[Milton-L] Lesser forms

James Rovira jamesrovira at gmail.com
Wed Oct 30 16:34:02 EDT 2013

Doesn't the episode encourage assimilation to the mimetic-dramatic mode of
the rest of the poem? Sin behaves like a wife/lover preventing an Oedipal
episode ("murder" of the father by the son) based on a mutual
misrecognition (here, failure to recognize) of both father and son. She
plays something of a peacemaking role, and the scene itself comes to take
the form of a family reunion. The result is that at times the character
"Sin" doesn't seem to be acting like "sin" in relationship to Satan.

She seems subservient to Satan and unwilling to deliver him over to death,
which is inconsistent with "sin" as a force in a person's life, which
dominates and enslaves and then delivers over to death. We might argue that
Satan could be an exception being the father and lover of Sin/sin (the
allegory works well there), but then he appears to be enslaved to "sin"
(but not Sin) in other ways in his own thinking throughout the epic. This
is a real dilemma, for if Satan were to enslave and conquer Sin he should
then be redeemed.

Jim R

On Wed, Oct 30, 2013 at 4:18 PM, Richard A. Strier <rastrier at uchicago.edu>wrote:

>  I have to say that the discussion of "choice" with regard to the
> allegorical figures of Sin and Death strikes me as bizarre, and shows the
> desire to assimilate these figures to the mimetic-dramatic mode of the rest
> of the poem.
>  RS
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