Abstract

Miltonists tread gingerly around the issue of Paradise Lost and uncertainty as unresolved contradiction subverts the masterplot of Milton criticism, which is that Paradise Lost coheres, and the critic's task is to make the poem cohere. In this article, I contest this faith in the poem's thematic and formal unity by demonstrating that Milton structures Paradise Lost according to a poetics of incertitude, as exemplified by the Miltonic "Or." I argue that Milton structures Paradise Lost according to a series of suspended choices, and this structure determines the smallest details of the poem as well as the competing narratives, especially the differing versions of the Son's elevation.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1522-9270
Print ISSN
0039-3657
Pages
pp. 181-211
Launched on MUSE
2003-02-25
Open Access
No
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