[Milton-L] Pass the salt.

James Rovira jamesrovira at gmail.com
Mon Sep 4 16:36:53 EDT 2017

I think we both agree on that point, Richard. Doesn't it follow, then, that
when there is considerable distance from an originary social context (say,
between Milton's time and our own?) that the possibility for
misunderstanding rises considerably? There's the added complexity of a
fictional social context guiding *Paradise Lost *on top of that (even if
you believe in a real Adam and Eve and Garden of Eden, you can't believe
Milton was describing the real thing), and the fact that he's engaged in
more complex utterances than "pass the salt."

The problem I see is not with saying that the meaning of "pass the salt" is
perfectly obvious to a social insider, but with making a similar claim of
the obvious for *PL* or any of the sonnets.

Jim R
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