[Milton-L] "Is there a bringer, as you imagine the scene?"

Gregory Machacek Gregory.Machacek at marist.edu
Thu Apr 21 21:40:24 EDT 2016


 That's not going to be my line here. I asked that only in a very focused way: if the poignancy of the poem is tied to its being about one wife, does a reference to the other detract rather than add? 

I'm working from my phone, so on this point, for now I'll just say this: if the poem is saying Methought God delivered my wife to me, putting God as the unmentioned agent of a passive construction has got to be the grand daddy of burying your lead!
 


Greg Machacek
Professor of English
Marist College 

 -----John K Leonard <jleonard at uwo.ca> wrote: -----

 =======================
 To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at richmond.edu>
 From: John K Leonard <jleonard at uwo.ca>
 Date: 04/21/2016 02:28PM 
 Subject: Re: [Milton-L] "Is there a bringer, as you imagine the scene?"
 =======================
   Yes, a Typological allusion, Hercules being a Type of Christ as in "On the Morning of Christ's Nativity" 226-8 and PR 4.563f, where the Son of God is explicitly likened to "Jove's Alcides" who throttled Antaeus "in the air" as the Son defeats Satan, Prince of the power of the air. Two Joves. Two great sons. Greg will no doubt protest that this is more packing of meaning into a poem already overpacked, but Typology would have been pellucid to Milton's first readers.

John Leonard

On 04/21/16, "Carol Barton, Ph.D., CPCM"  <cbartonphd1 at verizon.net> wrote:
>  
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> Apologies for the premature sendification!
>   
>  I meant to say that if you take the three lines together, it points to "Jove's great son"--by allusion, Christ:
>   
>   Methought I saw my late espoused saint 
> 
>   Brought to me, like Alcestis, from the grave, 
> 
>   Whom Jove's great son to her glad husband gave, 
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>   
> 
>   From: Carol Barton, Ph.D., CPCM(javascript:main.compose() 
>  Sent: Thursday, April 21, 2016 1:39 PM
>  To: John Milton Discussion List(javascript:main.compose() 
>  Subject: Re: [Milton-L] "Is there a bringer, as you imagine the scene?"
> 
> 
>  
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>  I agree with John. The Bringer is either God/Christ or the dream itself.
>   
>  Best to all,
>   
>  Carol Barton
>   
> 
>   From: John K Leonard(javascript:main.compose() 
>  Sent: Thursday, April 21, 2016 1:09 PM
>  To: John Milton Discussion List(javascript:main.compose() 
>  Subject: [Milton-L] "Is there a bringer, as you imagine the scene?"
> 
> 
>  
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> Abstract as in a trance, methought I saw, Though sleeping... 
>  She disappeared, and left me dark; I waked
>  To find her, or for ever to deplore
>  Her loss, and other pleasures all abjure:
>  When, out of hope, behold her not far off,
>  Such as I saw her in my dream, adorned
>  With what all earth and heaven could bestow
>  To make her amiable; on she came, Led by her heavenly maker, though unseen
>  And guided by his voice, nor uninimformed
>  Of nuptial sanctity and marriage rites;
>  Grace was in all her steps, heaven in her eye,
>  In every gesture dignity and love. (PL VIII 462f)
>  
> 
>  Yes, there is a bringer, "though unseen".
>  
> 
>  John Leonard
>  
> 
> On 04/21/16, Gregory Machacek <Gregory.Machacek at marist.edu> wrote: 
> >   
> > For installment #4, I’m going to ask a fairly simple question. (The only complexity will come from being clear about what I’m not asking).
> >  
> > In preparation for that question, would you be willing to take a moment to call to mind the entirety of the dream Milton reports--maybe as a little cinematic sequence--as you find the poem encourages you to imagine that dream?
> >  
> >  [Short pause, for those who are willing to play along, to run through such a cinematic.]
> >  
> > In your little movie of this dream, is the dream image of the late-espoused saint “brought” to Milton, or does that image simply “come” to Milton? (The poem says two different things.) And if the dream image is “brought,” whom do you imagine as the agent of that bringing and how do you picture that agent?
> >  
> > To be clear, I am not, if you imagine the image as simply “coming,” asking you to supply who probably ought to be considered the agent of the bringing. We can address that as a separate question in a moment. I’m just asking you to say whether, for you, the dream image “comes” on her own—the way dream images can simply appear—or whether there’s any kind of third character (or force?), besides Milton himself and the saint, who, analogously with Jove’s great son in the Alcestis-Admetus story, “brings” the saint.
> >  
> > Also to be clear: Although there may be a little inconsistency here, and although I do plan present a version of this inconsistency as a fault of the poem, do please know that I am not expecting this dream to be more logically rigorous than dreams in fact are: brought? came? I don’t know; it’s a dream; she was there. For now, I really am just asking how much that “brought” figures in anyone’s actual envisioning of Milton’s dream. I ask because no one, in recounting his or her experience with this poem, has yet mentioned a bringer as a distinct element of the dream Milton recounts, even though we are told flatly, and very first thing in the poem: “Methought I saw my late-espoused Saint brought to me.”
> >  
> > Is there a bringer, as you imagine the scene?
> > 
> > Greg Machacek
> > Professor of English
> > Marist College 
> > 
> >  
> > 
> >   
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