Milton's Socratic Rationalism: The Conversations of Adam and Eve in Paradise Lost - Politics, Literature, & Film (Hardback)
  • Milton's Socratic Rationalism: The Conversations of Adam and Eve in Paradise Lost - Politics, Literature, & Film (Hardback)
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Milton's Socratic Rationalism: The Conversations of Adam and Eve in Paradise Lost - Politics, Literature, & Film (Hardback)

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£60.00
Hardback 196 Pages / Published: 17/08/2017
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The conversation of Adam and Eve in Paradise Lost, that most obvious of Milton's additions to the Biblical narrative, enacts the pair's inquiry into and discovery of the gift of their rational nature in a mode of discourse closely aligned to practices of Socrates in the dialogues of Plato and eponymous discourses of Xenophon. Adam and Eve both begin their life "much wondering where\ And what I was, whence thither brought and how." Their conjoint discoveries of each other's and their own nature in this talk Milton arranges for a in dialectical counterpoise to his persona's expressed task "to justify the ways of God to men." Like Xenophon's Socrates in the Memorabilia, Milton's persona indites those "ways of God" in terms most agreeable to his audience of "men"--notions Aristotle calls "generally accepted opinions." Thus for Milton's "fit audience" Paradise Lost will present two ways--that address congenial to men per se, and a fit discourse attuned to their very own rational faculties--to understand "the ways of God to men." The interrogation of each way by its counterpart among the distinct audiences is the "great Argument" of the poem.

Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 9781498532624
Number of pages: 196
Weight: 472 g
Dimensions: 240 x 162 x 22 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
The most compelling features of Milton's Socratic Rationalism are its thoughtful reconstruction of several intimate but nonetheless key moments in Paradise Lost, as well as its charting of Milton's reappropriation of ancient narrative, structure, and rhetorical devices.. . . . Milton's Socratic Rationalism is a thoughtful book which deserves the careful attention of scholars of Milton, ancient Greek political thought, literary criticism, and the history of political thought. * The Review of Politics *
Responding to a critic who said Milton had only blindness in common with Homer, G.E. Lessing said Paradise Lost was the finest epic since Homer. For, he argued, the range of Milton's inner vision was more valuable than his physical sight since it gained him mental freedom. In Milton's Socratic Rationalism, David Davies reveals how subtly Milton used his freedom. -- Paul Dowling, Canisius College
What, exactly, did Adam and Eve do when they ate fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and what were the consequences? John Milton put this question front and center in Paradise Lost; and, in this provocative monograph, David Davies makes a compelling case that the English poet's take on these questions owes as much to Xenophon, Plato, and Aristotle as it does to the Book of Genesis. -- Paul A. Rahe, Hillsdale College

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