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

Duran, Angelica A duran0 at purdue.edu
Mon Nov 17 16:01:15 EST 2014


The false fruit could be a synecdoche and could be a material effect. It is because of the ambiguity of that wily Milton’s passage that I cannot fully determine which it is, so I hold it in abeyance. Many thanks for the clarification. I believe that the ambiguity about the material efficacy — limited of course to only this glaucoma-of-sorts — of the Tree of Life given this piece of evidence indeed complements your very question about the nature of “Life” in the very Tree of Life, and cannot be readily dismissed coming from an author who experienced gradual onset of blindness and whose works indicate a great interest in all kinds of sight and vision, including physical ones.

Many thanks.

--
Adios,
Angelica


From: Michael Gillum <mgillum at unca.edu<mailto:mgillum at unca.edu>>
Reply-To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu<mailto:milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>>
Date: Monday, November 17, 2014 at 3:11 PM
To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu<mailto:milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>>
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Adam ate of . . . the wrong Tree!

Angelica--by "it" I meant the Biblical Tree of Life, as understood by Milton. If not an immortality potion, then what is it?

And regarding your very apt quotation from book 11, can't the false fruit be understood as a synecdoche for the fall or act of disobedience? I've always understood the physical and moral deterioration of Adam and Eve to result, not from poisonous properties of the fruit, but from the disordering of their faculties by the act of disobedience.

On Mon, Nov 17, 2014 at 2:53 PM, Duran, Angelica A <duran0 at purdue.edu<mailto:duran0 at purdue.edu>> wrote:
Dear all,

I am not sure I understand the it in “What is it, then, or what for?” and thus I am not entirely sure I understand the entry directly below my signature — and I am interested (!).

To at least address the last sentence, however, one physiological/material effect of eating of the Tree of Knowledge is on at least Adam’s eyeball …
But to nobler sight
Michael from Adam’s eyes the film removed
Which that false fruit that promised clearer sight
Had bred (PL 11.411-14)
--
Adios,
Angelica Duran
Professor, English and Comparative Literature
Director, Religious Studies (2009-13)
500 Oval Drive ­ Heavilon Hall
Purdue University
West Lafayette, Indiana 47907 USA

<duran0 at purdue.edu<mailto:duran0 at purdue.edu>>
<http://www.cla.purdue.edu/english/directory/index.aspx?p=Angelica_Duran>


From: Michael Gillum <mgillum at unca.edu<mailto:mgillum at unca.edu>>
Reply-To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu<mailto:milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>>
Date: Monday, November 17, 2014 at 2:42 PM
To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu<mailto:milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>>
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Adam ate of . . . the wrong Tree!

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<mailto: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<mailto: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<tel:601%20266-4319> ofc
> 601 266-5757<tel:601%20266-5757> fax
>
> _______________________________________________
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