Class Notes (836,365)
Canada (509,756)
ENGL 316 (31)

Milton 9

4 Pages
Unlock Document

English (Arts)
ENGL 316
Maggie Kilgour

Sept 24 - why is a nice, middle class boy like Milton writing in this genre? - Thyrsis is a guide for the children - clearly defined spiritual realm and a clearly defined material world that can relate but that are not the same - sets things with relation to water - playing on the pun "the earl of Bridgewater" - also important in the figure of Sabrina - three little kids lost in the woods and trying to get home - he's going to tell a tale that "has never been heard" - there's another version of this is Paradise Lost "things yet unattempted in verse or rhyme" - the story of Comus is new: he's not a conventional god, not part of either the roman or Greek pantheon. - he's a personification of the spirit of revelry (spirit of the banquet) - Circe (turns men who show up at her island into animals in the odyssey) and Baccus are Comus' parents - Milton clearly wants to say that Comus is (56) "much like his father, but his mother more" - something effeminate about Comus - he brings things down where Thyrsis wants to bring things up, and blurs the line between genders: is it actually gender inversion? the Lady is the male (Milton, a version of Odysseus), and Comus is the female - when good people go up, they're looked after by angels, and they're purified - ie if you're good, you go up: not only spiritual, but also class and morally - Comus and potentially Milton himself are working against the conventional masque - usually a masque goes from bad (Comus) to good (Thyrsis), but this one starts with Thyrsis - highlights the similarities between the two: they both pretend to be shepherds, though they have different motives - we know that they're different because of the way that they speak: - Thyrsis speaks in iambic pentameter: blank verse; used particularly in Shakespeare, Marlowe: it's a dramatic form - useful in drama because it allows the characters to develop longer ideas - this verse form is closest to natural human speech (in English) - one of the reasons that it becomes so popular in the romantics - allows characters in soliloquy to reveal themselves - seems like it's easy, natural - Comus, on the other hand, speaks in rhyming couplet, the lines are shorter; as a sound, it's more playful. it lulls you into a trance. seems cunning and reflective, emphasizes its artificiality - when you do couplets, you're making it known that you were thinking in advance - L'Allegro and Il Penseroso have this verse form as well - Thyrsis is a figure who comes from Virgil's eclogue 7: he's the singer who loses - it's two singers, and L'Allegro. and Il Penseroso can be seen as a singing match too - Comus is light, fun and playful: like L'Allegro - Thyrsis is more like Il Penseroso - the moral issues complicate things - Comus comes out at night, Thyrsis comes out during the day - Comus also seems to mix up things by being Il Penseroso on the supernatural front - the terms of Il Penseroso and l’Allegro are no longer adequate - opening begins with these two antithetical voices, which react differently to the children - back to A&P and Milton trying to figure out what kind of poet he's going to be: he could be trying to decide whether he's going to be a court writer or not - the characters change: Comus changes first - his attire changes and he switches to iambic pentameter - "foot puns" again - she's chas
More Less

Related notes for ENGL 316

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.