[Milton-L] Milton's Deliberate Ambiguities

Tony Demarest tonydemarest at hotmail.com
Sun Sep 3 13:41:00 EDT 2017

Ambiguity is the child of accident or purpose- theology is a ripe field for both- yet Milton was one man with one mind; therein lies the dichotomy and enigma- we read according to our upbringing, belief, and learning. Trying to parse another mind's thoughts is simply a waste of time- in the end- we should celebrate the ambiguity and grant life to all gods-
From: milton-l-bounces at richmond.edu <milton-l-bounces at richmond.edu> on behalf of James Rovira <jamesrovira at gmail.com>
Sent: Sunday, September 3, 2017 1:28 PM
To: John Milton Discussion List
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Milton's Deliberate Ambiguities

In my reading experience, Hannibal, there's plenty of room for ambiguity in theology. But of course your mention of Empson makes me want to get specific about what we mean by ambiguity. I think in this case we might want to distinguish between conceptual and affective ambiguities. In the first case, we're not sure what the person thinks, in the second case, we're not sure what he feels. I think the most strongly registered ambiguity in Milton's Paradise Lost is the second kind, especially by the Romantics. He thinks he's on the side of God, but he doesn't seem to feel that way.

Many thanks Richard Strier for his clarification.

Jim R

More information about the Milton-L mailing list