Friday, June 30, 2017

God in Paradise Lost (Milton Journal)


Milton’s representation of God is one of those odd representations: on one hand, God is extremely boring of a character. He is, as William Blake mused, a restrained character and Milton was indeed clearly writing him in fetters; there is nothing about his representation that is dramatic or neophyte—whether he is imagined as an antiquated old man or an all knowing deity with a flowing white beard and robe, he is exactly as one would expect God to appear. On the other hand, God, despite being bland as vanilla ice-cream, manages to nonetheless exert an almost whiny sort of divination. When speaking to the heavenly host, or, at least his Son, his speech pattern connotes a bored, nearly pleading tone; though this can be excused some as it must actually get very tiring always-already knowing what is going to happen… for, like, ever… it still doesn’t exactly make for engaging plot material.

            What I did notice about God’s operation, though, was how Milton was disseminating Biblical stories through God’s speeches. This, of course, is done through his divination but it makes little apparent sense—after all, those stories have not yet been written; Milton is usurping, once again, the prophets and slyly insinuating that he himself is top-dog.

            Whether or not this is the case, though, it is interesting purely from a narratological stand-point. Milton, after all, needs God to perform some sort of action, needs him to act as some kind of plot device or narrative tool, something to enhance the text. Milton finds this purpose through God alluding to the stories which will eventually be written of not only Adam and Eve but others as well. So, if we are to simply examine God’s speeches and probe them for foreshadowing, then his presence becomes less dry and more laden with Milton’s own presence; specifically, his own theological take on religious matters.

Let's Read: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (Ch.7)

Now that our protagonist has gained an immense amount of power through trickery and bullshit—just like a modern day politician!—what...