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ENGL 316 (31)
Lecture

Milton 10

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Department
English (Arts)
Course
ENGL 316
Professor
Maggie Kilgour
Semester
Fall

Description
Sept 27 - pay attention to reading poetry!!!! - look at the images - think of the verse forms (what kinds of rhyme, what does it sound like, why's it used?) - focus quickly in your reading: find what's important and why it's important - focus on the lines given: don't generalize!! - not going to be obscure passages - you have to know all the types of rhyme scheme and when they're used and by whom they're used - think of larger themes and patterns and imagery - where is he likely to draw his images from? water, wind/air/breath as inspiration, flowers, etc. Interpret what all these mean. - work on 2 levels: focus on the details and keep in mind larger patterns - keep in mind the time limitations Comus (con't) - when the forces that are to rescue the Lady get together, they spend a lot of time talking, and so they miss a lot of opportunities - perhaps they are metamorphosing as well, like Comus - in a conventional masque, you move from the disorderly forest from the orderly court: in this masque, Milton subverts this by making Comus' court into the area of disorder - Comus wants to make her his queen; he's trying to seduce her; he sounds like your traditional libertine - this seduction is again expressed through form of a debate: rather than jumping on her or trying to entice her into bed, they debate how the Lady should live her life - Comus thinks that she should embrace her beauty (738) (carpe diem again) - flower imagery (beauty fades) - image of coin: beauty is nature's coin -> like Jesus' parable about the man who invests - seems odd coming from Comus because he's supposed to be the devil: why can he quote scripture? he's subverting the passage, giving it power through scripture - he's saying that she’s not doing what God intended her to: she advocates "the lean and sallow abstinence" - lines 708-713: if we don't use what we have, we're also hurting nature (729) - he says that nature needs consumers (there needs to be conspicuous consumption) or it will strangle itself - the Lady sees a problem with this, advocating that we need a more democratic distribution of goods, and we should take only what we need (If every just man... in unsuperfluous even proportion) - interesting to think of this in terms of life views, which are coded in terms of class (aristocracy consumes, middle class is fair) - the Lady advocates a restraint, which Comus sees as stinginess - perhaps mocking the aristocracy and the masque itself? - the succinctness of her speech is an analog of her chastity - the Lady doesn't want to talk at all at the very start - she keeps on trying to stop (several times) - 793 "Yet, should I try, ... heaps o'er thy false head. " - in line 800, Comus acknowledges her power, but he still does not waver - the Lady's insistence on her own power is the last thing that she says in the masque, which disturbs a lot of people - at this point, the brothers rush in and forget to grab Comus' wand - instead of rescuing her, they and Comus produce her petrifaction - there's no resolution of the debate, and no clear winner - Comus runs off into the woods, meaning that the standard masque trait of the evil being easily triumphed over doesn't apply - the kids have to get out of the forest as fast as possible because Thyrsis is afraid that Comus will come back - Thankfully, Thyrsis has a plan B, because the awkward, clumsy first attempt fails - fighting Comus on his own terms (fighting magic with magic) doesn't work - the solution of the Lady comes from the Faerie Queene - figure of Sabrina is taken from Book 2, which is the Book of Temperance - The Lady seems like the heroine of Book 3 (the book of chastity) - in Areopagitica, he invokes Spenser as his inspiration - he thinks that they're interested in the same things: Milton and Spenser are both interested in writing about trials and such - Sabrina really isn't all that important in the faerie queene - Sabrina is the illegitimate daughter of the king, and after the king's death, the king's wife pursues her, pushes her in a river (the river dividing England and Wales) and she drowns - Sabrina and Comus both draw attention to the transition between states: Comus makes one move from human down to natural, and Sabrina offers the op
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