7 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2019
    1. The mind is its own place, and in it selfCan make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n. [ 255 ]What matter where, if I be still the same,And what I should be, all but less then heWhom Thunder hath made greater? Here at leastWe shall be free; th' Almighty hath not builtHere for his envy, will not drive us hence: [ 260 ]Here we may reign secure, and in my choyceTo reign is worth ambition though in Hell:Better to reign in Hell, then serve in Heav'n.

      mainstream, but also contains what are easily some of the most iconic and memorable lines from the poem. "The mind is its own place" is Satan's greatest piece of advice and ironically what separates him from God. Because he sees himself as his own person, detached from the kingdoms of Heaven and Hell, he is made likely to rebel. Interesting also how it relates to to ideas of individualism and ambition in American society.

  2. Oct 2019
    1. The sentences of Paradise Lost are as unprecedented in their length as intheir disposition from line to line and within the line. They average some terlines or eighty words even though short sentences for rhetorical emphasisare not rare - such as the short quasi-sentence between c<-llons in the citedpassage: "But his doom I Reserved hirn to more wrath" (Sl-Sd - the "b" of"Ilut" is capitalized in the early eclitions, even though it follows a colon. Theoutcome is the dynamic unpredictability of the verse: the huge spans nf syn-tax with incessant variations of local movement demand a lot of the reader'sconcentration, but the reward is verse of unparalleled energy, weight, andflexibility.

      What interests me the most about this tactic is the fact that Milton does not necessarily give his longest, most complex sentences to pivotal plot moments. We've had multiple instances where Milton lends syntactically nuanced sentences to seemingly unimportant similies.

    2. lror t'r:rrrr1,lt', rtt tlrc solc pr"o-moted and therefrlrc uncrrphatic line-endillg of the cxcerpt, "l)Al{l(-ncssVIS-i-srE," ft.62), the lack of a clear-cut ending is appropriate for tlrc pirra-doxical mystery being evoked. Similarly Milton's avoidance of the ferninincending is breached at the start of the excerpt with Satan's "aspiring" abovehis peers; with hindsight one perceives that Milton tends to use such endingsfor acts of disobedience and illegitimate aspiration

      This explanation seems like a stretch. While I'm aware Milton probably paid a lot of attention to stressed and unstressed syllables in his writing, it feels like the pairing of Darkness and Visible just made Milton make an exception to the rule.

    3. l)eviation heightens tension; return to the regularlrrings relaxation and familiarity.

      “Deviation heightens tension” This is a great point, and is done throughout Paradise Lost with great effect. A good example from book 6 is when Abdiel is scolding Satan and says:

      Against his worthier, as thine now serve thee, Thyself not free,but to thyself enthralled;

      “As thine now serve thee,” in itself sounds condemnatory but is vague enough that is leaves readers in need of more elaboration. This is given in the second line, which implies that Satan is at the mercy of his own compulsions. When split like this - at first in vague terms and then more specific - this revelation feels more dramatic, like a one-two punch.

    4. So,in the artifice of the theater, the fall of greatness concentrated in a tragedyelevates emotion everr while it br:ings an awareness of fiction, distancing usinto contemplati

      I agree with the author here that verse distances readers from the reality of events in fiction and invites contemplation, but would disagree with the implication that verse and theater do this more than other forms of art. Every fictional device, even editing in documentary, causes some srot of reflection.

    1. They also serve who only stand and waite.

      This last line throws me off a bit. From what I can gather, I think it has to do with the conception of faith we discussed last class. It seems to be saying that God only asks of us to be committed, consistent, and patient in following his command.

    2. When I consider how my light is spent, E're

      This line is interesting to me because it seems to have the same combination of time signatures we've seen in other Milton pieces. In one sense he is looking at how he spent all his waking hours during his life. On the other hand, this line evokes the rhythm of a day, when the sun sets in the west and darkness falls.