[Milton-L] tree of life

alan horn alanshorn at gmail.com
Sat Apr 5 17:40:45 EDT 2014

> why is the Tree of Life there at all? Milton seems to strip it of any
> function in the literal narrative and reduce it to a symbol prefiguring
> Christian salvation. Does this get us any closer to establishing a
> symmetrical relation between the Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life?

The Tree of Life is the type of the cross. Jesus dying on the cross in
obedience to the law of God makes good Adam's disobedience in eating of
that other tree. So Christ (the anti-type of Satan, who offered the fruit
of the Tree of Knowledge, or death) redeems from death all those who
"offered life / Neglect not" (XII, 425-6). The Tree of Life is identified
with the true church in Book IV and Satan who perches on it as he scopes
out Eden to corrupt clergy (193).
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