[Milton-L] The debt of gratitude

Chapman, Alison achapman at uab.edu
Mon Sep 4 18:46:30 EDT 2017

Hi All,

I'd appreciate collective thoughts about Satan's claim in Book 4 that he did not pay-refused to pay-the "debt of gratitude." If we assume that Satan is in error here, which of the two following forms does his error take (or is there some third that I'm not thinking of)?:

1) he's correct that he owed God a debt-i.e., the duty to render thanks-but he's failing to acquit that debt by "paying" thanks and praise
2) he's fundamentally mistaken to think of that relationship as a debt in the first place-i.e., that worship/submission/praise are spontaneous and voluntary acts and thus cannot be said to be obligatory forms of duty.

Underlying this question is the larger one of to what degree Milton thought that created beings such as angels owed God worship as a kind of duty.



Alison A. Chapman, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair
UAB Department of English
205-934-4250 | achapman at uab.edu<mailto:achapman at uab.edu>

From: milton-l-bounces at richmond.edu [mailto:milton-l-bounces at richmond.edu] On Behalf Of Richard A. Strier
Sent: Monday, September 04, 2017 4:47 PM
To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at richmond.edu>
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Pass the salt.

Special context.  But I really am bowing out of this -- unless we get back to Mr. Milton.

From: milton-l-bounces at richmond.edu<mailto:milton-l-bounces at richmond.edu> <milton-l-bounces at richmond.edu<mailto:milton-l-bounces at richmond.edu>> on behalf of James Rovira <jamesrovira at gmail.com<mailto:jamesrovira at gmail.com>>
Sent: Monday, September 4, 2017 4:19:23 PM
To: John Milton Discussion List
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Pass the salt.

Ha. See? In Carol's context, that's a suicide wish. Or a commentary on marriage. Maybe both.

Jim R

On Mon, Sep 4, 2017 at 4:06 PM, Carol Barton, PhD, CPCM <cbartonphd1 at verizon.net<mailto:cbartonphd1 at verizon.net>> wrote:
Her husband slowly dying of hypernatremia, his poor wife knelt at his bedside and whispered, "Please . . . pass the salt."
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.richmond.edu/pipermail/milton-l/attachments/20170904/7b89190a/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the Milton-L mailing list