[Milton-L] Norvegers

Salwa Khoddam skhoddam at cox.net
Thu Jan 16 22:38:17 EST 2014


In the July 2008 International Milton Forum, Katsuhiro Engetsu, from Doshisha University, Japan, read a paper on the associations of Leviathan and Satan to Norway, titled "The Norwegian Leviathan in *Paradise Lost*: Milton behind Marvell, Meadows, and Moreland." Aside from the Norwegian pine (and fir to Dryden) that provided the sturdiest wood for building "masts, " and Norway being the locus classicus of the sea-snake, the Kraken (its Biblical figure being the Leviathan/Satan), Engetsu introduces political issues in Milton's use of Norway. He writes that the Baltic Sea was important for Milton as Secretary for the Foreign Tongues and (when he became blind) his assistants Philip Meadows and Samuel Moreland, because in 1657 Denmark, a Protestant nation, instigated by Norway, invaded Sweden, another Protestant power, and monopolized the Baltic sea trade. Meadows' mission was to mediate between the two nations and defend "the Protestant Cause" against Spain, and Moreland's was to speak against the massacre of the Waldenses and warn against "the Leviathan of Popery." The Netherlands remained an enemy to England, challenging it for "Sea-Monarchy." Engetsu writes, "Milton's vision of republicanism collapsed with 'the Protestant Cause,' but the memory of the Baltic Sea persists in his mind, now displaced to the Satanic image of "sea-monarchy." Milton's association between the biblical Leviathan and the non-biblical Norway represents his bitter witness to the making process of emerging secular nationalism in seventeenth-century Europe."
I hope my summary has given justice to Professor Engetsu's paper. It may be published now.
Best,
Salwa

Salwa Khoddam PhD
Professor of English Emerita
Oklahoma City University
Author of *Mythopoeic Narnia:
Memory, Metaphor, and Metamorphoses 
in The Chronicles of Narnia*
skhoddam at cox.net
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: JD Fleming 
  To: John Milton Discussion List 
  Sent: Thursday, January 16, 2014 2:11 PM
  Subject: [Milton-L] Norvegers


  Dear all--here is a simple question that, perhaps, has been answered more than once. But those answers lie buried in dusty books; so in the spirit of our students, I would like to ask you, who know, directly:


  Why 2 references to Norway in PL 1 (203 and 293)? Why are both the foam and the pine Norwegian? Why Norway?


  Having two grandparents from Bergen, I ask. JD Fleming

  -- 

  James Dougal Fleming
  Associate Professor
  Department of English
  Simon Fraser University
  778-782-4713


  "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 Nabokov, Cloud, Castle, Lake






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