[Milton-L] "Four-Letter Words"

Carol Barton, Ph.D., CPCM cbartonphd1 at verizon.net
Fri Apr 18 17:27:01 EDT 2014

Milton had no concept of "the life we live," Carrol--so, in a word--yes.

I didn't see anyone from the 17th century at Woodstock . . . and (except 
perhaps among sects like the Family of Man and the Adamites) "free love" 
wasn't a concept in contemporary theology. Are you aware of some 
anthropological study that suggests that respectable Carolinian 
couples--much less Puritan/Presbyterian/Independents--engaged in the sorts 
of activities that have so occupied this thread on a regular basis? Given 
the respect Milton shows for the role of a good wife in her husband's 
worship of God in the divorce tracts, and his reverence for both the OT and 
the NT,  I sincerely doubt that he would engaged in, or approved of others 
engaging in, fellatio or cunnilingus.

From: "Carrol Cox" <cbcox at ilstu.edu>
Sent: Friday, April 18, 2014 5:18 PM
To: "'John Milton Discussion List'" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] "Four-Letter Words"

> Carol Barton Wrote:  Salwa, I know you addressed your comments to John, 
> but
> I can't resist asking (so I hope you will forgive me the intrusion): if
> Milton seriously intended to introduce what in some circles are still
> considered aberrant sexual behaviors--fellatio being after all a species 
> of
> Onanism, in that it ensures that procreation will not occur--why would he
> have done so in Eden, and why would he have so degraded his heretofore
> exemplary human pair, knowing (because the pre-narrative dictates it) that
> they are about to be redeemed? The Satan/Sin/Death triad overtly involves
> incest (and so, to a far less blatant and I believe less intentional 
> degree,
> does Adam's coupling with Eve); but the former is framed to evoke our
> disgust, whereas in the latter case, the de facto incest isn't even
> mentioned.
> ------------
> O.K. Then the discussion is strictly limited to the construal of a text 
> and
> has no necessary relevance to the life we live.
> Carrol
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