson were offended by the mixing of modes and genres they
> found in Shakespeare, a judgment which seems peculiar now when such
> conventions no longer have the same significance. But overt allegory has
> been out of fashion long enough that the allegorical interlude involving
> Sin and Death tends to bother contemporary readers of PL as much as it did
> certain eighteenth-century critics--we’re not used to THIS kind of mixture.
> Registering our distance from the work in this respect is important to do
> and can be instructive. But to take the conventions we’re used to for
> timeless norms is, it seems to me, to fall into a rather old-fashioned
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