Death in Milton's Poetry
Bucknell University Press, 1994 - 183 էջ
"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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Էջ 22 - The mind is its own place, and in itself Can make a heav'n of hell, a hell of heav'n.
Էջ 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.