Abstract

Abstract:

When Eve tells Adam the story of her fall in Paradise Lost, he stands "astonied." Then, "all his joints relax" and his hand goes "slack." Looking forward to Sin and Death's "petrific" fixing of the form of Chaos with "Gorgonian rigor" and the "stonying" of Adam and Eve's hearts, the image of Adam astonied also signals the disharmonizing of the body of the poem itself, for even before Adam hears Eve's story he feels the poetics of Eden alter in metrical terms at the instant of her fall: "he the falt'ring measure felt." In this essay I argue that Adam's body and Milton's verse are mutually astonied and that this can help explain the "altered style" of the final books of Paradise Lost.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6547
Print ISSN
0013-8304
Pages
pp. 433-461
Launched on MUSE
2020-06-12
Open Access
No
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