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THE STORM SCENE IN PARADISE REGAINED : A REINTERPRETATION DICK TAYLOR, JR. COMMENTATORS on Paradise R egained have generally considered that Christ's rejection of Satan's offer of learning is the concluding incident in the second temptation; that the coming of night marks the close of the offer of the kingdoms of the world; and that the storm episode which follows either is an interlude between the second and third temptation or is connected with the third temptation on the pinnacle, as a link or prologue. Invariably they interpret this episode as a use of violence by an enraged and despairing Satan to terrorize Christ.' Milton's strong sense of evenly blocked organization2 would lend support to the view that the whole temptation in Paradise Regained is neatly divided into days, with the episode of learning the concluding incident of the second day and with the night which contains the storm marking the episode's close. However, in his great expansion of IE. M. W. Tillyard has said in his Milton (London, 1930), 327, that after Christ's refusal of learning Satan, in despair, "turns from the subtle tempter of the mind to a crude physical bully: Night intervenes between the second and the third temptations, and in it Satan manufactures a stann with which to terrify the Son of God. Finding it to have no effect, he is 'swoln with rage' and loses his judgment." Professor Tillyard then briefly discusses the pinnacle scene. Dr. Elizabeth Marie Pope, in Paradise Regained, the Tradition and the Poem (Johns Hopkins, 1947) , 6, speaks of the "banqueting scene that precedes the offer of the kingdoms and the storm 'scene which follows it." Elsewhere she writes (p. 93) that Satan takes Christ "back to the wilderness at the end of the second day, pretends to leave him, and then raises a dreadful storm Ito tempt the .son of God with terrors dire.' U See also pp. 96-7; and further p. 99, where she says, "as a result, the formal temptation of violence had to be pushed back and given inde· pendent treatment in the storm scene, though it remains closely associated with the mitte te deor.rum and is of much the same character... ." In her brief glance at the aspect of portents in the episode, she sees the storm only as an instrument of violence to terrorize, as she says (p. 93) that Satan "first attempts to cow the Lord by warning him that the storm portends his future." She then gOt:s on to develop further the theory of Satan's violence and enraged despair. Professor Allan H. Gilbert in "The Temptation in Paradise Regained," Journal of English and Germanic Philology, XV (1916), 607, has written: "The second attempt fully concluded, Satan, who through it all has not left the side of Christ, departs, Or rather feigns to depart. Night follows, separating the second encounter from the third, just as night divides the first from the 5econd. On the morning of the third, and last day, Satan reappears for the third temptation, which is that Christ shall cast himself down from the pinnacle of the temple." Professor Hanford does not treat the stonn scene in his Milton Handbook (New York, 1947), but (pp. 278-9) considers the episode of learning to be the conclusion of the second temptation, and the method on the pinnacle to be "that of violence." 2As Arthur Barker has shown in "The Pattern of Milton's Nativity Ode," UniVdrsity of Toronto Quarterly, X (1941), 167-81 and UStructural Pattern in Pargdi.re Lost," Philological Quarterl)" XVIII (1949), 15-30. 359 Vol. XXIV, no. 4, July, 1955 360 UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO QUARTERLY the second temptation, Milton has shown that he is not alIrnng at consistently even division, and although there are passages in the text which have led to these interpretations of the method and structural relationship of the storm scene and support them, it does not seem to me that what actually happens in the speech and action of the episode fits with these interpretations. Consequently, in this paper I am proposing a different one: that the storm scene is neither an interlude, nor a link, nor...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 359-376
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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