This is moreso a general question to anybody else. I feel like Milton has given me perspective on knowledge and always being humble in the fact I know so so little in the grand scheme of things
I keep returning to how Raphael calls Eve Adam’s inferior but she only wants to hear Adam tell her about the planets. This is really a mix of poetry and dogma.
I researched that in 1790, somebody desecrated Milton’s grave. Subsequently, poet William Cowper wrote about this in ‘Stanzas on the Late Indecent Liberties Taken with the Remains of Milton’. Such a funny situation when you consider that, even in death, Milton was inspiring others to reflect on his “body” of work. Puns abundant.
Scholars like Hyman attempt to critique Milton for a dogmatic view of the world and they have tried to show the distinction between poetry and dogma. But I understand poetry as dogma because all poetry is inspired by a feeling. And I wager Milton would chalk that up to divine inspiration.
I wonder what Milton would look of people who critique his portrayal of the human. Perhaps i’m going down a philosophy rabbit hole, but I love how Milton falls into a very Socrates-like adoration for knowledge and adventure. This is projected on Adam and Eve, and can’t be divorced from the European concept of what it means to be human.
I find it so incredibly important that Milton imagined Adam in a moment of weakness. The fact that he questions the purpose of a fallen life completely blasphemes against God. For he is a divine creation and to end one’s life before God does is a sin. But Adam still questions the purpose of this fallen life. I can’t help but think that’s a glimpse into the imperfectness of man and the violence that comes with knowledge.
When you think about it, Satan is a counterrevolutionary and a reactionary who is manipulating his followers. We see this happen throughout history often. It’s happening today. But it’s especially necessary to push back against the Satan as revolutionary. If not for the implications it has on our politics, but for the reading of the text.
Reading Milton can be intimidating, but I actually appreciated the community experience where we read Milton aloud. To me, it reinforced how knowledge is supposed to be a communal thing. Interesting how that kind of teaching style isn’t more common in academia. Everything is so individualized.
When you think about it….God reproduces with adam. and if he’s the father…what kind of implications does that have for queer theory and Milton. Somebody?
Where do we all sit on the fact that Milton essentially plays into the patriarchal logic that “allowing” women to have independence will be the downfall of society? It’s hard for me to tell if Milton actually believes that himself. It wouldn’t surprise me, he’s an old Englishman. But the implications that has for the gender politics of Milton seems important to me.