[Milton-L] the sociable spirit

Hannibal Hamlin hamlin.hannibal at gmail.com
Thu Feb 27 15:09:32 EST 2014


One reason for the elaborate (and multi-colored) description of Raphael in
his descent is surely that Milton was writing the conventional epic
"descent from heaven" (studied by Tom Greene's book of that name), so
Raphael is playing the role of Iris. Once he arrives in Eden, though, he
seems more like the angel we know from Tobit. He can tuck into the lunch
Eve has prepared, he blushes about angelic sex, and so forth.

Hannibal




On Thu, Feb 27, 2014 at 2:54 PM, JD Fleming <jfleming at sfu.ca> wrote:

> The question is: Are we supposed to keep in mind the extremely humble and
> occluded Raphael of the Tobias story--beloved in the period, judging from
> its profile in painting alone--when we look at the extraordinarily
> magnificent Raphael of PL? And if so--what implications are there for how
> we read the tutorial of PL 5 through 8? jdf
>
> ------------------------------
> *From: *"Horace Jeffery Hodges" <horacejeffery at gmail.com>
> *To: *"John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
> *Sent: *Thursday, 27 February, 2014 11:46:16
> *Subject: *Re: [Milton-L] the sociable spirit
>
>
> I'm not sure what the question is, but I was reminded of this:
>
> Revelation 4:6b-8 [New International Version (NIV)] 6b In the center,
> around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with
> eyes, in front and in back. 7 The first living creature was like a lion,
> the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was
> like a flying eagle. 8 Each of the four living creatures had six wings and
> was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings.
>
>
> But only because of the six wings . . .
>
> Jeffery Hodges
>
> Ewha Womans University
> Seoul, South Korea
>
>
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> Beer*)
>
>
> Facebook:
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>  (*The Bottomless Bottle of Beer*)
>
> Blog: http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/ (*Gypsy Scholar*)
>
>
> Doctoral Thesis: "Food as Synecdoche in the Gospel of John and Gnostic
> Texts"
>
>
> Ph.D., History, U.C. Berkeley
> M.A., History of Science, U.C. Berkeley
> B.A., English Language and Literature, Baylor University
>
>
> Home Address:
>
>
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>
> On Fri, Feb 28, 2014 at 3:17 AM, JD Fleming <jfleming at sfu.ca> wrote:
>
>>  Dear all,
>>
>>
>> Teaching PL 5 last week, I was struck more than ever by:
>>
>>
>> "Down thither prone in flight
>> He speeds, and through the vast Ethereal Skie
>> Sailes between worlds and worlds, with steddie wing
>> Now on the polar windes, then with quick Fann
>> Winnows the buxom Air; till within soare
>> Of Towring Eagles, to all the Fowles he seems
>> A *Phoenix*, gaz'd by all, as that sole Bird
>> When to enshrine his reliques in the Sun's
>> Bright Temple, to *Ægyptian Theb's* he flies.
>> At once on th' Eastern cliff of Paradise
>> He lights, and to his proper shape returns
>> A Seraph wingd; six wings he wore, to shade
>> His lineaments Divine; the pair that clad
>> Each shoulder broad, came mantling o're his brest
>> With regal Ornament; the middle pair
>> Girt like a Starrie Zone his waste, and round
>> Skirted his loines and thighes with downie Gold
>> And colours dipt in Heav'n; the third his feet
>> Shaddowd from either heele with featherd maile
>> Skie-tinctur'd grain. Like *Maia's* son he stood,
>> And shook his Plumes, that Heav'nly fragrance filld
>> The circuit wide." (PL 5.266-287)
>>
>>
>> A stunning contrast, it seems to me, with this:
>>
>>
>> "Therefore when he went to seek a man, he found Raphael that was an angel.
>>
>> But he knew him not." (Book of Tobit 5:4-5)
>>
>>
>> To which our attention is drawn at PL 4.166-71 and (more importantly)
>> 5.219-23.
>>
>>
>> Thoughts? JDF
>>
>> --
>> James Dougal Fleming
>> Associate Professor
>> Department of English
>> Simon Fraser University
>> 778-782-4713
>>
>> Burnaby -- British Columbia -- Canada.
>>
>> *Upstairs was a room for travelers. 'You know, I shall take it for the
>> rest of my life,' Vasili Ivanovich is reported to have said as soon as he
>> had entered it. *
>> -- Vladimir Naboko*v*,* "Cloud, Castle, Lake'*
>>
>>
>>
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>
>
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>
>
> --
> James Dougal Fleming
> Associate Professor
> Department of English
> Simon Fraser University
> 778-782-4713
>
> Burnaby -- British Columbia -- Canada.
>
> *Upstairs was a room for travelers. 'You know, I shall take it for the
> rest of my life,' Vasili Ivanovich is reported to have said as soon as he
> had entered it. *
> -- Vladimir Naboko*v*,* "Cloud, Castle, Lake'*
>
>
>
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-- 
Hannibal Hamlin
Associate Professor of English
Author of *The Bible in Shakespeare*, now available through all good
bookshops, or direct from Oxford University Press at
http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199677610.do
Editor, *Reformation*
The Ohio State University
164 West 17th Ave., 421 Denney Hall
Columbus, OH 43210-1340
hamlin.22 at osu.edu/
hamlin.hannibal at gmail.com
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