likethebeer: (blasphemy)

I think sacramentalist pointed me to this before, but I thought I'd put it here while I've got it in my head.
likethebeer: (Codex from Avatar)

I think he's wrong on the Satan, Sin & Death illustration, but other than that: not bad.

And a pretty good reason for never making Paradise Lost into a movie, since I've had it in my head for years. And, jeez, I don't agree with everything done by William f-ing BLAKE.
likethebeer: (Default)
On this day in 1667 John Milton's Paradise Lost was registered for publication by printer Samuel Simmons. Milton's agreement with Simmons -- five pounds at signing, another five for each 1,500 copies sold on a first edition of 4,500 -- is the earliest known author's contract. At this point, the fifty-eight-year-old Milton had been totally blind for fifteen years, probably from glaucoma. His habit during the decade it took to write Paradise Lost was to compose at night and then present himself each morning to a scribe -- a nephew, daughter, or secretary -- to be, as he put it, "milked."
likethebeer: (I am disappearing but not fast enough)
A last peek at Paradise Lost: in books 11 & 12, the archangel Michael goes & shows Adam through visions what's going to happen in the future up to the flood of Noah. Then he tells Adam what's going to happen beyond that, including the Exodus from Egypt.

Then he's got to kick Adam & Eve out. But the Son has given them clothes, & I think the angels help them w/farm tools, & Adam says that he's going to build temples to God, who he can't see anymore.

The stories from the Bible are interesting, but won't make sense unless you just put the whole darned thing in there.

So, here are the last lines (book 12, lines 641-649):
They, looking back, all the eastern side beheld
Of Paradise, so late their happy seat,
Waved over by that flaming brand; the gate
With dreadful faces thronged, and fiery arms:
Some natural tears they dropt, but wiped them soon;
The world was all before them, where to choose
Their place of rest, and Providence their guide:
They, hand in hand, with wandering steps and slow,
Through Eden took their solitary way.
There ya go. Wish I'd given you more of plagues & things, but like I wrote before, wars & hell & sin are just so much more interesting. Or maybe that's just me.
likethebeer: (blasphemy)
Well, it's been done. Apple's been eaten. Lust has been introduced (but not sex - that arrives right after Adam & Eve are created). Then shame, anger, accusation, & blame on the part of Adam to Eve, & back again. And fig-leaf outfits. Can't forget those.

My favorite parts come from Adam, right before & after the fall: Lines 889-893
The fatal trespass done by Eve, amazed,
Astonied stood and blank, while horrour chill
Ran through his veins, and all his joints relaxed;
From his slack hand the garland wreathed for Eve
Down dropt, and all the faded roses shed:
I love that image. Just devastating sadness when he realizes what's happened.

Then Adam talks to himself about whether to eat or not (lines 900-916):
How art thou lost! how on a sudden lost,
Defaced, deflowered, and now to death devote!
Rather, how hast thou yielded to transgress
The strict forbiddance, how to violate
The sacred fruit forbidden! Some cursed fraud
Of enemy hath beguiled thee, yet unknown,
And me with thee hath ruined; for with thee
Certain my resolution is to die:
How can I live without thee! how forego
Thy sweet converse, and love so dearly joined,
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.

PL was the first time I came across this idea: that Adam eats the apple not b/c he's dumb, but b/c he loves this woman so much that he's willing to forsake everything - even though he knows that God would make him another Eve.
likethebeer: (I am disappearing but not fast enough)
The Archangel Raphael asks Adam what it was like when he awoke, and met Eve. Then Adam, after stating that she's his inferior, goes a little off on Eve like a lovestruck boy (lines 546-559):
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
Loses discountenanced, and like Folly shows;
Authority and Reason on her wait,
As one intended first, not after made
Occasionally; and, to consummate all,
Greatness of mind and Nobleness their seat
Build in her loveliest, and create an awe
About her, as a guard angelick placed.
Raphael reminds Adam that love of God is all important, and to not get too into the sex with the chick.

After which, Adam asks Raphael if angels, well, do it. And, um... I think he says yes (lines 620-629):
Let it suffice thee that thou knowest
Us happy, and without love no happiness.
Whatever pure thou in the body enjoyest,
... (And pure thou wert created) we enjoy
In eminence; and obstacle find none
Of membrane, joint, or limb, exclusive bars;
Easier than air with air, if Spirits embrace,
Total they mix, union of pure with pure
Desiring, nor restrained conveyance need,
As flesh to mix with flesh, or soul with soul.
Huh... kind of like Changelings (shape shifters) on ST: Deep Space 9. And in my reading, it's been pointed out that all of the angels are male, so, looking at the time this was written, the embrace that Milton was describing was not sexual, but darned it does seem that way.

Of course, I'm lingering in these areas, because book 9 comes next. That's when the fall happens (well, and books 10 & 11 - maybe part of 12, too, aren't as interesting). I've no idea why that bugs me at the moment. It's not like the myth of the fall isn't the entire reason why this epic poem was written.
likethebeer: (blasphemy)
Two things:

First, the battle in heaven's going on, and there's this description of the Archangel Michael & Satan's meeting (Book VI, lines 320-327):
But the sword
Of Michael from the armoury of God
Was given him tempered so, that neither keen
Nor solid might resist that edge: it met
The sword of Satan, with steep force to smite
Descending, and in half cut sheer; nor staid,
But with swift wheel reverse, deep entering, shared
All his right side: Then Satan first knew pain
The archangel breaks Satan's sword, and then slices off Lucifer's right side.

Satan's just in pain (and not annihilated) b/c he's an angel and (lines 340-345):
... the ethereal substance closed,
Not long divisible; and from the gash
A stream of necturous humour issuing flowed
Sanguine, such as celestial Spirits may bleed,
And all his armour stained, ere while so bright.
You have to like the pretty blood.

#2 - Milton just described a "cubic phalanx": the angels (the good guys in this case, I think) form a phalanx, but because they can fly, the angles made a 3-D phalanx.

likethebeer: (WI spring)

Damn. That entry no longer exists. So I got it from the Wayback Machine & put it here. Read more... )
likethebeer: (blasphemy)
The first time I read the abridged version. The 2nd time I read it w/mda. I missed it, realized he had the copy (he'd bought me), and I ordered another one.

This is the first time I'm reading without reading it out loud (in order to try to understand what is being said).

No matter what the scholars tell me: in Paradise Lost, John Milton succeeds in making some heroic and sympathetic demons. It's really hard to believe that wasn't his intention, although Satan's pride is a constant theme.

Still, as Satan says to Beelzebub near the beginning of Book 1, when they first wake up in hell, chained on a burning lake of sulpher (lines 106-114):
All is not lost--the unconquerable will,
And study of revenge, immortal hate,
And courage never to submit or yield:
And what is else not to be overcome?
That glory never shall his wrath or might
Extort from me. To bow and sue for grace
With suppliant knee, and deify his power
Who, from the terror of this arm, so late
Doubted his empire--that were low indeed;
This is the part where he talks about making a hell out of heaven and a heaven out of hell.

Satan's overweening pride strikes me more in this reading of it than the other times.


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