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

Michael Gillum mgillum at unca.edu
Mon Nov 17 14:42:12 EST 2014


With "dream at least to live forever," Milton's God seems to deny the
material efficacy of the Tree of Life. What is it, then, or what for?
Perhaps Milton understood the Biblical tree to represent *allegorically* the
happiness and immortality that were proper to A&E before the fall. So
naturally they would be denied access to it after the fall, and Milton
would have an explanation for the Biblical God's determination that they
not eat of it. There would then be some symmetry with Milton's version of
the Tree of Knowledge, which also lacks material efficacy and which also
represents something about A&E's state, namely obedience.

On Mon, Nov 17, 2014 at 1:24 PM, Richard A. Strier <rastrier at uchicago.edu>
wrote:

> But the question is what "immortality" means here.
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> > On Nov 17, 2014, at 11:23 AM, "Jameela Lares" <jameela.lares at usm.edu>
> wrote:
> >
> > PL does say something about pre- and postlapsarian diet.
> >
> > But longer in that Paradise to dwell,
> > The Law I gave to Nature him forbids:
> > Those pure immortal Elements that know
> > No gross, no unharmoneous mixture foule,
> > Eject him tainted now, and purge him off
> > As a distemper, gross to aire as gross,
> > And mortal food, as may dispose him best
> > For dissolution wrought by Sin, that first
> > Distemperd all things, and of incorrupt
> > Corrupted.  I at first with two fair gifts
> > Created him endowd, with Happiness
> > And Immortalitie: that fondly lost,
> > This other serv’d but to eternize woe. . . .
> > (PL 11:48-60)
> >
> > Jameela Lares
> > Professor of English
> > The University of Southern Mississippi
> > 118 College Drive, #5037
> > Hattiesburg, MS  39406-0001
> > 601 266-4319 ofc
> > 601 266-5757 fax
> >
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