Death in Milton's Poetry

Capa
Bucknell University Press, 1994 - 183 páginas
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"From his earliest verses (the Latin verses written at Cambridge) to his first original English poem (the Infant ode), to his masterpiece (Lycidas) and its sad echo (Epitaphium Damonis), through his mature trilogy (Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, and Samson Agonistes), Milton repeatedly seeks to explain why people die. Though Milton frequently changed his mind on important subjects, his fundamental view of death did not change. Milton throughout his life insists that death, both physical and spiritual, is caused by sin. In attempting to understand the significance of this belief, Death in Milton's Poetry will suggest some major re-evaluations of old assumptions." "This book is divided into two parts. The first part contains examples of death that support Milton's belief that death is caused by sin. The second part contains poems that focus on deaths that appear to violate this belief. Since Milton illustrates his belief in his mature works, Part 1 includes Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, and Samson Agonistes. As the pattern of death emerges in these poems, the reader is able to see that Paradise Regained is as much about the death of Satan as it is about the life of Jesus and that Milton's drama focuses on an unregenerate Samson whose tragedy is his inability ever to reconcile with God." "The poems examined in Part 2 explain deaths that appear to violate Milton's, belief. In vindicating Milton's view of death, the Latin funeral elegies and "On the Death of a Fair Infant Dying of a Cough" form a pattern that culminates in Lycidas. Recognizing this pattern in Lycidas is indispensible to understanding the radical statement of Epitaphium Damonis, a poem that records Milton's temporary disillusionment with Christianity." "In addition to new insights into the individual poems, two patterns are highlighted. In Milton's earlier poems, readers usually have seen classicism as complementing Christianity. When Milton turns to death, however, he opposes classicism to Christianity, contrasting (except in the case of Epitaphium Damonis) the limited pagan gods of classicism with the providence of an omnipotent God. This antagonism is reinforced by another pattern that emerges in the poems. Though all sins tend to death, some sins are more fatal than others. In much of Milton's poetry, perhaps the most consistently fatal of sins was lust; and Milton frequently represents this lust as a characteristic of classicism."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Índice

Introduction
17
Sex and Death in Paradise Lost
26
Paradise Regained and the Death of Satan
49
Sex and Violence in Samson Agonistes
72
The Early Poems Anomalies of Death
89
Miltons Early Poems on Death
91
Providence and Death in Lycidas
108
Lust and Death in the Early Poems on Death
124
The Crisis of Epitaphium Damonis
135
Afterword
158
Notes
160
Bibliography
174
Index
181
Direitos de autor

Palavras e frases frequentes

Passagens conhecidas

Página 82 - Henceforth I learn, that to obey is best, And love with fear the only God, to walk As in His presence ; ever to observe His providence ; and on Him sole depend, Merciful over all His works, with good Still overcoming evil, and by small Accomplishing great things, by things deem'd weak Subverting worldly strong, and worldly wise By simply meek; that suffering for truth's sake Is fortitude to highest victory, And, to the faithful, death the gate of life; Taught this by his example, whom I now Acknowledge...
Página 114 - Alas! what boots it with uncessant care To tend the homely, slighted, shepherd's trade And strictly meditate the thankless Muse ? Were it not better done, as others use, To sport with Amaryllis in the shade, Or with the tangles of Neaera's hair?
Página 113 - That to the faithful herdman's art belongs! What recks it them? What need they? They are sped; And when they list, their lean and flashy songs Grate on their scrannel pipes of wretched straw; The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed...
Página 38 - Here Love his golden shafts imploys, here lights His constant Lamp, and waves his purple wings, Reigns here and revels; not in the bought smile Of Harlots, loveless, joyless, unindear'd, Casual fruition, nor in Court Amours, Mixt Dance, or wanton Mask, or Midnight Ball, Or Serenate, which the starv'd Lover sings To his proud fair, best quitted with disdain.
Página 30 - Looks through the horizontal misty air Shorn of his beams, or from behind the moon, In dim eclipse, disastrous twilight sheds On half the nations, and with fear of change Perplexes monarchs.
Página 87 - Or aught by me immutably foreseen, They trespass, authors to themselves in all, Both what they judge and what they choose...
Página 37 - Sight hateful, sight tormenting ! thus these two Imparadised in one another's arms, The happier Eden, shall enjoy their fill Of bliss on bliss, while I to hell am thrust, Where neither joy nor love, but fierce desire, Among our other torments not the least, Still unfulfill'd with pain of longing pines.
Página 22 - The mind is its own place, and in itself Can make a heav'n of hell, a hell of heav'n.
Página 136 - The end then of learning is to repair the ruins of our first parents by regaining to know God aright, and out of that knowledge to love him, to imitate him, to be like him, as we may the nearest by possessing our souls of true virtue, which being united to the heavenly grace of faith, makes up the highest perfection.
Página 21 - In glory of the Father, to dissolve Satan with his perverted World, then raise From the conflagrant mass, purg'd and refin'd, New Heav'ns, new Earth, Ages of endless date Founded in righteousness and peace and love, To bring forth fruits Joy and eternal Bliss.

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