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Milton's Neo-Platonic Angel?

Readers generally agree that Raphael administers--probably inappropriately--Neo-Platonic correction to Adam when the man extols Eve's beauty (Paradise Lost 8.523-51). However, Raphael only appears to endorse Neo-Platonism in order to entangle a "wary" Adam fatally--and Neo-Platonically--curious about "proportional ascent, which cannot be / But to be gods, or angels demi-gods" (PL 9.936-7). Adam is maneuvered into defending himself by confessing his real fault: his construction of Eve's soul within the context of his desire for Neo-Platonic ascent, confirming (for Raphael) the direction of Adam's fall. A similiar subtlety is evident in Raphael's exposition of the order of creation (PL 5.469-505).

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