History: E317_Paper_Spr_13

Comparing version 4 with version 5

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6. Many critics and readers have noted that a fair amount of Paradise Lost revolves around trying to represent the unrepresentable. Such commentary as emerges from this realization often (though of course not always) centers on the representation of God. But the landscapes of this epic also present Milton with a complex task when it comes to representation: how exactly does one represent Hell, for example? Or the Garden of Eden before the Fall of Adam and Eve? Choose something aside from God and His Son and examine what you find to be the thematic or theological/ethical difficulties and opportunities inherent in such an attempt to represent something or some character that, strictly speaking, isn't representable without much alteration and "accommodation" of mortal sensibilities.
+ 7. We discussed in class the fact that in Paradise Regained, more or less whatever Satan tempts the Son of God with, the latter has already rejected in his own private meditations before Satan even begins tempting him. This suggests, in turn, that the basis for Satan's (admittedly attenuated) confidence in his chances for success may lie elsewhere than in the direct content of his temptation of Jesus. The same goes for our own interest in this epic, which of course can't compete with its lengthier prequel in terms of scope and narratival energy. Choose a small number of scenes in Paradise Regained and explore them in light of this "indirectness": how, for example, do the scenes you choose help us understand the true qualities of and basis for our interest in Satan's temptation of Jesus?


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