[Milton-L] lapsarian sex

Uzakova, Oydin Yashinova oydin.uzakova at okstate.edu
Tue Apr 15 11:45:38 EDT 2014

Milton uses the word "fallacious" only two times in the poem, but both times to describe the lapsarian effect--the first time it appears as "excite/Fallacious hope" (2.567-68) in the fallen angels.  In this first instance, not unlike in "the force of that fallacious fruit" (9.1046) that "inmost powers/Made err" (9.1048-49), it is also connected with "a pleasing sorcery" (2.566) and is a result of "Vain wisdom all, and false philosophy" (2.565).

Considering such similarity of both occurrences and the fallen condition of both angels and Adam and Eve, I believe that Milton's use of "fallacious" is punning more on the words "fall" and "fallen" than anything else (if punning at all).

From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu <milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu> on behalf of Richard A. Strier <rastrier at uchicago.edu>
Sent: Monday, April 14, 2014 4:03 PM
To: John Milton Discussion List
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] lapsarian sex for Carrol Cox

I don't believe that Milton was using that pun.

From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu [milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] on behalf of James Rovira [jamesrovira at gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, April 14, 2014 2:54 PM
To: John Milton Discussion List
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] lapsarian sex for Carrol Cox

Ha... o God. That's too much. I'm not buying it, but I'm glad he wrote the article, and I'm going to have to find it and read it now.

Does he draw in then-contemporary discourse about non-reproductive sex (which would include oral sex)? We even see some shots taken at this in Mel Gibson's Apocalypto.

Jim R

On Mon, Apr 14, 2014 at 3:50 PM, Margaret Thickstun <mthickst at hamilton.edu<mailto:mthickst at hamilton.edu>> wrote:
Okay, here is the upshot of John Savoie's MQ article:

"Simply put, before the fall Adam and Eve have conventional sexual intercourse that would lead naturally to pregnancy, family, and a fully realized society. Om contrast, their fallen lovemaking, glossed as 'lust,' turns to oral sex that effectively separates sexual pleasure from that continuum" (Savoie, MQ 45:3:161).

He follows the pun on "fallacious" and "fellatio," considers Catullus, Martial, Samson Agonistes, and has made it impossible for me to look at Michelangelo's depiction of the Fall without blushing.

It all leads up to "And so they experience 'the force of that fallacious Fruit,' until they waken from their postprandial slumber, 'now soil'd and stain'd / And in [their] faces evident the signs / Of foul concupiscence' (1046, 1076-78). The image need not be exclusively metaphysical, but rather a material soil and stain before it becomes a sign" (MQ 45:3:167).

I was a resisting reader, but I could not resist it.

Margaret Thickstun
Jane Watson Irwin Professor of English
Hamilton College
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323

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Dr. James Rovira
Associate Professor of English
Tiffin University
Blake and Kierkegaard: Creation and Anxiety
Continuum 2010
Text, Identity, Subjectivity
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