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Love and its Critics

 | 
Michael Bryson
, 
Arpi Movsesian

10. Paradise Lost: Love in Eden, and the Critics who Obey

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  • 1 “Tout choix est effrayant, quand on y songe: effrayante une liberté que ne guide plus un devoir” (A (...)

1To choose is not so easy as it sounds. “All choice is frightening, when one thinks about it: a terrifying liberty, unguided by a greater duty”.1 Choices open some doors, while closing others. New lives, new possibilities, often come at the expense of other lives now foreclosed or lost. The wages of choice are death, as every life leads, eventually, to that ending that may be the only true universal of the human experience—not the understanding or the experience of the end, but the physical cessation itself, the transition from animate to inert, from you to it. Authority figures—the imperious gods and kings, the angry Egeuses and Capulets of the world—insist that choice must be circumscribed, that only certain choices are allowable or legitimate, even when, as in the case of the Father in Paradise Lost, they insist that choice itself must remain free:

  • 2 John Milton. Paradise Lost 3.103–11.

Not free, what proof could they have giv’n sincere
Of true allegiance, constant Faith, or Love,
Where only what they needs must do appear’ d,
Not what they would? What praise could they receive?
What pleasure I, from such obedience paid,
When Will and Reason (Reason also is choice)
Useless and vain, of freedom both despoil’d,
Made passive both, had serv’d necessity,
Not mee.
2

2From this perspective, however, the key function of choice is to elicit praise—praise for one’s obedience, delivered by the authority figure who takes pleasure in being obeyed. Choice in the ruled, which includes by design the possibility of choosing not to obey, enhances the pleasures of power for the ruler. Subjects without choice, without free will, or with wills so broken as to be no longer functional, offer this kind of sublimely sadistic ruler no satisfaction: what pleasure I, from such obedience paid? The pleasure is precisely in the sensation of an active and functioning will submitting to your own. In the case of those who choose incorrectly, those who disobey, the necessary and enjoyable response for the ruler is to inflict punishment, up to and including death:

  • 3 Ibid., 3.209–10.

He, with his whole posterity must die,
Die hee or justice must;
3

  • 4 Christopher Hill. Milton and the English Revolution (London: Faber and Faber, 1977), 3.
  • 5 William Empson. Milton’s God (Norfolk, CT: New Directions, 1961), 231.

3At first glance, Paradise Lost might seem an odd choice with which to illustrate the primacy of human love and choice, over the imperious demands of authority that even the most arbitrary of dictates be unquestioningly obeyed. After all, does not Milton’s epic poem relate the “tragic” consequences of disobedience to God, representing Adam’s choice to eat the forbidden fruit along with Eve as foolish, and uxorious—the result of an excessive and misguided love for Eve over God? Such is the impression given by much of the criticism of Milton’s poem, which the English historian Christopher Hill describes as a self-confirming enterprise “whose vast output appears to be concerned less with what Milton wrote […] than with the views of Professor Blank on the views of Professor Schrank on the views of Professor Rank on what Milton may or may not have written”.4 William Empson compares such criticism to the kinds of groupthink that insist “a man ought to concur with any herd in which he happens to find himself”.5

  • 6 Will Stockton. “An Introduction Justifying Queer Ways”. Early Modern Culture: An Electronic Seminar(...)
  • 7 Hill, 3.
  • 8 Peter Herman notes that the trend of critics rewriting Milton goes all the way back to the seventee (...)

4In this case, the “herd” has spent decades of scholarly and interpretive energy convincing itself that Adam’s choice in Paradise Lost, Book 9, is the “fallen” choice of a disobedient sinner and an effeminate fool. As so often in the criticism we have encountered, the voice of authority can be heard loudly and clearly as it pronounces for obedience and against love. Milton criticism, which Will Stockton calls “a hell of ideological conservatives”6 is a near perfect example: with a few important exceptions, the “Milton industry”7 has lined up on the side of God, obedience, and submission where the question of Adam’s choice is concerned, many even suggesting that Adam should have been written differently, so as to make the choice the critic confidently declares the only possible “correct” decision.8

5As Milton writes the scene, Adam is suddenly confronted with an Eve who has disobeyed the primary injunction given to the first human pair, not to eat of the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. His reaction, at first, is to silently bemoan her decision to disobey God:

  • 9 Paradise Lost 9.894–904.

Speechless he stood and pale, till thus at length
First to himself he inward silence broke.
O fairest of Creation, last and best
Of all God’s Works, Creature in whom excell’d
Whatever can to sight or thought be form’d,
Holy, divine, good, amiable, or sweet!
How art thou lost, how on a sudden lost,
Defac’t, deflow’r’d, and now to Death devote?
Rather how hast thou yielded to transgress
The strict forbiddance, how to violate
The sacred Fruit forbidd’n!
9

6It should be noted that Adam thinks this inwardly, relating none of this to Eve herself. Until this point, he is with the critics whose orthodox frames of reference lead them to perceive disobedience as the great original sin that led, once upon a time, to the mixed human condition of joy and pain, life and loss, hope and despair that is the definition of “fallen”.

William Blake, The Temptation and Fall of Eve.
Illustration to Milton’s Paradise Lost (1808).10

  • 11 Paradise Lost 4.427.

7Adam’s love and admiration for Eve come through clearly in these lines, even as he decries her decision: she is the “fairest of Creation”, the “last and best / Of all God’s works”, even though she is—so far as Adam can tell—“lost” and now “to Death devote”. He believes this latter, of course, because as he twice relates, the poem’s God has told him that the penalty for eating the forbidden fruit is death. He speaks of this early on with Eve: “God hath pronounc’t it death to taste that Tree”,11 and then later with the angel Raphael, where he tells the story of what God told him:

  • 12 Ibid., 8.323–30.

[…] of the Tree whose operation brings
Knowledge of good and ill, which I have set
The Pledge of thy Obedience and thy Faith,
Amid the Garden by the Tree of Life,
Remember what I warn thee, shun to taste,
And shun the bitter consequence: for know,
The day thou eat’st thereof, my sole command
Transgrest, inevitably thou shalt dye.
12

  • 13 A. J. A Waldock. Paradise Lost and its Critics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1947), 56.

8Adam, in this crisis moment, has nothing more than these words to fall back on, and is thus certain that Eve will die. And as A. J. A. Waldock notes, “it seems hardly fair to blame [Adam] for taking God at his word”.13

9As Adam stands before Eve, still processing the gravity of her choice, and the consequences that have been threatened for doing precisely what Eve has now done, he decides, in the space of perhaps only the shortest of awkward pauses, to face with her whatever will ensue, up to and including death:

  • 14 Paradise Lost 9.904–16.

[…] some cursed fraud
Of Enemy hath beguil’d thee, yet unknown,
And mee with thee hath ruin’d, for with thee
Certain my resolution is to Die;
How can I live without thee, how forgo
Thy sweet Converse and Love so dearly join’ d,
To live again in these wild Woods forlorn?
Should God create another Eve, and I
Another Rib afford, yet loss of thee
Would never from my heart; no no, I feel
The Link of Nature draw me: Flesh of Flesh,
Bone of my Bone thou art, and from thy State
Mine never shall be parted, bliss or woe.
14

  • 15 Ibid., 9.999.
  • 16 Ibid., 4.115–19.

10Adam thinks all this in silence before he speaks to Eve. And though the narrative voice of the poem insists that Adam is “fondly overcome with Female charm”,15 this is the same narrative voice that throughout the poem demands that readers deny the evidence of what they have just read, or spin the words in favor of heaven (and thus obedience). This narrative voice is so eager to redirect readers (rather like some modern critics) that it sometimes simply gets its facts wrong in its rush to impose the desired spin. For example, at the beginning of Book 4, the archangel Uriel is able to see through Satan’s disguise because of the latter’s cloudy and tempestuous emotions: Satan’s “borrow’d visage” was “marr’d” by “pale, ire, envy, and despair”. The narrative voice then insists that readers understand that “heav’nly minds from such distempers foul / Are ever clear”,16 but this turns out to be not quite true: “ire” lurks in a variety of “heav’nly minds” throughout the poem. The “ire” of the Son is referred to by Raphael at 6.843. The “just avenging ire” of God is celebrated by the angels at 7.184. Michael speaks of how “willingly God doth remit his Ire” at 9.885. The “ire” of the Father is also spoken of repeatedly by Satan and his followers, and this, perhaps, is one time when they just might be trusted after all.

  • 17 John Peter. A Critique of Paradise Lost (New York: Columbia University Press, 1960), 133.
  • 18 Waldock, 46.
  • 19 C. S. Lewis. A Preface to Paradise Lost (London: Oxford University Press, 1942), 69.
  • 20 Ibid., 122.

11Against the insistence of the narrator, John Peter notes that there is an ambiguity in “fondly” that can be read positively: “Adam falls ‘fondly’ —foolishly, lovingly. And we fall with him, sharing his generous improvidence, trusting his love”.17 Waldock concurs, arguing that “[if] Adam’s words are permitted to have the meanings that words usually have in English, these lines mean love”.18 But C. S. Lewis begs to differ. For the great orthodox critic, whose stated ambition about Paradise Lost is to “prevent the reader from ever raising certain questions”,19 love is not the correct term. In Lewis’ description, “Adam fell by uxoriousness”,20 and failed the test of absolute value:

  • 21 Ibid., 123.

If conjugal love were the highest value in Adam’s world, then of course his resolve would have been the correct one. But if there are things that have an even higher claim on a man, if the universe is imagined to be such that, when the pinch comes, a man ought to reject wife and mother and his own life also, then the case is altered, and then Adam can do no good to Eve (as, in fact, he does no good) by becoming her accomplice.21

12What is interesting and ironic about Lewis’ stance is how high a bar he sets for Adam. In dismissing Adam’s love for Eve as “uxoriousness”, Lewis is working the same mines in which Stephen Greenblatt will later dig when he characterizes Othello as being too much in love with his wife:

  • 22 Greenblatt, Renaissance Self-Fashioning, 247–48.

Omnis amator feruentior est adulter, goes the Stoic epigram, and Saint Jerome does not hesitate to draw the inevitable inference: “An adulterer is he who is too ardent a lover of his wife”. Jerome quotes Seneca: “All love of another’s wife is shameful; so too, too much love of your own. A wise man ought to love his wife with judgment, not affection. Let him control his impulses and not be borne headlong into copulation. Nothing is fouler than to love a wife like an adulteress… Let them show themselves to their wives not as lovers, but as husbands”.22

  • 23 Adulter est inquit in sua uxore amator ardentior. In aliena quippe uxore ois amor turpis est, in su (...)
  • 24 Reddy, 3–4.
  • 25 “Vnde a sapientib dictum est, q, omnis amator feruentior est adulter, videlicet cp no maritali, sed (...)
  • 26 “coniugium in Domino contractum, non in extremam quanque lasciuiam exundare. Ambrosius graui quidem (...)

13Jerome’s Latin23 becomes a commonplace of anti-erotic Christian polemic in the early modern era. This reflects a long-term attempt by the Church, which gained momentum among the Gregorian reformers of the eleventh and twelfth centuries, “to outlaw sexual pleasure for all Christians”, insisting that sexual pleasure was sinful, and that even pleasureless sexual encounters in a marriage were enough to “permanently taint both soul and body”.24 It reappears, in slightly altered form, in the fifteenth-century Flemish monk Dionysius the Carthusian: “Therefore, a wise dictum is, that every too-fervent lover is an adulterer, such that, all things being equal, his [love of his wife] is no marriage, but like an adulterous passion in its continual approaches, and the same is the case if the wife is a too-fervent lover of her husband”.25 Calvin expresses the same idea in the sixteenth century: “a marriage contracted in the Lord, should not overflow into extremes of wantonness. Ambrose gravely, but not unworthily noted his opinion, that when a man has no modesty or dignity in conjugal relations, he is an adulterer with his wife”.26

  • 27 Alister McGrath. C. S. Lewis A Life: Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale (...)
  • 28 Adorno, Theodore. “Studies in the Authoritarian Personality”. In T. W. Adorno, Else Frenkel-Brunswi (...)

14One might wonder at the continual repetition of this idea by clerics whose sexuality is ostensibly sublimated into “spiritual” pursuits, and wonder again at the attractiveness of this idea for presumably “secular” academic critics, but that would be a book in itself. In the present case, this seems an unfair standard to apply to Adam’s love for Eve, especially since in his conversations with Raphael, his mentions of passion are few, while his mentions of his admiration for Eve’s wisdom and intelligence are many, indicating a relative standard of values that hardly qualifies as uxorious. What relation Lewis’ own attraction to what he calls “the sensuality of cruelty” (expressed in the form of whipping)27 plays in his enthusiasm for condemning Adam’s relatively milder passions is unclear, though perhaps Adorno’s observation is illuminating: “[t] he individual who has been forced to give up basic pleasures and to live under a system of rigid restraints, […] is likely not only to seek an object upon which he can ‘take it out’ but also to be particularly annoyed at the idea that another person is ‘getting away with something’”.28

  • 29 John Leonard. Faithful Labourers: A Reception History of Paradise Lost, 1667–1970, Vol. 2. Interpre (...)
  • 30 Peter, 132.
  • 31 Leonard, 617.

15Empson disagrees with Lewis’ entire line of thought, arguing, as John Leonard notes, that “Adam makes the right moral choice when he chooses to die for love”.29 John Peter agrees, claiming that “the highest degree of human love as we know it, is now the focus of attention, and Adam and Eve’s speeches emphasize its power. […] Adam’s devotion to his wife can fairly be called magnificent, and we should be less than human if we did not admire and honor him for it”.30 And yet, many critics not only do not “admire and honor him for it”, they actively condemn Adam for the choice he makes (the choice his poetic creator, following scripture and existing literary tradition, has him make). As Leonard has demonstrated, the attitude among modern critics has often been one of condemnation of Adam’s action along with speculation about what he should have done, which implicitly is a criticism of Milton for writing the scene as he did. For these critics, “[t]he question inevitably arises: ‘What else could Adam have done?’ Lewis is the first critic to raise this question, but he declines to engage with it”.31 In Lewis’ treatment, the matter is uncertain, but he takes Adam to task for what Waldock describes as “taking God at his word”:

  • 32 Lewis, A Preface to Paradise Lost, 123.

For all Adam knew, God might have had other cards in His hand; but Adam never raised the question, and now nobody will ever know. […] Perhaps God would have killed Eve and left Adam “in those wilde Woods forlorn” […]. But then again, perhaps not. You can find out only by trying it. The only thing Adam knows is that he must hold the fort, and he does not hold it.32

  • 33 Leonard, 624.
  • 34 Irene Samuel. “The Dialogue in Heaven: A Reconsideration of Paradise Lost, III. 1–417”. PMLA, 72: 4 (...)
  • 35 Ibid.
  • 36 Empson, Milton’s God, 189.
  • 37 This is a reference to Milton’s own writings (Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, among other works (...)
  • 38 Dennis Burden. The Logical Epic: A Study of the Argument ofParadise Lost’(Cambridge, MA: Harvard (...)

16Later critics like Irene Samuel, Dennis Burden, and Stanley Fish will, as Leonard observes, “speculate about missed opportunities and possible remedies”.33 Samuel argues that Adam should “have risked himself to redeem Eve”,34 going on to argue that he should have maintained “faith that the benevolence he had always known would remain benevolent”,35 a pious observation that Empson wryly counters with his own remark that Paradise Lost’s “God is […] peculiarly unfitted to inspire trust”.36 Burden asserts that Adam should have divorced Eve, an astounding rewriting of a poem in which such a concept does not even exist: “the important thing is that Adam has a remedy and Milton of all people must know it,37 and “[w]hat he should do is leave her. He would have good grounds for divorce”.38 Yes, by all means, divorce her and leave her to die. A better summation of the “less than human” responses of all too many critics to this scene is quite nearly impossible to find.

  • 39 Leonard, 637.
  • 40 Paradise Lost 3.210.
  • 41 Ibid., 3.134.

17At this point, it is necessary to ask on what basis critics ground their contentions about what Adam should have done, rather than what he does. For example, consider Samuel’s insistence—as Leonard describes it—that “Adam could have (and should have) saved Eve by dying in her place”.39 What indication do readers have that God would have accepted such an arrangement, and what is more, kept his word about it? His rhetoric is absolute—“Die hee or Justice must”40—and the Son even has difficulty in corralling God into an agreement to show mankind “Mercy”41 in exchange for his own torture and execution. This does not sound like the kind of character likely to show anything like understanding or lenience for Eve, despite the arguments of what must finally be called the Obedience Chorus in Milton studies. Rather than a ruler that would offer mercy, Paradise Lost’s God seems rather more like Angelo from Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, a character who would accept Adam’s sacrifice, then kill Eve anyway.

  • 42 Leonard, 637.

18But not to be outdone in his enthusiasm for obedience, Stanley Fish takes the argument for what Adam should have done even further than Samuel or Burden. Fish “takes it as axiomatic that a freely chosen Fall cannot be understood”,42 and then spends hundreds of pages explaining it:

  • 43 Stanley Fish. Surprised by Sin: The Reader inParadise Lost”. 2nd ed. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ (...)

If the Fall is explained or “understood” it is no longer free, but the result of some analysable “process” which attracts to itself a part of the guilt. Thus freedom of will is denied, the obloquy of the action returns to God (who set the process in motion), and again reason—the reader’s reason—has given law to God.43

  • 44 As John Peter rather dryly notes: “this is a character in a poem” (9).
  • 45 Fish, Surprised by Sin, 263.

19According to Fish, we can’t have readers giving law to God, even though that “God” is merely a literary character.44 For Fish, Adam’s choice of Eve is selfish—he makes her, in fact, a victim: “for by choosing her he implicates her in his idolatry, absorbing her into a love that is self-love”.45 Here, once again, is the what-seems-to-be-X-is-actually-Y move, as Fish claims that Adam’s romantic outburst is really love of self.

  • 46 Ibid., 269.

20Asking “What, then, ought Adam to have done?” Fish acknowledges that anything other than what Paradise Lost actually gives us “would seem forced and ‘unnatural’ in comparison to what he does do”.46 Not to be daunted by a little thing like that, however, Fish goes on to develop further Samuel’s suggestion that Adam should have interceded with God on Eve’s behalf:

  • 47 Ibid., 269–70.

He might have said to Eve, “what you say is persuasive (impregn’d with reason to my seeming), but I would rather not make such a momentous decision without further reflection’. Or, as Lewis suggested, he might have ‘chastised Eve and then interceded with God on her behalf. [Or as Irene Samuel suggests,] he ‘might, like the Son, have risked himself to redeem Eve”.47

21Fish’s first suggestion demonstrates the wide gap that too often exists between poet and critic. There is no music in Fish’s would-be emendation, and one almost gets the sense that Fish is ridiculing his own suggestion by the time the word “impregn’d” lumbers along. His second and third suggestions follow other critics with whom Fish shares a desire to rewrite the scene, and thus the suggestions are simply pointless, unless the object is to raise the critic above the poetry and to tell readers more about the critic’s desires, commitments, and complexes than about the ideas and structures of the poem.

  • 48 Leonard, 624.
  • 49 Waldock, 30.

22More recent criticism has continued along the lines of Lewis, Samuel, Burden, and Fish. As Leonard points out, “The question of what Adam should have done is still an issue in Milton criticism”,48 which, if anything, indicates the tenuous connection much literary criticism has to reality. Waldock’s observation that Lewis “declines to acknowledge the facts of the poem”,49 could be applied much more broadly now than in 1947. Dennis Danielson pursues the question in this way:

  • 50 Dennis Danielson. “Through the Telescope of Typology: What Adam Should Have Done”. Milton Quarterly(...)

Given Eve’s fall, does Adam face a dilemma: either to disobey God or else to break the bond of human love, whose goodness we perceive as fundamental? And if Adam has no choice but to reject the sinner with the sin, or else to accept the sin with the sinner, then will most of us applaud Adam’s choosing the latter?50

  • 51 Ibid., 124.
  • 52 Ibid.

23Danielson answers his own questions by saying that Adam “could have [offered] to take the punishment of fallen humanity on himself, to fulfill exactly “The law of God”, as Michael puts it in Book 12”.51 And here, at last, we have a key to understanding the mentality of those who would rewrite Milton’s scene: obedience and “love” go hand-in-hand in a way that for Danielson is illustrated by “the analogy between Adam-and-Eve and Christ-and-the-church”, which according to a Christianizing critic like Danielson “breaks down precisely at the point where Adam chooses to sin with Eve rather than sinlessly face death for her”.52 Danielson manages to turn a scene of intense human emotion, of love and Adam’s all-too-human realization of how utterly bereft he would be in a world without Eve, into a scene advertising the obedient virtues of human sacrifice, dying in supplication rather than defiance. Danielson claims, with all seriousness, that Adam’s love for Eve should be given its highest form of expression through the same mechanism by which human beings in the pre-scientific ages of our species have tried to propitiate the implacable gods for millennia.

24As Ludwig Feuerbach, the great nineteenth-century critic of Christianity, puts it, human sacrifice is at the heart of the religious worldview:

  • 53 Das blutiger Menschenopfer sind in der Tat nur roh-sinnliche Ausdrücke von dem Geheimnissen der Rel (...)

Bloody human sacrifices are, in fact, the most rawly sensual expressions of the mysteries of religion. Where bloody human sacrifices are offered to God, they are offered as the highest form of life for the highest good. That’s why one sacrifices life to God, in exceptional circumstances. It is believed therefore to give him the greatest honor.53

  • 54 “nur sein menschliches Blut macht Gott barmherzig, stillt seinen Zorn” (ibid., 101).

25In Feuerbach’s analysis, “only human blood makes God merciful, and stills his wrath”.54 Such a god, as Empson argues, is not worthy of worship:

  • 55 Empson, Milton’s God, 247, 251.

Men always try to imitate their gods, so that to worship a wicked one is sure to make them behave badly. But no god before had ever known before how to be so eerily and profoundly wicked. […] The Christian God, the Father, the God of Tertullian, Augustine and Aquinas, is the wickedest thing yet invented by the black heart of man.55

  • 56 Ibid., 277.

26Nor is a literary representation of such a God—the Father of Paradise Lost—worthy of the sacrifice of one of the poem’s human characters, or the strangely submissive admiration of literary critics. In Empson’s closing phrase, “If you praise it as the neo-Christians do, what you are getting from it is evil”.56

  • 57 Gerald Richman. “A Third Choice: Adam, Eve, and Abdiel”. Early Modern Literary Studies, 9: 2 (Septe (...)
  • 58 Gordon Teskey. The Poetry of John Milton (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2015), 462. The Milt (...)
  • 59 Richard III, 4.2.114.
  • 60 Teskey, xiii.
  • 61 Teskey seems to try having it both ways, however. Not long after arguing that Adam “forgot to trust (...)
  • 62 The (probably misnamed) critic described by Aristotle (Poetics, 1461a, 22–23) as trying to save Zeu (...)

27More recent critics have persisted in arguing that the poem should be other than it is, and that Adam should choose differently than he does. Gerald Richman argues that Adam should have remonstrated with Eve in the way that Abdiel does with Satan in Book 5 of Paradise Lost. Richman claims that “if Eve had repented and Adam had refused to join her in sin, Eve would have found pardon”.57 Gordon Teskey argues that “Adam should trust God to find a better solution than his own. He forgot to trust, and might have remembered to if he had taken more time”,58 as if Milton’s Adam is standing there with Eve muttering, “wait, I’m forgetting something… Eve, can you give me a minute?… I’ve got it! I should trust God!” The continuing insistence that the literary character called God in Paradise Lost is in what Richard of Gloucester might call the “[for] giving vein”59 is astounding, and while Teskey claims that he finds himself “a little bored by […] discussions of the frigidity, or the wickedness, or the goodness of Milton’s God”,60 here he lays his cards on the table: Adam should have remembered to trust what Teskey (following along with Lewis, Samuel, Burden, Fish, and Danielson) simply assumes is a good and merciful “God”.61 And so the Hippias of Thasos-styled rewriting of the poem in the image of its more pious critics62 goes on and on (Teskey even refers back to C. S. Lewis as he delivers his judgment).

  • 63 David Quint. Inside Paradise Lost: Reading the Designs of Milton’s Epic (Princeton: Princeton Unive (...)
  • 64 Ibid., 178.

28David Quint argues a more humane case, writing that Adam’s is “an act that combines marital love, human solidarity, and Adam’s fear of repeating his earlier loneliness before Eve’s creation”,63 thus taking at least a brief break from the decades-long trend of moralizing over, and rewriting, Milton’s scene. Quint emphasizes that it is “the force of his love [that] causes Adam to stay by [Eve’s] side”, and describes the narrative voice that accuses Adam of being “fondly overcome” as “censorious”.64 But despite Quint’s more sympathetic reading, the Obedience Chorus has not left the stage, and perhaps never will; for as long as there are those among us who are more comfortable when subordinate to another—or who benefit from such subordination — there will be those who argue for necessary and natural subordination. Such ideas go back as far as Aristotle, thus it is no surprise to see Stanley Fish, as recently as in 2001’s How Milton Works, arguing that obedience is Milton’s single overarching idea:

  • 65 Stanley Fish. How Milton Works (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2001), 53

In Milton’s world, however, there are no moral ambiguities, because there are no equally compelling values. There is only one value—the value of obedience—and not only is it a mistake to grant independence to values other than the value of obedience, it is a temptation. Indeed, it is the temptation—the temptation to seek a separate, self-sustaining existence—that Milton obsessively explores.65

29A poet who sees the world as a simple matter of obedience and disobedience has done something rather odd in writing an epic poem in which he does nearly everything possible to convince readers that such things are not so simple as moralists like Fish claim (Fish will say, of course, that the idea that things are not simple is “a temptation”). A poet for whom “there are no equally compelling values” (at least when compared to the delights of obedience and submission) has done an even odder thing by writing a long work in which compelling values are put into nearly constant conflict and competition.

30But those who see the poetry of Donne as “sick” will go on doing so, just as those who see the poetry of a revolutionary as a nearly endless hymn singing the praises and glories of obedience will go on doing so. In fact, the entire trend of critics insisting that Milton’s Adam should have chosen otherwise than he does, resembles nothing so much as fundamentalist Christian thinking. Consider this passage on the same subject from The Watchtower, the publication arm of the Jehovah’s Witnesses:

  • 66 “If Adam was Perfect, How Was It Possible for Him to Sin?” The Watchtower, 129: 19 (1 October 2008) (...)

Adam decided to accede to the wishes of his wife, who had already chosen to eat from the forbidden tree. His desire to please her was greater than his desire to obey his Creator. Surely, upon being presented with the forbidden fruit, Adam should have paused to reflect on the effect that disobedience would have on his relationship with God. Without a deep, unbreakable love of God, Adam was vulnerable to pressure, including that from his wife.66

  • 67 David Hawkes. John Milton, A Hero of Our Time (Berkeley: Counterpoint Press, 2009), 10.

31Given the difficulty of telling the difference between evangelists and academics on this topic, it is tempting to conclude that there has been little or no progress in the treatment of poetry over the last two millennia. Critics who make an interpretive principle out of faith in an authoritarian deity are not to be reasoned with, any more than they aim to reason about the faith they seek to impose on poetry. As David Hawkes argues, “the habits of thought developed by slavery are easily formed and hard to break”.67

32That we seem to have forgotten, or deliberately elided, Milton’s status as a revolutionary—not a stiff-collared Puritan or a humorless William Prynne-style ideologue who never met a human joy he did not condemn—is an ironic testament to the increasingly authoritarian political character of our own time. It was not always so, as Hawkes reminds us:

  • 68 Hawkes, 12.

The Romantic poets worshipped him; Byron, Keats and Shelley were restrained from making him a god only by his own stern injunctions against idolotry. Wordsworth called for a Miltonic response to the industrial age […]. The founding fathers of America saw themselves as completing the Miltonic reforms that had been thwarted in England. Karl Marx cited him as the ultimate exemplar of unalienated human activity.68

  • 69 Ibid., 12, 13.
  • 70 Terry Eagleton. Literary Theory: An Introduction (Oxford: Blackwell, 1983), 34.
  • 71 Hawkes, 12.

33And yet somehow, today, Milton has been transformed into a prophet of obedience, a preacher of original sin, and a poet whose work inspires the crushing authoritarianism reflected in numerous critics’ assertions that Adam should choose obedience over love. In Hawkes’s view, this transformation began with “a critical campaign waged in the early twentieth century by T. S. Eliot and F. R. Leavis”, who were “nostalgic for the world [Milton] helped to destroy”.69 Eliot, a poet and critic whose “solution”, is “an extreme right-wing authoritarianism” in which “men and women must sacrifice their petty ‘personalities’ and opinions to an impersonal order”,70 provides a template for the history of Milton criticism in the twentieth century and until very recently in the twenty-first. This history has been dominated (with notable exceptions like Empson, Waldock, and a small number of other outliers) by a sustained effort to put the revolutionary back into the box of conformity. Is it any wonder that “Milton is now read mostly by reluctant undergraduates”, and “retains a precarious position on university curriculums”, while “the popular audience he enjoyed for centuries has largely evaporated”?71

34Such critics argue in a style Bob Altermeyer describes as High Right-Wing Authoritarianism, which demonstrates a “tendency to disengage critical thinking when considering religion”, and rewards “placing faith over reason”.72 Fish’s argument that “affirming God is not something you do on the basis of evidence”, but is instead “something you do against the evidence”,73 is a perfect example. It is an argument for the suspension of reason in favor of unreason. According to this line of unreason, God—for whom there is no evidence that is not always already trapped within a circular argument—must be taken as the foundational principle of a world for which there is evidence. At best, this is merely begging the question, taking the desired conclusion as part of the evidence for the desired conclusion, a maneuver that would not pass muster in an undergraduate essay, much less the magnum opus of a half-century-long career of critical writing about literature and culture. But at worst, it is classic authoritarian thinking, an insistence that evidence does not matter because the truth has already been provided by authority.74 A style of thinking more different from Milton’s own is inconceivable: “A man may be a heretick in the truth; and if he beleeve things only because his Pastor sayes so, or the Assembly so determins, without knowing other reason, though his belief be true, yet the very truth he holds, becomes his heresie”.75 Insisting that the man who stood up for reason must be understood as advocating for unreason, and that the revolutionary argues for submission at any price (even to God) simply makes no sense.

  • 76 Altermeyer, 99.

35But, as we have now seen again and again, the argument does not need to make sense; it merely needs to be asserted with enough eloquent force that the poetry can be bent to the critic’s will. Obedience is the principle through which Fish and numerous other critics will work to tame Milton’s poetry, taking the scene in which Adam chooses Eve over God, and turning it into something that celebrates the virtues of obedience through the absence of obedience in the scene. Such manifest illogic dovetails nicely with Altermeyer’s findings that authoritarian thinkers “contradict themselves more often than [others], and apparently do not notice it”.76 As an example, he relates an experience with his psychology students at the University of Manitoba:

  • 77 Ibid., 96.

I asked students what they thought of Jesus’ admonition […], “Do not judge, that you may not be judged. For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged” (Matthew 7:1). I also asked about Jesus’ resolution […]: “Let he who is without sin among you be the first to cast a stone at her”. Twenty […] said we should take the teachings literally. Twenty-seven [others] said we should judge and punish others, but none of them explained how they reconciled this view with Jesus’ teachings. Apparently, they “believed” both (contradictory) things. But the kicker came when I looked at various measures of authoritarian aggression I had gathered from these students. No matter what they said they believed, both these groups […] were quick with the stones on the Attitudes towards Homosexuals Scale, [and] the Ethnocentrism Scale.77

  • 78 Ibid., 104.
  • 79 Lewis, A Preface to Paradise Lost, 78.

36What Altermeyer’s anecdote illustrates is the attractiveness, for authoritarian thinkers, of judgment and punishment of perceived offenders, a tendency that “extends beyond religion and has deeper roots, namely, authoritarian submission”.78 The deeply authoritarian strain in Milton criticism comes nowhere more sharply into focus than in the long-sustained argument that Adam should have submitted, and chosen Authority (God) over Love (Eve). Why has the rhetorical window of Milton criticism shifted so far, and for so long, to the right, into authoritarian reverence for submission and power? Why has the work of a regicide and revolutionary been so thoroughly co-opted by a reactionary insistence that Milton is not “a man who embraces the Hierarchical principle with reluctance, but rather [is] a man enchanted by it”?79 The lovers of authority, it seems, see that love in others wherever and whenever possible.

  • 80 See Bryson, The Atheist Milton, 75–76.
  • 81 Oscar Wilde. The Soul of Man under Socialism (Portland: Thomas B. Mosher, 1905), 11.

37It is by such principles, and in such hands, that poems about love between human beings become poems of love for God. It is by such principles, and in such hands that Romeo and Juliet comes to be described as part of a system of hegemony and oppression. And it is by such principles, and in such hands, that an epic poem defining disobedience as its hero’s most noteworthy trait80 comes to be twisted into an ornate tract that genuflects to the glories of obedience. But as Oscar Wilde remarks, it is “[d]isobedience” that “in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man’s original virtue”. Not only that, but “[i]t is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion”.81 And so it is with Milton’s Adam. The attentive reader of the poem who has not yet been overmuch addled by criticism is by no means surprised by Adam’s choice. In writing this scene, Milton is more Ovid than Virgil, despite the critics for whom obedience, sovereignty, and the glory of a heavenly Augustus are the prime virtues of life and poetry. In fact, the poem has prepared the reader for this choice, not just by following the bare outlines of the story as presented in Genesis 3, but through the characterization of Adam and his tempestuous emotions—feelings he seeks advice about from precisely the wrong person, but also the only available person: the angel Raphael.

38In Book 8, Adam tries to explain to the alien creature (who hasn’t the slightest clue what it is like to be human) what and how he feels about Eve, and admits that he does not always know how to handle those feelings, while at the same time telling the angel that the lessons God has taught him do not always seem to match the facts of his experience. With Eve:

  • 82 Paradise Lost 8.530–33.

[…] passion first I felt,
Commotion strange, in all enjoyments else
Superior and unmov’d, here only weak
Against the charm of Beauty’s powerful glance.
82

  • 83 Lewis, A Preface to Paradise Lost, 112.

39This sensation of weakness—which any human being who has lived through adolescence will recognize as among the signs of passionate love and desire—is one Adam has insufficient experience to handle. He is a boy who often pretends to a knowledge and confidence he does not possess, in the mold of Shakespeare’s Valentine or Romeo, despite Lewis’ claim that both he and Eve “were never young, never immature or undeveloped”, but were “created full-grown and perfect”.83 This bright but unseasoned boy admits that he is not at all sure that what he has been taught by God—another wholly alien life form—makes sense when compared to the experience of being a human male. And as, in the logic of the poem, Adam is the only one of these creatures who has ever existed, he is the only one who can speak with anything other than the hollow insistences of the ideologue about what is as opposed to what should be. As Adam explains it, he has been told one thing by God:

  • 84 Paradise Lost 8.540–46.

For well I understand in the prime end
Of Nature her th’ inferior, in the mind
And inward Faculties, which most excel,
In outward also her resembling less
His Image who made both, and less expressing
The character of that Dominion giv’n
O’er other Creatures;
84

40But his own experience tells him quite another thing, throwing the accuracy of his school-lesson in doubt:

  • 85 Ibid., 8.546–59.

yet when I approach
Her loveliness, so absolute she seems
And in herself complete, so well to know
Her own, that what she wills to do or say,
Seems wisest, virtuousest, discreetest, best;
All higher knowledge in her presence falls
Degraded, Wisdom in discourse with her
Looses discount’nanc’t, and like folly shewes;
Authority and Reason on her waite,
As one intended first, not after made
Occasionally; and to consummate all,
Greatness of mind and nobleness thir seat
Build in her loveliest, and create an awe
About her, as a guard Angelic plac’t.
85

  • 86 At this point, Milton is giving his Adam a set of observations about Eve’s possible superiority to (...)

41What Adam is asking for, begging for, is some practical help with how to deal with his feelings and what to make of the fact that his experience of Eve does not match the lessons he has been given.86 The theory is not matching the practice, and there is nothing in the textbook, so to speak, to help him deal with his confusion. What Adam desperately needs at this point is a human father—not a self-aggrandizing alien a being calling itself “the Father” who insists on being obeyed and worshipped without demonstrating either the slightest understanding of, or concern with, the actual experiences of its creations. In the absence of that, at least Adam could use a big brother—again, a human figure who has been through what Adam is going through. But Adam gets nothing besides lectures delivered by bloodless aliens who have experienced none of his confusions, and regard his questions as disturbing deviations from the approved curriculum. Certainly, Raphael demonstrates neither understanding nor sympathy:

  • 87 Paradise Lost, 8.561–68, 579–85.

Accuse not Nature, she hath done her part;
Do thou but thine, and be not diffident
Of Wisdom, she deserts thee not, if thou
Dismiss not her, when most thou needst her nigh,
By attributing overmuch to things
Less excellent, as thou thy self perceiv’st.
For what admir’st thou, what transports thee so,
An outside ?…
[…]
But if the sense of touch whereby mankind
Is propagated seem such dear delight
Beyond all other, think the same voutsaf’t
To Cattle and each Beast; which would not be
To them made common and divulg’d, if aught
Therein enjoy’d were worthy to subdue
The Soule of Man, or passion in him move.
87

  • 88 Waldock, 44.
  • 89 Ibid.

42Raphael simply ignores “everything in what Adam has said that is at all inconvenient”;88 in fact, Raphael appears neither to understand, nor care to understand, Adam’s point. Adam is saying that Eve seems better and wiser than he has constantly been told she is, and that “what she wills” generally seems to be the right, best, and smartest thing to do. He says nothing about sex in his conversation with Raphael, and yet that is immediately what the alien leaps to: not just sex, but cow sex. Raphael’s response to Adam’s urgent emotional confusion is to compare him to a cow (or a bull, though it is by no means certain the alien really knows the difference). Raphael’s rhetoric is outlandish, and he “willfully misses the point”.89 The shame is that all too many critics are akin to Raphael; perhaps if they were not, Milton’s failure to have written the scene of Adam’s choice in the way that meets with their approval would not be so continually disappointing to them.

43But a reader who is not a determined rewriter of the poem knows what to expect from Adam at the critical juncture. Adam will make the choice he was designed to make—the decision he was intended to make by his poet. Adam will choose Eve over God, love over obedience. After his shock at Eve’s action, his pause for thought, and his silent decision for humanity over alien demands for obedience, Adam delivers a speech that none of Milton’s impassively virtuous critics could have written, or even conceived. He confirms that he will not be parted from her, despite God, despite Death, because he values his love for her above all other considerations:

  • 90 Paradise Lost 9.952–59.

I with thee have fixt my Lot,
Certain to undergo like doom, if Death
Consort with thee, Death is to mee as Life;
So forcible within my heart I feel
The Bond of Nature draw me to my owne,
My own in thee, for what thou art is mine;
Our State cannot be sever’d, we are one,
One Flesh; to lose thee were to lose myself.
90

44And so the choice is made, and human life as we know it is begun. What humankind has joined together, no God will put asunder. Adam will have his weak and petulant moments after making this choice; most of Book 10 is dedicated to Adam’s doubts and recriminations. But the fact remains that Adam made the truly human choice; not just the only one the source story allows for, but the only one that shows humanity—in all its weaknesses and shortcomings—as a noble enterprise worth rooting for.

45No reader should be surprised by this choice. It is the choice that much of the literature we have dealt with here illustrates, and it is the choice made in other treatments of the Edenic scene written before Milton’s poem. The path of Christian in John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, running away from his wife and children, sticking his fingers in his ears so as not to able to hear their cries, while crying out Life! Life! Eternal Life! is not Milton’s way, though it seems to be the way of many of his critics. Milton’s choices are more akin to those of Hugo Grotius, who in his Latin drama Adamus Exul (Adam in Exile) of 1601, portrays the scene of Adam’s choice in terms similar to those that will later feature prominently in Paradise Lost. After a long debate with Eve, and with his own doubts, Grotius’ Adam chooses Eve over God:

  • 91 Hugo Grotius. Hugonis Groth Sacra in quibus Adamus exul tragoedia (Hague: Alberti Henrici, 1601), A (...)

Quid est agendum? lubricas agitant duo
Curas amores: hinc Dei, atque hinc conjugis:
[…]
Quid huîc negandum? vilis unius tibi
Iactura pomi est. Ut ne contemnam boni
Legem parentis? Fallor? an voluit Deus
Conjugis amores anteserri caeteris
Etiam parentum?
Voluit: huc Pommum mihi.91

What should I do? A dangerous provocation in two
Cares and loves: for God and for my wife:
[…]
Which shall I deny? Worthless to you is the loss
Of one apple. Should I condemn the good
Parental law? Am I mistaken? Is it not God’s will
That marital love shall be preferred over all others,
Even of parents? It is his will: give me the apple.

  • 92 “… quid tibi, cunjux, negen?/Iubente te vel jussa contemnam Dei,/Iubente te vel sustinebo vivere” ((...)

46Later, Adam, amidst his doubts about whether or not he has done the right thing, decides that he will continue to choose Eve no matter the consequences: “What can I deny to you, my wife?/At your bidding, I will condemn the justice of God;/At your bidding, I will go on living”.92

  • 93 Authoritarians “want a God to exist as the absolute authority to which they can bow, [and the] conc (...)

47The consequences follow immediately, of course, so those who not only insist on, but seem to revel in the punishments inflicted on humanity for daring to chart its own course needn’t worry overmuch.93 But the point has been the choice—far more elaborate than the one found in Genesis 3.6:

48וַתֵּ֣רֶא הָֽאִשָּׁ֡ה כִּ֣י טוֹב֩ הָעֵ֨ץ לְמַאֲכָ֜ל וְכִ֧י תַֽאֲוָה־ ה֣וּא לָעֵינַ֗יִם וְנֶחְמָ֤ד הָעֵץ֙ לְהַשְׂכִּ֔יל וַתִּקַּ֥ח מִפִּרְי֖וֹ וַתֹּאכַ֑ל
וַתִּתֵּ֧ן גַּם־ לְאִישָׁ֛הּ עִמָּ֖הּ וַיֹּאכַֽל׃

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, a tree desirable to look at and gain insight from, she took from its fruit and ate, and gave it also to the man who was with her, and he ate.

49Genesis makes little of Adam’s choice, and makes comparatively little of Eve’s. There is no tortured questioning, deep soul-searching, or weighing of comparative values. There is desire for the fruit, for the wisdom the fruit was thought to offer, and a quick decision to eat. Eve eats, then gives the fruit to Adam, “who was with her”, and he eats as well. But for Grotius, the scene is one of agonizing choices. Similarly, in L’Adamo, an Italian play of 1613, Adam’s decision to eat the fruit is passionate, agonizing, and lengthy:

  • 94 Giambattisti Andreini. L’Adamo, ed. by Ettore Allodoli (Lanciano: Carabba, 1913), 3.1.1839–57, 1907 (...)

Ahi, mi si spezza il core;
Che far deggia non so; s’io miro il Cielo
Sento vagarmi un gelo
Per l’ossa che mi strugge,
Vago sol d’ osservar precetti eterni;
Se la compagna miro.
Piango al suo pianto, a’ suoi sospir sospiro,
E mi struggo, e m’ accoro,
S’ ubbidirla rifiuto; il cor amante
Fa eh’ al Pomo veloce apra la mano,
L’ alma nel sen dubbiante
La respinge, e la chiude;
Misero Adamo, o quanti
Accampano il tuo i or vari desire!
Qui per r un tu sospiri,
Per r altro godi, né saper t’ è dato
Se tu sarà’ piegato
Da sospiri o da gioia,
Da la Donna o da Dio.
[…]
Dammi il frutto rapito,
Rapitrice cortese,
Dammi ill frutto gradito;
S’ubidisca a chi tanto,
Per farmi un Dio.
94

Alas, it breaks my heart;
I do not know what to do; if I think of Heaven
Then I feel a cold tremor
Oppressing me even in my bones,
And I want only to obey the eternal precepts;
If I think of my companion,
I share her tears and sigh with her sighs;
I am tortured and distracted,
To refuse her would wound her, and my loving heart
Would teach me to sieze the apple with open hands,
But my breast is doubtful
Rejects, and closes;
Miserable Adam, how many
And various are the desires that assail your heart!
One makes you sigh,
Another gives you joy, nor can you know
Which will most win you,
The sighs or the joy.
The woman or God.
[…]
Give me the stolen fruit,
Courteous thief,
Give me the pleasing fruit;
It is right to obey
The one who works to make me a God.

50Again, we have an Adam who agonizes over the choice of Eve or God, and whose passion and love for his wife leads him to choose love for another human being over love for a figure who is wholly other, a figure whose benevolence always seems to be insisted on by the very same people who take delight in recounting his punishments of disobedience. Here, as in Grotius, the pious reader need not wait long for the penalties to ensue—but again, the passionate, human choice has already been made, and will not be unmade, no matter the lethal intent of God. Even in the 1647 Italian play Adamo Caduto, Adam’s choice is agonizing, but human. At first Adam resists, even remonstrating with Eve the way Gerald Richman would have Adam do in Paradise Lost:

  • 95 Serafino della Salandra. Adamo Caduto (Cosenza: Giovanni Battista Moio and Francesco Rodella, 1647) (...)

Noon si deue piu tosto, ch’ una volta
Offender Dio, morir ben volte mille?
Saprò vestir di rigidezza il volto,
Saprò armar il cor’anco di idegno,
Donna, nel tuo mal fare.
[…]
Iniquio è quel che pecca;
Ma di gran lunga è biasimevol quello;
Ch’à le viste ruine altrui conduce.
95

Should you not, rather, but once avoid
Offending God, than die a thousand times?
I’ll know how to clothe myself severely,
I’ll know how to arm my heart with shame,
Lady, against your evil machinations.
[…]
Wicked is the sinner;
But far more blameworthy are those
That with clear sight lead others to their ruin.

  • 96 “M’hàmasso in parte, il cor m’hà in tenerito; / Ma pìu di quel l’amor del Ciel prevale” (ibid., 93, (...)

51But eventually, Adam begins to realize that he cannot resist his wife: “She weighs on me, in part, making my heart tender; / But the love of Heaven still prevails”.96 Finally, here, as in the other versions of the Edenic story, Adam chooses Eve over God:

Dolce ben mio,
Cessa dal pianto, non stracciar più l’crine,
Che ti prometto di mangiar’il Pomo.
[…]
Ecco delitía mia, che’l mangio anch’io.
97

My sweetest,
Stop your tears, no more tearing your hair,
I promise to eat the apple.
[…]
Behold, my delight, as I eat it too.

52An astute reader will have noticed a difference, however, between the three versions just dealt with and Milton’s rendering in Paradise Lost. Where the other seventeenth-century Adams agonize over their choices, Milton’s Adam knows quietly, inwardly, immediately what he is going to do. For him the choice is obvious: he will love Eve, and he will choose Eve, despite the God who threatens him with pain and death, despite the willful mishearers and misconstruers like Raphael, and despite the long line of literary critics who would rewrite him into the image of their dry and pious imaginations.

53Many of Milton’s modern critics appear to read his treatment of Adam’s choice, not in light of the seventeenth-century context outlined above, but as if Milton were following the much harsher example of Alcimus Ecdicius Avitus, the sixth-century Bishop of Vienne. Avitus’ treatment of the scene, far from being sympathetic to the human emotions involved, is an exercise in condemnation:

  • 98 De Mosaice Historiae Gestis. 2.254–60. In S. Aviti, Archiepiscopi Viennensis Opera (Paris, 1643), 2 (...)

Accipit infelix malesuadi verba susurri,
Inflexosque retro deiecit ad ultima sensus.
Non illum trepidi concussit cura pavoris,
Nec quantum gustu cunctata est femina primo;
Sed sequitur velox, miseraeque ex coniugis ore
Constanter rapit inconstans dotale venenum.
Faucibus et patulis inimicas porrigit escas.
98

Unhappily, he accepts the seductive, whispered words,
Bent back, hurled down finally from his proper senses.
Nor does fear strike him with pain and trembling,
Not so much as when the woman first hesitated to taste;
But he follows quickly, from his wretched wife’ s mouth
Firmly the unsteady man seizes the poisonous dowry,
Stretches wide his mouth, and fills it with the hostile dish.

54However, that is not the way Milton treats the scene. His Adam chooses Eve, not because he has been seduced by “whispered words”, and not because he is inconstans (weak, unsteady, infirm of purpose), but because he is faced with the choice between human love and nonhuman (or inhuman) power, and he—like any truly decent man would—chooses the former.

  • 99 Gabriel A. Barhaim. Public-Private Relations in Totalitarian States (London: Transaction Publishers (...)

55To choose the ruler over one’s own wife—that is the kind of choice that authoritarian regimes try to convince their subjects is good, right, and honorable. A primary feature of such regimes is that they have “forced individuals to renounce their private life, and especially to sacrifice their family life”.99 This phenomenon can be seen through an analysis of the literature of one such regime—North Korea:

  • 100 Sonia Ryang. “Biopolitics or the Logic of Sovereign Love—Love’s Wherabouts in North Korea”. In Soni (...)

Love in North Korean literature is always achieved via the lovers’ devotion for the suryeong [the Leader]. They recognize each other’s human worth by measuring and examining the depth, breadth, and, above all, authenticity of the loyalty shown to the sovereign Leader. Without this quality, no one in North Korea is worthy of love or even deserves to live. […] They love each other because the other loves the suryeong.100

  • 101 Ibid., 74.
  • 102 Ibid., 65.
  • 103 Ibid., 70.
  • 104 Ibid., 65.
  • 105 Jang Jin-sung. Dear Leader: My Escape from North Korea. Trans. by Shirley Lee (New York: Simon & Sc (...)
  • 106 Ryang, 74.

56A love filtered through adoration of the ruler, what Sonia Ryang calls “sovereign love”,101 is the opposite of human love between two lovers who choose each other for each other—the love treated by the Song of Songs, Ovid, the troubadours, and Shakespeare. Such “sovereign love” is designed, in fact, to prevent the possibility of the human love so many of our literary critics seem curiously determined to dismiss or explain away: “romance should only develop if it is between two individuals, both of whom are equally loyal toward the Leader. No private feelings must be prioritized over […] endless reverence, adoration, and longing for, and loyalty toward, the Leader”,102 who is portrayed as “all-sagacious and all-loving” while great emphasis is laid on his “kindness, holiness [and] wisdom”.103 Even one’s worth as an individual is related solely to the extent of one’s loyalty to the sovereign: “[t]he worth of another individual is recognized only when the other person is shown to be as loyal toward the Leader as oneself”.104 By this latter criterion, a North Korean literary critic (in an environment in which Kim Jong-il is reputed to have said, “I rule through music and literature”105) would argue that a man whose wife has been disloyal to the Leader must abandon her to demonstrate his loyalty: “judgment is made as to whether the self is good or evil based on this criterion: how deeply and how truthfully one loves the Leader”.106

57Such is the way so many Milton critics would have Adam choose. The obvious objection (often resorted to in Milton scholarship) is that it is one thing for a human sovereign to demand one’s total love and loyalty, and quite another for a “divine” sovereign to do the same. In this line of thought, what is left implicit is the assumption that the same techniques that are evil and oppressive when used by a human being are good and just (even loving) when used by a god. Such arguments regard not principle but degree, and those who accept them provide fertile soil in which, with only a minimum of careful tending, tyranny will rarely fail to thrive.

  • 107 Lewis, A Preface to Paradise Lost, 123. Hannah Arendt notes that such “pinches” were a feature of N (...)

58Milton writes his Adam otherwise. Milton’s Adam—despite his later doubts and accusations—makes the choice (in what Lewis calls “the pinch [in which] a man ought to reject his wife”107) not to reject his wife; he makes the choice to face death with Eve, rather than abandon her, rather than lose her, and rather than indulge any hopes about the mercy of a God who is not going to forgive an Eve whom he has already condemned in advance of her choice to eat the fruit. In the eyes of the God so many critics would have Adam approach, it is always already too late:

  • 108 Paradise Lost 3.203–10.

Man disobeying,
Disloyal breaks his fealty, and sins
Against the high Supremacy of Heav’n,
Affecting God-head, and so losing all,
To expiate his Treason hath naught left,
But to destruction sacred and devote,
He with his whole posteritie must dye,
Dye hee or Justice must;
108

59This is a serious and deadly speech. There is no mercy to be found therein, nor is there any indication that the speaker is inclined to listen to Adam’s (wholly imaginary) intercession. In fact, the speaker has already decided that the only remedy for a crime that has not yet been committed is a human sacrifice:

  • 109 Ibid., 3.210–16.

unless for him
Som other able, and as willing, pay
The rigid satisfaction, death for death.
Say Heav’nly Powers, where shall we find such love,
Which of ye will be mortal to redeem
Man’s mortal crime, and just th’ unjust to save,
Dwells in all Heaven charity so deare?
109

60All of this sets the stage for the drama of the incarnation and crucifixion of the Son, a death by torture and slow exposure to the elements, a practice that Martin Hengel describes as an expression of obscene cruelty and sadism toward its victim:

  • 110 für die antiken Menschen, Griechen, Römer und Juden, keine gleichgültige, beliebige, sondern eine d (...)

for the men of antiquity, Greeks, Romans, and Jews, the cross was not an indifferent or arbitrary matter, but an absolutely offensive thing, even “obscene” in the original sense of the word. […] Even in the Roman empire, where the process of executions might be seen as having a standard or “normal” form—it included an initial flogging, and the criminal often carried the crossbar to the place of execution, where his arms were outstretched as he was nailed to the bar—the form of execution was quite variable: crucifixion was a punishment in which the capriciousness and sadism of the executioner could run wild.110

  • 111 The term translates literally as Love-Death, but what it refers to in the realm of art is a duet be (...)
  • 112 Waldock, 44.

61And here, we come to the darkest truth, and the greatest heroism of the choice Milton creates his Adam to make: it is in the face of a God who demands grotesque torture and death for the crime of disobedience (and the disobedience of relative children, at that), that Milton’s Adam makes his decision for Eve, and for love. Critics like Lewis, Samuel, Fish, Danielson, Teskey, and those who follow them, will never, as Waldock observes, “acknowledge the facts of the poem”, because for them, the power and passion of Adam’s choice pales next to the “should” and “should not” of a prescriptive and obedience-driven rewriting of the poem. The facts are there, however, easily perceived as long as one does not make, as Raphael does, a willful attempt to misunderstand by letting one of the greatest Liebestod111 scenes in all of world literature fall “on ears which have been deliberately deafened”.112

62For Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the poet and critic whose ears were definitely not deliberately deafened, the mutual love between Adam and Eve was perhaps the noblest part of Paradise Lost:

  • 113 Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The Literary Remains of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Vol. 1, ed. by Henry Nels (...)

The love of Adam and Eve in Paradise is of the highest merit—not phantomatic, and yet removed from everything degrading. It is the sentiment of a rational being towards another made tender by a specific difference in that which is essentially the same in both; it is a union of opposites, a giving and receiving mutually of the permanent in either, a completion of each in the other.113

  • 114 “eigentlichen Seins zum Tode” (Sein und Zeit. 266).
  • 115 σὴν ἄλοχον, τῆς τ᾽ αἰὲν ἐέλδεαι ἤματα πάντα” (Homer. Odyssey, 5.210. Vol. I, Books 1–12, ed. by A. (...)

63In choosing death with Eve, Adam chooses a human life, a life of love rather than an existence of obedience, a mortal life faced with a courage Heidegger describes as “authentic being-toward-death”;114 thus Adam makes the only possible human choice, which the poet knows, even if his critics do not. In a sense, Adam makes the same choice that Odysseus makes, who when offered immortality by Calypso, can think only of return to Penelope, whom the goddess describes as “your wife, she that you ever long for daily, in every way”.115 Perhaps, in the spirit of Lewis, Samuel, Fish, Danielson, Teskey, and countless others, Odysseus should have chosen otherwise. But think how much poetry we would have lost if he had.

  • 116 Maurice Kelley. “The Provenance of John Milton’s Christian Doctrine: A Reply to William B. Hunter”.(...)
  • 117 Ibid.
  • 118 Paradise Lost, 2.561.

64Somehow, all too many modern critics of Milton can no longer see or hear, so deliberately blind and deaf have they become to the love the poet tried to portray. Such critics, in Maurice Kelley’s terms, are “proof-proof”,116 and will forever insist on their “homemade brand of orthodoxy”117 in rewriting Milton’s epic. But we needn’t follow them into “wand’ring mazes lost”,118 wondering what might have been if only Milton had written his poem to conform to the expectations of his more obedience-focused readers. Despite the critics, in Paradise Lost, love becomes most fully human. Mortal, and therefore even more precious in the face of death, love is the defining feature of a truly human life, chosen, as it seems it must ever be, in disobedience.

Notes

1 “Tout choix est effrayant, quand on y songe: effrayante une liberté que ne guide plus un devoir” (André Gide. Les Nourritures terrestres [Paris: Gallimard, 1921], 14).

2 John Milton. Paradise Lost 3.103–11.

3 Ibid., 3.209–10.

4 Christopher Hill. Milton and the English Revolution (London: Faber and Faber, 1977), 3.

5 William Empson. Milton’s God (Norfolk, CT: New Directions, 1961), 231.

6 Will Stockton. “An Introduction Justifying Queer Ways”. Early Modern Culture: An Electronic Seminar. Issue 10. Queer Milton, ed. by Will Stockton and David L. Orvis, http://emc.eserver.org/1-10/stockton.html

7 Hill, 3.

8 Peter Herman notes that the trend of critics rewriting Milton goes all the way back to the seventeenth-and eighteenth-century Cambridge professor and classical scholar Richard Bentley. “Bentley decided that Milton could not possibly have meant what got published as Paradise Lost, and so he offered (in the notes) suggestions for what Milton really meant to write” (Destabilizing Milton: “Paradise Lost and the Poetics of Incertitude [New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2005], 12). Herman further remarks that though “a distance of 300 years separates […] Bentley from twentieth-and early-twenty-first-century Milton criticism, the fundamental assumptions governing the reading of Paradise Lost have remained largely the same” (14). For Empson, Bentley’s now-infamous 1732 edition of Paradise Lost “makes one feel that Bentley is trying to write his own poetry” (Some Versions of Pastoral [London: Chatto & Windus, 1935], 150). And as Gilbert Highet notes, “This was not the last time that an arrogant professor was to spoil great poetry in the belief that, while the poet had been blind, he himself could see perfectly” (The Classical Tradition: Greek and Roman Influences on Western Literature [New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1949], 285).

9 Paradise Lost 9.894–904.

10 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:William_Blake_-_The_Temptation_and_Fall_of_Eve_(Illustration_to_Milton’s_”Paradise_Lost”)_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg

11 Paradise Lost 4.427.

12 Ibid., 8.323–30.

13 A. J. A Waldock. Paradise Lost and its Critics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1947), 56.

14 Paradise Lost 9.904–16.

15 Ibid., 9.999.

16 Ibid., 4.115–19.

17 John Peter. A Critique of Paradise Lost (New York: Columbia University Press, 1960), 133.

18 Waldock, 46.

19 C. S. Lewis. A Preface to Paradise Lost (London: Oxford University Press, 1942), 69.

20 Ibid., 122.

21 Ibid., 123.

22 Greenblatt, Renaissance Self-Fashioning, 247–48.

23 Adulter est inquit in sua uxore amator ardentior. In aliena quippe uxore ois amor turpis est, in sua nimius. Sapies uir iudicio debet amare coiugem, no affectu. Reget impetus uoluptatis, nec praeceps feretur in coitu, nihil est foedius q uxore amare quasi adulteram… nec amatores uxoribus se exhibeat, sed maritos.
Jerome. Contra Jovinianum (Vienna: Joannes Singrenius, 1516), 43, https://books.google.com/books?id=SUZRAAAAcAAJ&dq=ContraJovinianum&pg=PA43

24 Reddy, 3–4.

25 “Vnde a sapientib dictum est, q, omnis amator feruentior est adulter, videlicet cp no maritali, sed adulterino affectu cōiugē suā accedit, & idē est si coniunx sit viri sui amatrix feruetior” (Dionysius the Carthusian. Epistolarum ac Euangeliorum [Cologne: Petrus Quentell, 1537], fol. LVII, https://books.google.com/books?id=CqP4kICSulwC&dq=EpistolarumacEuangeliorum&apg=PT114).

26 “coniugium in Domino contractum, non in extremam quanque lasciuiam exundare. Ambrosius graui quidem, sed non indigna sententia notauit, quum vxoris adulterum vocauit qui in coniugali nullam verecundiae vel honestatis curam habet” (Jean Calvin. Institutio Christianae Religionis [Geneva: Oliua Roberti Stephani, 1559], 2.8.44, 139, https://books.google.com/books?id=6ysy-UX89f4C&pg=PA139).

27 Alister McGrath. C. S. Lewis A Life: Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2013), 61–62.

28 Adorno, Theodore. “Studies in the Authoritarian Personality”. In T. W. Adorno, Else Frenkel-Brunswik, Daniel J. Levinson, and R. Nevitt Sanford, The Authoritarian Personality, Vol. I of Studies in Prejudice, ed. by Max Horkheimer and Samuel H. Flowerman (Social Studies Series: Publication No. III) (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1950), 199, https://www.scribd.com/doc/35738019/Adorno-Theodor-W-Studies-in-the-Authoritarian-Personality).

29 John Leonard. Faithful Labourers: A Reception History of Paradise Lost, 1667–1970, Vol. 2. Interpretive Issues (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), 633.

30 Peter, 132.

31 Leonard, 617.

32 Lewis, A Preface to Paradise Lost, 123.

33 Leonard, 624.

34 Irene Samuel. “The Dialogue in Heaven: A Reconsideration of Paradise Lost, III. 1–417”. PMLA, 72: 4 (Sep., 1957), 611.

35 Ibid.

36 Empson, Milton’s God, 189.

37 This is a reference to Milton’s own writings (Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, among other works) in an England where Burden’s “remedy” was all but impossible for most people to obtain.

38 Dennis Burden. The Logical Epic: A Study of the Argument ofParadise Lost’(Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1967), 169–170; also quoted in Leonard, 643.

39 Leonard, 637.

40 Paradise Lost 3.210.

41 Ibid., 3.134.

42 Leonard, 637.

43 Stanley Fish. Surprised by Sin: The Reader inParadise Lost”. 2nd ed. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998, 256–57.

44 As John Peter rather dryly notes: “this is a character in a poem” (9).

45 Fish, Surprised by Sin, 263.

46 Ibid., 269.

47 Ibid., 269–70.

48 Leonard, 624.

49 Waldock, 30.

50 Dennis Danielson. “Through the Telescope of Typology: What Adam Should Have Done”. Milton Quarterly, 23: 3 (1989), 121.

51 Ibid., 124.

52 Ibid.

53 Das blutiger Menschenopfer sind in der Tat nur roh-sinnliche Ausdrücke von dem Geheimnissen der Religion. Wo blutige Menschenopfer Gott dargebracht werden, da gelten diese Opfer für die höchsten, das sinnliche Leben für das höchste Gut. Deswegen opfert man das Leben Gott auf, und zwar in außerordentlichen Fällen; man glaubt, damit ihm die größte Ehre zu erweisen.
Ludwig Feuerbach.
Das Wesen des Christentums, ed. by Werner Schuffenhauer (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2006), 446.

54 “nur sein menschliches Blut macht Gott barmherzig, stillt seinen Zorn” (ibid., 101).

55 Empson, Milton’s God, 247, 251.

56 Ibid., 277.

57 Gerald Richman. “A Third Choice: Adam, Eve, and Abdiel”. Early Modern Literary Studies, 9: 2 (September 2003), 6.1–5, https://extra.shu.ac.uk/emls/09-2/richthir.html

58 Gordon Teskey. The Poetry of John Milton (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2015), 462. The Milton Society of America recently gave Teskey its highest award for the book containing this argument.

59 Richard III, 4.2.114.

60 Teskey, xiii.

61 Teskey seems to try having it both ways, however. Not long after arguing that Adam “forgot to trust”, he goes on to claim that “Adam’s decision to remain with Eve is moving, and surely right”. He then maintains that “[t]he place of criticism is not to take sides at such moments” (464), a high-minded and disingenuous statement coming from someone who just took sides two pages earlier by arguing (very much in the tradition of Lewis, Samuels, Fish, and Danielson) that Adam should have chosen otherwise than he did. That’s exactly what “tak[ing] sides at such moments” looks like.

62 The (probably misnamed) critic described by Aristotle (Poetics, 1461a, 22–23) as trying to save Zeus’honesty by suggesting that “δίδομεν” should be changed to “διδόμεν” in the speech in which Zeus sends a dream to Agammenon in Book 2 of the Illiad.

63 David Quint. Inside Paradise Lost: Reading the Designs of Milton’s Epic (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014), 153.

64 Ibid., 178.

65 Stanley Fish. How Milton Works (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2001), 53.

66 “If Adam was Perfect, How Was It Possible for Him to Sin?” The Watchtower, 129: 19 (1 October 2008), 27, https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2008733

67 David Hawkes. John Milton, A Hero of Our Time (Berkeley: Counterpoint Press, 2009), 10.

68 Hawkes, 12.

69 Ibid., 12, 13.

70 Terry Eagleton. Literary Theory: An Introduction (Oxford: Blackwell, 1983), 34.

71 Hawkes, 12.

72 Altermeyer, 104.

73 Fish, How Milton Works, 10.

74 Authoritarians do not spend a great deal of effort “examining evidence, thinking critically, reaching independent conclusions […]. Instead, they have largely accepted what they were told by the authorities in their lives” (Altermeyer 93).

75 John Milton. Areopagitica. London, 1644, Sig.D2v, 26, https://books.google.com/books?id=tvhAAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA26

76 Altermeyer, 99.

77 Ibid., 96.

78 Ibid., 104.

79 Lewis, A Preface to Paradise Lost, 78.

80 See Bryson, The Atheist Milton, 75–76.

81 Oscar Wilde. The Soul of Man under Socialism (Portland: Thomas B. Mosher, 1905), 11.

82 Paradise Lost 8.530–33.

83 Lewis, A Preface to Paradise Lost, 112.

84 Paradise Lost 8.540–46.

85 Ibid., 8.546–59.

86 At this point, Milton is giving his Adam a set of observations about Eve’s possible superiority to him that has long been part of Renaissance thought by the time of Paradise Lost. Juan Rodríguez de la Cámara expresses similar ideas in 1438, in Triumph of Women (Triunfo de las Donas). Speaking of the creation story of Genesis 2, in which woman is created after man, Rodríguez writes that “The less noble creatures were created first and foremost in the world, and the most noble later, so that the more noble could be served by the hordes of the less noble” (“las criaturas menos nobles ayan seydo primeramente en el mundo criadas, e las mas nobles vltimamente, por que las menos nobles pudiesen por horden alas mas nobles seruir”) (Juan Rodríguez de la Cámara. Triunfo de las Donas. In Obras de Juan Rodríguez de la Cámara: (ó del Padrón), ed. by Antonio Paz y Meliá [Madrid: La Sociodad de Bibliofilos Españoles, 1884], 88, https://archive.org/stream/ObrasJuanRodriguezCamara/Obras_de_Juan_Rodriguez_de_la_Camara#page/n133). Cornelius Agrippa argued that “Woman is the ultimate end of creation, the most perfect accomplishment of all God’s works” (“mulier sit ultima creaturarŭ, ac finis, & cŏplementŭoĭm operŭ Dei perfectisimŭ”) (De Nobilitate et Praecellentia Foeminei Sexus. Antwerp: Michael Hillenius, 1529, Sig. A6r, https://books.google.com/books?id=ZoQNUzFZ5UEC&pg=PT12).

87 Paradise Lost, 8.561–68, 579–85.

88 Waldock, 44.

89 Ibid.

90 Paradise Lost 9.952–59.

91 Hugo Grotius. Hugonis Groth Sacra in quibus Adamus exul tragoedia (Hague: Alberti Henrici, 1601), Act IV, 54–55, https://books.google.com/books?id=pRY_AAAAcAAJ&pg=PP72

92 “… quid tibi, cunjux, negen?/Iubente te vel jussa contemnam Dei,/Iubente te vel sustinebo vivere” (ibid. Act V, 68, https://books.google.com/books?id=pRY_AAAAcAAJ&pg=PP86).

93 Authoritarians “want a God to exist as the absolute authority to which they can bow, [and the] concept of God underlying this way of thinking is that of the absolute essence of punitiveness” (T. Adorno. “Studies in the Authoritarian Personality”, 444, https://www.scribd.com/doc/35738019/Adorno-Theodor-W-Studies-in-the-Authoritarian-Personality).

94 Giambattisti Andreini. L’Adamo, ed. by Ettore Allodoli (Lanciano: Carabba, 1913), 3.1.1839–57, 1907–11, https://archive.org/stream/ladamoand00andruoft#page/78, https://archive.org/stream/ladamoand00andruoft#page/80

95 Serafino della Salandra. Adamo Caduto (Cosenza: Giovanni Battista Moio and Francesco Rodella, 1647), 2.10., 92, https://archive.org/stream/bub_gb_fbI8kobTkMQC#page/n110

96 “M’hàmasso in parte, il cor m’hà in tenerito; / Ma pìu di quel l’amor del Ciel prevale” (ibid., 93, https://archive.org/stream/bub_gb_fbI8kobTkMQC#page/n111).

97 Ibid., 95, https://archive.org/stream/bub_gb_fbI8kobTkMQC#page/n113

98 De Mosaice Historiae Gestis. 2.254–60. In S. Aviti, Archiepiscopi Viennensis Opera (Paris, 1643), 233, https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=dul1.ark:/13960/t1hh95n3b;view=1up;seq=253

99 Gabriel A. Barhaim. Public-Private Relations in Totalitarian States (London: Transaction Publishers, 2012), 15.

100 Sonia Ryang. “Biopolitics or the Logic of Sovereign Love—Love’s Wherabouts in North Korea”. In Sonia Ryang, ed. North Korea: Toward a Better Understanding (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2009), 61, 62.

101 Ibid., 74.

102 Ibid., 65.

103 Ibid., 70.

104 Ibid., 65.

105 Jang Jin-sung. Dear Leader: My Escape from North Korea. Trans. by Shirley Lee (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2014), 3.

106 Ryang, 74.

107 Lewis, A Preface to Paradise Lost, 123. Hannah Arendt notes that such “pinches” were a feature of Nazi purges that even affected privileged party organizations like the SS: “a Fuehrer decree dated May 19, 1943, ordered that all men who were bound to foreigners by family ties, marriage or friendship were to be eliminated from state, party, Wehrmacht and economy; this affected 1,200 SS leaders” (The Origins of Totalitarianism [San Diego: Harcourt, 1968], 391, n. 7). Here, the decree of Ezra 10:3 also comes to mind:
Image 10000000000000E30000000FA5ACEEAB.jpg
Now, let us carve out an agreement with our God, to send away our foreign wives, and such children as they have borne.
When the “pinch” Lewis refers to comes, are we after all to believe that the moral thing, the humane thing is to abandon anyone our gods and dictators demand we abandon? What kind of ruler, what kind of god, would demand such a thing, and what kind of coward would submit to it? What Lewis,
et al., have been advocating for the last several decades is precisely the kind of submission and loyalty to the powerful leader that characterizes the worst tyrannies of human history.

108 Paradise Lost 3.203–10.

109 Ibid., 3.210–16.

110 für die antiken Menschen, Griechen, Römer und Juden, keine gleichgültige, beliebige, sondern eine durchaus anstößige, ja im ursprünglichen Sinne des Worte “obzöne” Sache bedeute. […] Selbst in römischen Machtbereich, wo der Ablauf der Exekution in gewisser Weise als “genormt” erscheinen konnte—er schloß die vorausgehende Geißelung und häufig auch das Tragen des Balkens zur Richtstätte ein, wo der Delinquent emporgehoben und mit ausgestreckten Händen angenagelt wurde—, blieb die Form der Hinrichtung recht variabel: Die Kreuzigung are eine Strafe, bei der sich die Willkür und der Sadismus der Henker austoben konnten.
Martin Hengel. “Mors Turpissima Crucis: Die Kreuzigung in der Antiken Welt und die ‘Toheit’ des Wortes vom Kreuz”. In Johannes Friederich, Wolfgang Pöhlmann, and Peter Stuhlmacher, eds.
Rechtfertigung: Festschrift für Ernst Käsemann zum 70 Geburtstag (Tübingen: J. C. B. Mohr, 1976), 137, 139).

111 The term translates literally as Love-Death, but what it refers to in the realm of art is a duet between lovers—whether in song, poetry, dramatic performance, or some combination—in which they affirm their love in the face of death.

112 Waldock, 44.

113 Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The Literary Remains of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Vol. 1, ed. by Henry Nelson Coleridge (London: William Pickering, 1836), 177, https://archive.org/stream/literaryremainso01coleuoft#page/177

114 “eigentlichen Seins zum Tode” (Sein und Zeit. 266).

115 σὴν ἄλοχον, τῆς τ᾽ αἰὲν ἐέλδεαι ἤματα πάντα” (Homer. Odyssey, 5.210. Vol. I, Books 1–12, ed. by A. T. Murray [Loeb Classical Library, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1919]).

116 Maurice Kelley. “The Provenance of John Milton’s Christian Doctrine: A Reply to William B. Hunter”. SEL, 34 (1994), 159, https://doi.org/10.2307/450791

117 Ibid.

118 Paradise Lost, 2.561.

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