Milton and Homer
"Written to Aftertimes"
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: Duquesne University Press
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I thank Mary Ann Radzinowicz and Piero Pucci for early guidance on this project. I am thankful to Al Labriola, John Mulryan, Susanne Woods, Christine Perkell, John King, and John Leonard for providing forums in which I could develop the ideas in the book. ...
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This book examines how the Homeric epics figured in the composition of Paradise Lost. Miltonists in the late twentieth century tended to see the influence of Homer on Miltonâs epic as minimal, at least by comparison with that of Virgil. Davis P. Harding established the contemporary orthodoxy, claiming, âit must be clear to ...
One âBy Allusion Calledâ: Diachronic and Synchronic Intertextuality
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At the end of Paradise Regained, we are told three times within 20 lines that Satan fell from the tower where he tempted the Son: âSatan smitten with amazement fellâ (4.562), âSo . . . the Tempter . . . Fellâ (4.569â71), âSo Satan fellâ (4.581). Because the word fell is repeated three times, and perhaps also because ...
Two âDire Exampleâ: The War in Heaven as Admonitory Exemplum
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The most explicitly Homeric portion of Paradise Lost is surely the war in heaven, narrated in books 5 and 6 of Miltonâs epic. It is no surprise, then, that allusions to Homerâs epics, especially the Iliad, are frequent within these books and that the episode can therefore illustrate in a particularly comprehensive way Miltonâs ...
Three âA Fabric Wonderfulâ: The Marvelous and Verisimilar in Miltonâs Christian Epic
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In the previous chapter, I studied Miltonâs relation to Homer by considering a single episode within Paradise Lost: the war in heaven. I now move to a dimension of this interpoetic relationship that manifests itself throughout the entirety of Miltonâs epic. The discursive mechanism of canonization on which I focus is the phrase âChristian epic.â As Thomas Greene says, âfrom ...
Four âFrom the Firstâ: Conceptions of Origins and Their Consequences
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One of the primary discursive mechanisms by which Paradise Lost was established and has been maintained in the literary canon is the notion of originality. At least as early as 1704, in John Dennisâs Grounds of Criticism in Poetry, Paradise Lost was being canonized on the basis of its being âan Original Poem; that is to ...
Five âAbove thâAonian Mountâ: The Longinian Sublime in Paradise Lost
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Perhaps the primary discursive mechanism by which Paradise Lost came to be canonized was the term sublime. In the year of Miltonâs death, Boileau published his translation of Longinusâs treatise Peri Hupsous along with his own Art of Poetry; together the two treatises are credited with initiating a critical vogue in ...
Six âInstruct Meâ: Institutional Considerations in Miltonâs Evolving Literary Ambitions
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In 1642, in The Reason of Church Government, Milton introduces an extended digression in which he shares with his reader his literary ambitions. He indicates his desire to âleave something so written to aftertimes, as they should not willingly let it dieâ and offers a consideration of the genres in which he might compose ...
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Near the end of her comprehensive consideration of the dynamics of canon formation, Barbara Herrnstein Smith summarizes, in very broad strokes, her treatment of the factors that determine a workâs canonical fortunes: âAny object or artifact that performs certain desired/able functions particularly well at a given time for some community of subjects . . . will have an immediate ...
Appendix Miltonâs Homer
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Page Count: 204
Publication Year: 2011
Series Title: Medieval & Renaissance Literary Studies
Series Editor Byline: Richard J. DuRocher