Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Milton and the Ineffable$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Noam Reisner

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199572625

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199572625.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 18 July 2019

Paradise Lost: pretending to say the unsayable

Paradise Lost: pretending to say the unsayable

Chapter:
(p.171) 4 Paradise Lost: pretending to say the unsayable
Source:
Milton and the Ineffable
Author(s):

Noam Reisner (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199572625.003.0005

This chapter examines the elaborate diffusion of ineffable presences in the monist materialist universe of Paradise Lost. It analyses the various poetic strategies Milton uses to assert his putative ability to say the unsayable while simultaneously allowing the poetic imagery and tone of the poem to suggest that such feats are merely imagined. This opens up to important questions about the poem's implied theory of accommodation, and leads to a more detailed analysis of ineffable ‘speech effects’ in the poem, where Milton first deploys and then subverts apophatic imagery in the process of evoking the otherworldly character of divine, angelic, demonic, and prelapsarian speech. This analysis sheds light on the poem's sustained meditation on the ineffable encounter with the divine as an interiorized spiritual experience, where God's creatures, whether they are fallen angels or fallen man, must contend with the emerging silence that is the consequence of divine privation.

Keywords:   Milton, Paradise Lost, ineffable presences, theory of accommodation, apophatic imagery, prelapsarian speech, fallen angels, fallen man, silence

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .