Abstract

abstract:

This article focuses on Adam's perspiration at the scene of his awakening in Paradise Lost, where immediately after his creation he finds himself "In balmy sweat." Milton pointedly rejects the precedent of medieval scholastic writers, who excluded sweat from prelapsarian life and understood the substance as oriented toward death. Instead, Milton presents sweat as necessary to generation and linked to polymorphic birth processes in the garden. In Adam's sweaty body, Milton depicts the first man on the borders of dissolution in order to make sensible the profusion of divine love that Adam experiences in Eden. Ultimately, sweat is a marker of continuity—rather than rupture—between prelapsarian life and the fallen present.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2330-796X
Print ISSN
0076-8820
Pages
pp. 107-135
Launched on MUSE
2020-02-19
Open Access
No
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