- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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