Friday, June 12, 2009

she pluck'd she eat: Paradise Lost 7,8,9 Updated

Some questions:

1. In Book 7, how does Milton imagine creation - does the conception of creation (especially 168-172) parallel our discussion of Miltonic cosmology in Book 5?

2. What does Milton mean by 'process of speech' in line 177?

3. How does Milton deal with questions of representation in lines 601-605? Can we generalize from these lines to Milton's general strategies of representation?

4. Is Milton interested in cosmology? Does he want us to be similarly interested? How does he take sides in the debates between Copernicus and Ptolemy? Why? Do Adam and Even need to take an advanced degree course in astronomy?

5. How does the representation of Adam's creation differ from that of Eve?

6. Does Milton turn the relatonship between the genders into a theological problem? What is the difference between Adam and Eve? between genders?

7. How does the invocation to Book 9 function? How does Milton further affiliate himself with classical epic traditions? how does he distance himself from those traditions?

8. On what do Adam and Eve disagree before they fall? Which one of them is right?

9. Why do the Edenic pair fall? Where does the fault lie for Eve's fault? for Adam's? By what means does Satan trip up Adam and Eve? How does Milton portray Satan as tempter? What is the particular threat which he represents?

10. How does Adam respond after the fall of Eve? Does he do the right thing?

See ya Monday!

1 comment:

  1. This is a tiny point but represents the scope and genius of Milton as scholar and poet. Below is a link to a discussion of the type of fig leaf Milton claims Adam and Eve used to cover their guilt and shame. What's amazing is not Milton's knowledge of botany but the care with which he chooses the type of fig tree, to emphasize A & E's deviousness and the depth of their guilt. At the same time this detail appears to affirm his belief that 1) the human body itself is not shameful, 2) postlapsarian humanity still resembles its maker, and 3) the post-Eden world is still beautiful. Here is the link:,M1