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Milton 18

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McGill University
English (Arts)
ENGL 316
Maggie Kilgour

Oct 27 - Milton wants the fall? (Eve's hair, wantoness, etc) - is he deliberately representing a flawed Paradise? - maybe it's just that we don't like it - back to what it's like: lush, thicketed, enclosed, fertile (could the fertility be too much? could the enclosure be too enclosed?) the work aspect - we might not like that Eve is kind of subordinate (though subordinate things often end up having a greater power) - when they talk, Adam always speaks first - why are they so eloquent? - they're very intelligent - he's making a point that Eve is his partner, not his inferior - he speaks in puns - she was a part of him, then she parted, and since she parted, she's a partner, and since she's a partner, she can partake in all his experiences - this draws parallels to poetic laguage - he creates, like poets - this formal language is kind of a sign of respect too - before the fall, we're led to believe that eloquent speech was strived for - he talks of how great God is, what it looks like, and the laws and limits of paradise - he likes to talk about the rules (very practical), but he doesn't question any of them - Satan is very suspicious as to why they cannot have knowledge - clearly Satan's been reading Areopagitica - Eve, on the other hand, likes to talk about herself - she stresses the differences between them, and acts subordinate intentionally - she is grateful for it, she thinks that she has the better lot, she thinks that it's great that there's someone to look up to - she kind of needs Satan to save her from her indoctrination - Milton is playing on narrative sequence, and point of view - though Eve is created second, we hear the story of her origin before Adam's - she tells her story to her creator (like Sin in book 2, though that story actually had a purpose and this one doesn't really) - very clear literary subtext = Ovid's Narcissus - Milton wants us to see that Eve is vain, and thus already fallen - Narcissus is told that he will have a long life as long as he does not know himself, making it sort of an anti-Platonic inversion: knowing yourself is generally a good thing - desire requires a lack - how can he lack something? - back to the story that humans are all cut in half
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