[Milton-L] the sociable spirit
John K Leonard
jleonard at uwo.ca
Thu Feb 27 16:41:25 EST 2014
On 02/27/14, Hannibal Hamlin <hamlin.hannibal at gmail.com> wrote:
> Once he arrives in Eden, though, he seems more like the angel we know from Tobit.
The problem with this statement is that Raphael resumes (he does not cast off) his glorious shape when he lands on earth ("to his proper shape returns", 5.276). He had appeared as a phoenix "to all the fowls" when descending through the air, but he becomes a glorious angel again as soon as his feet touch the ground. I think the answer to James's question lies in the words "But he knew him not" in the book of Tobit. Tobias, being a fallen man, sees with clouded eyes (as Adam will see a human Michael, man to man, after the Fall). But Adam in book five is as yet unfallen, and so can see Raphael in his full glory. The six wings make Raphael even more glorious than he is usually depicted in the visual arts:
Interesting that painters depict Raphael as he "really" is, not as Tobias sees him. If the painters remember "he knew him not," it follows that Tobias does not see the figure we see in these bright canvases.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the Milton-L