[Milton-L] Bk 3 and Jeffrey Shoulson's link

James Rovira jamesrovira at gmail.com
Mon Oct 28 11:19:20 EDT 2013

There's no question that PL is a collection of sub-genres, and that's part
of what makes it so compelling, but don't you think it's possible that at
times the juxtaposition of its various genres and the readerly expectations
created by them will clash, contradict, or create fissures in the narrative
and its coherence?

Calling it narrative to deflect one set of criticisms and allegory to
deflect another is more an expression of bias than a coherent reading
strategy. Yes, PL is both mimetic narrative and allegory, and that is what
makes it so imaginatively compelling, and what may cause problems too at
times. What I wanted to see happen in the Sin and Death episode was for the
mimetic elements to better serve the allegory, that's all.

I feel like I'm being asked not to look too closely at some elements of the

Jim R

On Mon, Oct 28, 2013 at 11:01 AM, J. Michael Gillum <mgillum at ret.unca.edu>wrote:

> >I guess I'd ask Michael Gillum if the point of allegory wasn't to make
> each element contribute to readers' understanding of the subject of the
> allegory?
> Well, we have some people complaining that the episode is not mimetic
> enough, and now Jim complaining that it is not allegorical enough. PL is a
> collection of sub-genres within an epic framework; it is anything but pure.
> Literary allegories often contain mimetic and narrative elements that are
> not allegorical. So when Death and Satan quarrel, that episode doesn't
> assert a natural antipathy between the Adversary of God and the biological
> process of death. It simply enacts the tendency of heroic warriors to brag
> and threaten in response to a challenge. As narrative, it sets up the
> brilliant surprise of Sin's first speech.
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