[Milton-L] "Particular Falls"

Smith, Samuel ssmith at messiah.edu
Wed Jan 21 19:32:07 EST 2015

My favorite Hell comes from one of Rod Serling's "Night Gallery" episodes, which I saw once some 40+ years ago and have never forgotten:

A Hell's Angel (played by a young John Astin) arrives after dying in a motorcycle accident. He's quite excited to see the place. He's sent to a comfortable living room and told this is his new home. He can't believe his luck! After a few minutes, two middle-aged couples come into the room and begin showing slides from their summer vacations, small-talking on and on about their wonderful time at the beach, at the cabin, yadayadayada. After about ten minutes, Astin's character goes nuts, begins screaming for fire and brimstone, any torment but this never-ending, tedious review of two dull middle-class vacations - he can't imagine a worse eternity.


Samuel Smith

From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu <milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu> on behalf of Matthew Jordan <matthewjorda at gmail.com>
Sent: Wednesday, January 21, 2015 7:00 PM
To: John Milton Discussion List
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] "Particular Falls"

The most morally appealing version of Hell I've encountered was in a Radio 4 play, a 30-minute thing, some years ago, where Milton was leading someone around telling them what was what. The culmination was a vision of Hell in which bankers, politicos, I dunno maybe PR gurus, were all going about their business completely as normal. Perplexed, our man in the Underworld turns to Milton for explanation, the gist of which is that these people have to go on being themselves, forever and ever...

This sounds to me like it must have been thought of before, but I am no comparative theologian...

On 21 January 2015 at 23:34, James Rovira <jamesrovira at gmail.com<mailto:jamesrovira at gmail.com>> wrote:
I think some of the responses about eternal hell (in Milton or in Christianity) are missing some of Milton's details. Milton seems to me to repeatedly emphasize the existential component of hell over the physical, so that hell isn't mostly importantly a place where God "puts" damned souls, but an existential state made eternal upon death:

Me miserable! which way shall I fly
Infinite wrauth and infinite despair?
Which way I fly is Hell; myself am Hell;                75
And, in the lowest deep, a lower deep
Still threatening to devour me opens wide,
To which the Hell I suffer seems a Heaven.

On Wed, Jan 21, 2015 at 6:17 PM, Carrol Cox <cbcox at ilstu.edu<mailto:cbcox at ilstu.edu>> wrote:
Carter: ". . . God created a universe of perfect beings who were also given
free will so they could go utterly wrong, and even if they did go wrong
those who by grace repented would be freed from Hell and death."

Free will an instrument designed to bring about torture without end?

That would not be a bad metaphor for capitalist history, but as a cosmic


Milton-L mailing list
Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu<mailto:Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu>
Manage your list membership and access list archives at http://lists.richmond.edu/mailman/listinfo/milton-l

Milton-L web site: http://johnmilton.org/

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.richmond.edu/pipermail/milton-l/attachments/20150122/332baab9/attachment.html>

More information about the Milton-L mailing list