Transcript of "Milton and paradise lost audio annotations"
Paradise Lost. A poem in ten books. 1 st published London, 1667. Milton, Paradise Lost , and the Commonwealth the contract for Paradise Lost
Paradise Lost. A poem in twelve books . 4th ed. 1688. From the first illustrated edition; opening illus. to Book IX Satan having compast the Earth, with meditated guile returns as a mist by Night into Paradise, enters into the Serpent sleeping. Adam and Eve in the Morning go forth to thir labours, which Eve proposes to divide in several places, each labouring apart: Adam consents not, alledging the danger, lest that Enemy, of whom they were forewarn'd, should attempt her found alone: Eve loath to be thought not circumspect or firm enough, urges her going apart, the rather desirous to make tryal of her strength; Adam at last yields: The Serpent finds her alone; his subtle approach, first gazing, then speaking, with much flattery extolling Eve above all other Creatures. Eve wondring to hear the Serpent speak, asks how he attain'd to human speech and such understanding not till now; the Serpent answers, that by tasting of a certain Tree in the Garden he attain'd both to Speech and Reason, till then void of both: Eve requires him to bring her to that Tree, and finds it to be the Tree of Knowledge forbidden...
Milton, Paradise Lost , and the Commonwealth The Commonwealth Period / Puritan Interregnum (1649-1660) - 1649 end of Civil War and the execution of Charles I - 1660 Restoration of the Stuart monarchy under Charles II - during the interregnum (“between kings”), England was ruled by Oliver Cromwell, Puritan leader of Parliament - with Cromwell’s death in 1658 the commonwealth began to dissolve - the atmosphere was politically charged under Puritan rule - loyalties were torn between Royalists and Parliamentarians - Milton is deeply involved in the political and social debates of his age
Milton, Paradise Lost , and the Commonwealth Milton (1608-1674) - born and spent most of his life in London - father was a Puritan convert from Catholicism – worked as a “scrivener” (a kind of copyist) but also composed music – had an interest in the arts and political life - he was prosperous enough to afford a good education for his son - Milton attended St. Paul’s and then Christ’s College, Cambridge (1625) - he found university disappointing though completed a BA and MA (which prepared him for entering the clergy) - Milton chose not to pursue a career, instead continuing his program of personal study (by this time he was fluent in numerous language, had read widely in those languages, and was writing poetry)
The Fall of the Rebel Angels by Peter Breughel the Elder (16 th century – predates Milton)
Milton, Paradise Lost , and the Commonwealth Milton (1608-1674) - in 1629 he published “Ode Upon the Morning of Christ’s Nativity” - in 1638 Milton took a “grand tour” of the Continent - he returned prior to the outbreak of the Civil War and began publishing political tracts against the established church ( The Reason of Church Government ) - 1642 – marriage to Mary Powell (from a Royalist family and 16 years younger than Milton) – within 6 weeks she returned to her family - Milton would publish numerous tracts in support of divorce (which was illegal at the time) - in 1644 Milton published Areopagitica , a call for freedom of the press
Master of Catherine of Cleeves. Hellmouth . c. 1440
Milton, Paradise Lost , and the Commonwealth Milton (1608-1674) - 1645 – Mary and John reconciled; they would go on to have 4 children - in 1652, however, both Mary and their only son died - Milton was deeply involved as a political writer in the formation of a new English governance - in a 1649 tract, Milton advocated for the abolition of the monarchy and he was justifying the regicide of Charles I - Milton argued that “all men were born free, being the image...of God himself” - Milton worked as part of Cromwell’s government (as a kind of translator and writer) - by 1658, however, Milton’s eyesight was deteriorating badly, his second wife and their child had died, and the Protectorate under Cromwell was dissolving Satan – a contemplative moment
Milton, Paradise Lost , and the Commonwealth Milton (1608-1674) - with the Restoration in 1660, Milton became public enemy #1; his works were burned and he was imprisoned - he was released after paying a heavy fine (and likely thanks to the intercession of Andrew Marvell, whom Milton had met in Cromwell’s government) - the first edition of Paradise Lost (in ten books) was published in 1667 - the second edition, in twelve books, was published in 1674, just after Milton’s death later poets like Blake and Shelley would contend that Milton was “ of the devil’s party” though without knowing it
I. Hell. Satan rallies the fallen angels II. Hell. The council in Pandemonium III. Heaven. The council in Heaven; Satan’s journey IV. Paradise. Satan spies on Adam and Eve V. Paradise. Raphael arrives (narrates War in Heaven) VI. War in Heaven VII. Creation of Earth VIII. Creation of Adam and Eve IX. Paradise. Temptation and The Fall X. Heaven. Judgment; in Chaos Sin and Death build bridge; in Hell Fallen angels turn into snakes; in Paradise Adam and Eve quarrel XI. Paradise. Adam and Eve are judged; Adam is given a vision of the world to come (up to the Flood) by Michael (they ascend a hill) XII. Adam’s vision continued to the second coming of Christ; Adam and Eve leave Eden, solitary, though hand in hand the twelve books of Paradise Lost devil worshipping CEO of McDonalds
Genesis; King James Version IN the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.... ...And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Version 1; Genesis 1 Genesis – multiple versions Electronic biblical texts http://www.biblegateway.com/
And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. Version 2 Genesis 2:15-25 Should God create another Eve, and I Another Rib afford, yet loss of thee Would never from my heart; no no, I feel The Link of Nature draw me: Flesh of Flesh, Bone of my Bone thou art, and from thy State Mine never shall be parted, bliss or woe. - Book 9: lines 910-915 focus shifted from the works of God, to the “human” condition
<ul><li>Paradise Lost employs many epic conventions (as would have been familiar to readers from classical epics, including works by Homer and Virgil) </li></ul><ul><li>The work begins in medias res (in the middle of things) -- PL begins after the War in Heaven, which will be described in later books. (Creation is narrated in Book VII) </li></ul><ul><li>The poem will open with an invocation to a muse (often to Urania, as in PL, who was one of the nine classical Muses, patron of astronomy, often pictured with globe and compass, and often associated with Aphrodite); Milton both invokes this convention but extends it beyond the classical tradition by invoking Christian muses </li></ul><ul><li>use of “epic similes” which are extended comparisons (e.g. Satan is compared at length with Leviathan in Book I:192 and ff.) </li></ul><ul><li>extended heroic speeches/monologues </li></ul><ul><li>a journey to the underworld </li></ul><ul><li>supernatural/divine intervention in human affairs (classical theater relied on the deus ex machina or literally “god from the machine”) </li></ul><ul><li>epic catalog (often of places or ships; in Book I Milton catalogues the devils in hell; line 376) </li></ul><ul><li>a scene describing the arming of the hero (see Book 6, the war in heaven) </li></ul><ul><li>the epic hero is “conventionally” heroic (grand, noble); classical epic heroes tended to represent the development of a nation (as Virgil’s Aeneid narrates the founding of Rome) </li></ul><ul><li>But who is the “hero” in Paradise Lost ? </li></ul>Epic Conventions
Important Themes - the opposition of light versus dark (and height/depth) - felix culpa (the “happy fault”/fortunate fall) - Pride - hierarchy and order - parallel structures (the Council in Hell in Book II and the Council in Heaven in Book III) - the degeneration of Satan - the “upright heart and pure” as opposed to “temples” (I:16) - free will and choice (V:233; XII:640-ff.) - selflessness (self-sacrifice) vs. selfishness illustrations by William Blake and John Martin http://www.stedwards.edu/hum/klawitter/milton/icon.htm
<ul><li>The Anxiety of Influence: Milton’s Legacy </li></ul><ul><li>- internalized psychology (the “self”) </li></ul><ul><li>the human condition (where Paradise Lost ends); human perfectibility (post-fall): William Godwin ( Political Justice) and Wordsworth (epic of the self; the development of the poet’s mind) </li></ul><ul><li>the relationship between creators and the created: Prometheus Unbound (Shelley); Frankenstein; the Modern Prometheus (Mary Shelly); Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep/Blade Runner </li></ul><ul><li>rebellion and tyranny (the “hero” of Paradise Lost ); Milton is of the devil’s party without knowing it (Blake) </li></ul><ul><li>“ right reason” gives way to poetic/creative energy/imagination (but remains a mode of discernment) </li></ul><ul><li>essential human liberty: free will as the basic condition for both freedom and obedience </li></ul>
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