[Milton-L] Milton's deliberate ambiguities

Richard A. Strier rastrier at uchicago.edu
Fri Sep 1 23:04:36 EDT 2017



From: milton-l-bounces at richmond.edu <milton-l-bounces at richmond.edu> on behalf of James Rovira <jamesrovira at gmail.com>
Sent: Friday, September 1, 2017 9:48:37 PM
To: John Milton Discussion List
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Milton's deliberate ambiguities

It's odd to me that we would be afraid to let Milton make any kind of definite statement about anything, including God, especially in Paradise Lost: in its first 20 lines he makes himself at least equal in inspiration to Moses and superior to the Greeks. He may well claim for himself greater knowledge than the author of the Book of Job, as he believes he has the benefit of a more complete revelation of God in Christ. Never mind that the first two stanzas contain Milton's own imperatives directed toward the Holy Spirit: "Sing, heavenly Muse..." and "Say first..." This is the Spirit that Milton wishes to sing through him -- the one present at creation from whom nothing is hid.

Yes, he makes big claims for himself and his poem.

Jim R
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