San José State University Wk 9 Overarching Goal of John Milton Discussion

San José State University Wk 9 Overarching Goal of John Milton Discussion San José State University Wk 9 Overarching Goal of John Milton Discussion ORDER NOW FOR CUSTOMIZED AND ORIGINAL NURSING PAPERS Unformatted Attachment Preview PARADI SE LO ST This page intentionally left blank JO H N M I LTON PARADI S E LO S T Introduced by PH I LI P PULLMAN 1 3 Great Clarendon Street, Oxford ox2 6dp Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. lt furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide in Oxford New York Auckland Cape Town Dar es Salaam Hong Kong Karachi Kuala Lumpur Madrid Melbourne Mexico City Nairobi New Delhi Shanghai Taipei Toronto With o?ces in Argentina Austria Brazil Chile Czech Republic France Greece Guatemala Hungary Italy Japan Poland Portugal Singapore South Korea Switzerland Thailand Turkey Ukraine Vietnam Oxford is a registered trade mark of Oxford University Press in the UK and in certain other countries Published in the United States by Oxford University Press Inc., New York Paradise Lost taken from the Oxford World’s Classics edition edited by Stephen Orgel and Jonathan Goldberg Introductions © Philip Pullman 2005 The moral rights of the author have been asserted Database right Oxford University Press (maker) First published 2005 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of Oxford University Press, or as expressly permitted by law, or under terms agreed with the appropriate reprographics rights organizations. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside the scope of the above should be sent to the Rights Department, Oxford University Press, at the address above You must not circulate this book in any other binding or cover and you must impose this same condition on any acquirer British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Data available Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Data available ISBN 0–19–280619–X EAN 978–0–19–280619–2 1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2 Designed by Bob Elliott Typeset in Monotype Centaur MT and Adobe Garamond by Re?neCatch Limited, Bungay, Su?olk Printed in Italy by Gra?che Industriali CONTENTS Introduion by philip pullman 1 PARADISE LOST Book I 13 Book II 41 Book III 75 Book IV 101 Book V 135 Book VI 165 Book VII 195 Book VIII 219 Book IX 243 Book X 281 Book XI 317 Book XII 347 Afterword 371 A Note on the Illurations 373 This page intentionally left blank INTRODUCTION by philip pullman correspondent once told me a story—which I’ve never been able to trace, and I don’t know whether it’s true—about a bibulous, semi-literate, ageing country squire two hundred years ago or more, sitting by his ?reside listening to Paradise Lost being read aloud. San José State University Wk 9 Overarching Goal of John Milton Discussion He’s never read it himself; he doesn’t know the story at all; but as he sits there, perhaps with a pint of port at his side and with a gouty foot propped up on a stool, he ?nds himself trans?xed. Suddenly he bangs the arm of his chair, and exclaims ‘By God! I know not what the outcome may be, but this Lucifer is a damned ?ne fellow, and I hope he may win!’ Which are my sentiments exactly. I’m conscious, as I write this introduction to the poem, that I have hardly any more pretensions to scholarship than that old gentleman. Many of my comparisons will be drawn from popular literature and ?lm rather than from anything more re?ned. Learned critics have analysed Paradise Lost and found in it things I could never see, and related it to other works I have never read, and demonstrated the truth of this or that assertion about Milton and his poem that it would never have occurred to me to make, or, having made, to think that I could prove it. But this is how I read this great work, and all I can do is describe that way of reading. A he ory as a poem So I begin with sound. I read Paradise Lost not only with my eyes, but with my mouth. I was lucky enough to study Books I and II for A Level many years ago, and to do so in a small class whose teacher, Miss Enid Jones, had the clear-eyed and old-fashioned idea that we 2 Introduion would get a good sense of the poem if, before we did anything else to it, we read it aloud. So we took it in turns, in that little Sixth Form classroom in Ysgol Ardudwy, on the ?at land below the great rock of Harlech Castle, to stumble and mutter and gabble our way through it all, while Miss Jones sat with arms comfortably folded on her desk, patiently helping us with pronunciation, but not encumbering us with meaning. And thus it was that I ?rst read lines like this. Satan is making his way across the wastes of hell towards the new world he intends to corrupt, and a complex and majestic image evokes his distant ?ight: As when far o? at sea a ?eet descried Hangs in the clouds, by equinoctial winds Close sailing from Bengala, or the isles Of Ternate and Tidore, whence merchants bring Their spicy drugs: they on the trading ?ood Through the wide Ethiopian to the Cape Ply stemming nightly toward the pole. So seemed Far o? the ?ying ?end . . . (Book II, lines 636–43) That passage stayed with me for years, and still has the power to thrill me. Ply stemming nightly toward the pole—in those words I could hear the creak of wood and rope, the never-ceasing dash of water against the bows, the moan of the wind in the rigging; I could see the dim phosphorescence in the creaming wake, the dark waves against the restless horizon, the constant stars in the velvet sky; and I saw the vigilant helmsman, the only man awake, guiding his sleeping shipmates and their precious freight across the wilderness of the night. To see these things and hear them most vividly, I found that I had to take the lines in my mouth and utter them aloud. A whisper will do; you don’t have to bellow it, and annoy the neighbours; but air has to pass across your tongue and through your lips. Your body has to be involved. through many a dark and dreary vale They passed, and many a region dolorous, O’er many a frozen, many a ?ery alp, Rocks, caves, lakes, fens, bogs, dens, and shades of death, Introduion 3 A universe of death, which God by curse Created evil, for evil only good, Where all life dies, death lives, and nature breeds, Perverse, all monstrous, all prodigious things, Abominable, inutterable, and worse Than fables yet have feigned, or fear conceived, Gorgons and hydras, and chimeras dire. (Book II, lines 618–28) The experience of reading poetry aloud when you don’t fully understand it is a curious and complicated one. San José State University Wk 9 Overarching Goal of John Milton Discussion It’s like suddenly discovering that you can play the organ. Rolling swells and peals of sound, powerful rhythms and rich harmonies are at your command; and as you utter them you begin to realize that the sound you’re releasing from the words as you speak is part of the reason they’re there. The sound is part of the meaning, and that part only comes alive when you speak it. So at this stage it doesn’t matter that you don’t fully understand everything: you’re already far closer to the poem than someone who sits there in silence looking up meanings and references and making assiduous notes. By the way, someone who does that while listening to music through earphones will never understand it at all. We need to remind ourselves of this, especially if we have anything to do with education. I have come across teachers and student teachers whose job was to teach poetry, but who thought that poetry was only a fancy way of dressing up simple statements to make them look complicated, and that their task was to help their pupils translate the stu? into ordinary English. When they’d translated it, when they’d ‘understood’ it, the job was done. It had the e?ect of turning the classroom into a torture-chamber, in which everything that made the poem a living thing had been killed and butchered. No one had told such people that poetry is in fact enchantment; that it has the form it does because that very form casts a spell; and that when they thought they were bothered and bewildered, they were in fact being bewitched, and if they let themselves accept the enchantment and enjoy it, they would eventually understand much more about the poem. But if they never learn this truth themselves, they can’t possibly 4 Introduion transmit it to anyone else. Instead, in an atmosphere of suspicion, resentment, and hostility, many poems are interrogated until they confess, and what they confess is usually worthless, as the results of torture always are: broken little scraps of information, platitudes, banalities. Never mind! The work has been done according to the instructions, and the result of the interrogation is measured and recorded and tabulated in line with government targets; and this is the process we call education. However, as I say, I was lucky enough to learn to love Paradise Lost before I had to explain it. Once you do love something, the attempt to understand it becomes a pleasure rather than a chore, and what you ?nd when you begin to explore Paradise Lost in that way is how rich it is in thought and argument. You could make a prose paraphrase of it that would still be a work of the most profound and commanding intellectual power. But the poetry, its incantatory quality, is what makes it the great work of art it is. I found, in that classroom so long ago, that it had the power to stir a physical response: my heart beat faster, the hair on my head stirred, my skin bristled. Ever since then, that has been my test for poetry, just as it was for A. E. Housman, who dared not think of a line of poetry while he was shaving, in case he cut himself. he poem as a ory The question ‘Where should my story begin?’ is, as every storyteller knows, both immensely important and immensely di?cult to answer. ‘Once upon a time’, as the fairy-tale formula has it; but once upon a time there was—what? The opening governs the way you tell everything that follows, not only in terms of the organization of the events, but also in terms of the tone of voice that does the telling; and not least, it enlists the reader’s sympathy in this cause rather than that. Alfred Hitchcock once pointed out that if a ?lm opens with a shot of a burglar breaking into a house and ransacking the place, and then, with him, we see through the bedroom window the lights of a car drawing up outside, we think ‘Hurry up! Get out! They’re coming!’ So when the story of Paradise Lost begins, after the invocation to Introduion 5 the ‘heavenly muse’, we ?nd ourselves in Hell, with the fallen angels groaning on the burning lake. And from then on, part of our awareness is always a?ected by that. This is a story about devils. It’s not a story about God. San José State University Wk 9 Overarching Goal of John Milton Discussion The fallen angels and their leader are our protagonists, and the unfallen angels, and God the Father and the Son, and Adam and Eve, are all supporting players. And we begin in medias res, in the middle of the action, with the ?rst great battle lost, and the rebel angels just beginning to recover their senses after their vertiginous fall. What an opening! And what scenery! Satan ?rst looks around at The dismal situation waste and wild, A dungeon horrible, on all sides round As one great furnace ?amed, yet from those ?ames No light, but rather darkness visible Served only to discover sights of woe, Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace And rest can never dwell, hope never comes That comes to all; but torture without end Still urges, and a ?ery deluge, fed With ever-burning sulphur unconsumed . . . (Book I, lines 60–9) C. S. Lewis remarks that for many readers, it’s not just the events of the story that matter: it’s the world the story conjures up. In his own case, he loved the Leather-Stocking Tales of James Fenimore Cooper not just for ‘the momentary suspense but that whole world to which it belonged—the snow and the snow-shoes, beavers and canoes, war-paths and wigwams, and Hiawatha names’. The same thing is true for some writers of stories. They are drawn to a particular atmosphere, a particular kind of landscape; they want to wander about in it and relish its special tastes and sounds, even before they know what story they’re going to tell. Whether Milton worked like that I don’t know, but it’s easy to see that his imagination delighted in the scenery of hell, and we see that from the very beginning, with Satan surveying his ‘dungeon horrible’. Books I and II are full of these magni?cent and terrifying landscapes, and when the tale reaches Paradise itself, in Book IV, the descriptions reach a peak of sensuous delight that we can almost taste. 6 Introduion But landscapes and atmospheres aren’t enough for a story; something has to happen. And it helps the tightness and propulsion of the story enormously if it’s the protagonist himself who sets the action going, who takes the initiative. It also encourages our interest in the protagonist to develop into admiration. That is exactly what happens here, as the fallen angels, who are devils now, gather themselves after their great fall, and begin to plot their revenge. Revenge is one of the great story-themes, of course, and it’s inspired storytellers of every rank and in every age, from Homer and Aeschylus and Shakespeare to Je?rey Archer. The interest here is in how Milton handles the narrative. How well does he tell the story? I think it could hardly be told any better. After their ?rst struggle on the burning lake, the fallen angels hold a great debate in Pandaemonium, where the characters of their leaders are vividly revealed: Moloch, the fearless, savage warrior; Belial, graceful, false, and hollow, counselling ‘ignoble ease, and peaceful sloth’; Mammon, intent only on gold and riches; and then Beelzebub, ‘majestic though in ruin’, who sums up all the preceding arguments and then points the way to another world altogether, ‘the happy seat | Of some new race called Man’, and suggests that they make that the target of their vengeance. We can see and hear the plan taking shape, we can feel the surge of determination and energy it brings, and inevitably that makes us curious to know how they’ll bring it o?. There is a sort of curiosity that isn’t short-circuited by our knowledge of how things did, in fact, turn out: Frederick Forsyth’s The Day of the Jackal demonstrates that although we know full well that General de Gaulle was not assassinated, we are still eager to read about how he might have been. And Milton is careful to remind us that it was Satan himself who ?rst thought of this plan, and it is Satan who sets out across the wastes of Hell to ?nd his way to the new world.San José State University Wk 9 Overarching Goal of John Milton Discussion The hero is ?rmly in charge. If the opening of a story is important, the closing of one part of it, a chapter, a canto, is important in a di?erent way. The purpose here is to charge the forthcoming pause with tension and expectation. Popular storytellers have always had a ?rm grasp of this principle; it’s exactly what Conan Doyle does, for example, at the end of the Introduion 7 ?rst episode of The Hound of the Baskervilles, in the Strand Magazine for August 1901. Dr Mortimer has just been describing the mysterious death of Sir Charles Baskerville, and mentions the footprints nearby. ‘A man’s or a woman’s?’ asks Holmes, and Dr Mortimer replies, ‘Mr Holmes, they were the footprints of a gigantic hound!’ There the episode ends. There was no shortage of eager buyers for the September issue. Storytelling principles hold true, whatever the subject, whatever the medium. Time the pause right, and the audience will be eager for what follows. The break after the end of the second book of Paradise Lost is powerfully charged with tension because it obeys that principle. After his journey to the gates of Hell, and his encounter with Sin and Death, Satan sees the distant vastness of Heaven, And fast by hanging in a golden chain This pendent world, in bigness as a star Of smallest magnitude close by the moon. Thither full fraught with mischievous revenge, Accursed, and in a cursèd hour he hies. And there Book II ends, and we pause with that image in our minds. This newly created world, suspended in its golden chain, so beautiful and fresh, knows nothing of what is coming towards it. But we know. To cite Alfred Hitchcock again, who knew more about suspense than most other storytellers, you can depict four men sitting around a table calmly playing cards, and the audience will be on the edge of their seats with tension—as long as the audience knows what the card-players don’t, namely that there is a bomb under the table about to go o?. Milton knew that too. There are examples of his great storytelling power all the way through—far too many to mention here. But one we should look at is the very end of the poem. Like the beginning, the end of a story is such an important place that it has a traditional formulaic tag, but ‘and they lived happily ever after’ certainly won’t do in this case. Adam and Eve have chosen to disobey the explicit command of God, and the consequences of this have been laid out for them not only by their own experience of guilt and shame, but by the narrative of the future they’ve heard from the angel Michael. They must 8 Introduion leave Eden: Paradise is now irrecoverably lost. This is a part of the story that has often been illustrated, and in a picture the scene is indeed intensely dramatic, with the man and woman in tears, and the angel with the ?ery sword expelling them—just as it is in Burghers’s engraving, reproduced in this edition. But the story closes on a mood, a tender emotional harmony, that is both crystal-clear and profoundly complex. Part of its complexity depends on the interplay between the past and the future, between regret and hope, and this is the very thing that is so dif?cult to convey in a picture, where the only tense is the present. The best way to experience the full richness of this mood is to read the last lines of the poem aloud, as I’ve suggested earlier, and succumb to the enchantment, because at this point poetry and storytelling come together perfectly. ‘The world was all before them’ implies not only an end but a new beginning. There are many more stories to come. Paradise Lost and its in?uence A poem is not a lecture; a story is not an argument. The way poems and stories work on our minds is not by logic, but by their capacity to enchant, to excite, to move, to inspire. To be sure, a sound intellectual underpinning helps the work to stand up under intellectual questioning, as Paradise Lost certainly does; but its primary in?uence is on the imagination. So it was, for instance, with the greatest of Milton’s interpreters, William Blake, for whom the author of Paradise Lost was a lifelong inspiration. ‘Milton lovd me in childhood & shewd me his face,’ he claimed, and in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell he wrote what is probably the most perceptive, and certainly the most succinct, criticism of Paradise Lost: ‘The reason Milton wrote in fetters when he wrote of Angels & God, and at liberty when of Devils & Hell, is because he was a true Poet and of the Devil’s party without knowing it.’ And Blake’s continuing and passionate interest in Milton resulted in a long (and, frankly, di?cult) poem named after the poet, as well as a series of illustrations to Paradise Lost which are some of the most delicate and beautiful water-colours he ever did. Introduion 9 Other poets at the same period felt the in?uence of Milton, Wordsworth in particular, who began one of his sonnets with the words: Milton! Thou shouldst be living at this hour: England hath need of thee; And very near the beginning of his own great long poem, The Prelude, Wordsworth deliberately echoes the phrase in the closing lines of Paradise Lost : The earth is all before … Purchase answer to see full attachment Get a 10 % discount on an order above $ 100 Use the following coupon code : NURSING10

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