[Milton-L] "Particular Falls"

Sara van den Berg vandens at slu.edu
Wed Jan 21 20:19:16 EST 2015


"Hell is other people."  (No Exit)

On Wed, Jan 21, 2015 at 6:32 PM, Smith, Samuel <ssmith at messiah.edu> wrote:

>  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> 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> 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
>>> principle?
>>>
>>> Carrol
>>>
>>>
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>
>
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