[Milton-L] Adam ate of . . . the wrong Tree!

JD Fleming jfleming at sfu.ca
Mon Nov 17 11:18:33 EST 2014


in PL 10 the father says A and E must be expelled lest they eat from the tree of life and live forever, "dream at least to live forever." But the clarity of this implication is post-lapsarian--in Milton. In antecedent tradition, there was, I believe, a widespread notion that prelapsarian immortality was a function of life-tree-noshing. Thus producing troubled head-scratching over how A and E and their descendants wd have gained continued access to the precious fruit, had they not fallen, but spread all over the world by going forth and multiplying. No refrigerated containers, you see. JD Fleming 

----- Original Message -----

From: "Gregory Machacek" <Gregory.Machacek at marist.edu> 
To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu> 
Sent: Monday, 17 November, 2014 07:50:42 
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Adam ate of . . . the wrong Tree! 

Maybe Milton had it in mind as part of the mechanism by which A&E's bodies might at last turn all to spirit, and winged, ascend, ethereal: occasional noshing on the Tree of Life during that period when they were being improved by obedience through a tract of time. 



Greg Machacek 
Professor of English 
Marist College 


-----milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu wrote: ----- 
To: milton-l at lists.richmond.edu 
From: Dario Rivarossa 
Sent by: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu 
Date: 11/17/2014 04:15AM 
Subject: [Milton-L] Adam ate of . . . the wrong Tree! 

Dear friends, as we had already seen some time ago, the Catholic 
Catechism of Trent (year 1566) includes some interesting concepts with 
reference to the Genesis-3 story. Here's another example, taken from 
the comments to the request "Give us today our daily bread" in the 
Lord's Prayer: 

. . . satis ei fuisset ad immortalem vitam ille fructus, quem 
felicissima vitae arbor, nullo eius aut posterorum laborem 
praebuisset. 

"To get immortal life, there would have sufficed to him [Adam] that 
fruit which the most fortunate Tree of Life would offer him without 
any labor of him or his descendants." 

This side of the story was maybe taken from granted, but not very 
often highlighted, I think: Adam and Eve were driven away from Eden so 
as not to eat of the Tree of Life, as it is well known. But, if they 
had NOT sinned by eating the fruits of the Tree of Knowledge, they 
could and would eat the fruits of the Tree of Life, with some positive 
consequences. 

Usually, when the Trent Catechism makes this kind of statements, it 
leans on some Church Father; here none is mentioned. And I admit that 
my memory is failing me as to PL in this respect. Milton says (cf. PL 
3. 352 ff; 5. 652) that "now" trees of life only grow in heaven to the 
angels' dietary benefit, but what about its past role on earth? Was 
pre-lapsarian Man supposed to eat of it? In PL 5. 469 ff, however, no 
hint at the Tree of Life is provided. 

With many thanks in advance 

il Tassista / the Tasso Driver 
http://tassonomia.blogspot.it 
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-- 
J ames Dougal Fleming 
Associate Professor 
Department of English 
Simon Fraser University 
778-782-4713 

Burnaby -- British Columbia -- Canada. 

He answered and said, I will not; but afterward he repented, and went. Matt.21:29. 


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