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

Michael Gillum mgillum at unca.edu
Mon Nov 17 16:03:18 EST 2014


About the Malthusian problem--

"Your bodies may at last turn all to Spirit,
Improv'd by tract of time, and wingd ascend
Ethereal, as wee, or may at choice
Here or in Heav'nly Paradises dwell;" [ 5.500 ]
--So, the evolved future humans will have access to Heaven, which is huge
compared to Earth and seems to have lots of unoccupied territory. Also, I
suppose the spiritualized future humans will longer reproduce, just as
angels do not reproduce.
Michael

On Mon, Nov 17, 2014 at 3:26 PM, Richard A. Strier <rastrier at uchicago.edu>
wrote:

>  Would that have raised a Malthusian problem?  A and E and all the
> progeny and their progeny's progeny, etc forever?
>
>  Also-- how are the angels continually raised in status?  Seems like they
> stay where they are.
>
>
>
>     *From:* milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu [
> milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] on behalf of Stella Revard [
> srevard at siue.edu]
> *Sent:* Monday, November 17, 2014 2:11 PM
> *To:* John Milton Discussion List
> *Subject:* Re: [Milton-L] Adam ate of . . . the wrong Tree!
>
>  And the clear answer, Richard, is that "immortality" means
> deathlessness:  Adam and Eve, had they not fallen, would never have died,
> but like angels been continually raised in status and brought to greater
> knowledge and fuller being.  (Raphael's speculative account of humans
> ascending to angelic status, still presumably able to eat and digest fruit
> completely without waste or corruption, is relevant but not at issue in
> Book 11.)  I don't see how Milton could have made it any clearer, at least
> for readers who like Jameela actually DO read what Milton wrote and see
> that he had thought matters through and stated them as plainly as the
> complicated and tangled Scriptural authorities would allow.  In the opening
> lines of the poem, "brought Death into the world" states matters clearly
> and simply; and the lines Jameela quotes give some detail in which Milton
> is thinking straightforwardly about fallen human physiology of eating,
> drinking, digesting, crapping, and so on. "Corruption" is given a very
> closeup and literal meaning here.  (For an obsessed variant of this, see
> Swift's Gulliver:  Swift is outraged and disgusted whereas Milton is
> matter-of-fact.)
>
>
>
>
>
> On 11/17/14, * "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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