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Milton’s better fortitude : a study of the nature of heroism in Paradise lost Jones, Paul Arthur 1975

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MILTON'S "BETTER FORTITUDE:" A STUDY OF THE NATURE OF HEROISM IN PARADISE LOST by PAUL ARTHUR JONES B.A., University of British Columbia, 1970 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in the Department of English We accept this as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September, 1975 In present ing th i s thes is in pa r t i a l fu l f i lment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L ibrary sha l l make it f ree ly ava i l ab le for reference and study. I fu r ther agree that permission for extensive copying of th i s thes is for s cho la r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representat ives . It is understood that copying or pub l i ca t i on of th i s thes i s f o r f i nanc i a l gain sha l l not be allowed without my wr i t ten permiss ion. Paul Jones Department of English  The Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 Date September 1. 1975 i i Thesis Abstract Because c r i t i c s have continued to discuss Paradise  Lost according to class i c a l standards of heroism, the ques-tion of the poemTs hero has been needlessly vitiated. Not u n t i l Milton Ts concept of heroism i s clearly understood can any scholarly discussion of the epic Ts hero, or heroes, pro-ceed. Our endeavour in this present study w i l l be not to discover the poemfs "hero" so much as to understand clearly that form of heroism, those qualities of character and action, which the poem espouses. Milton found that the cla s s i c a l heroic ideal was sharply at odds with his understanding of Christian heroism. He rejected the destructive, self-glorifying, self-reliant hero, epitomized by Achilles, i n favour of one who would em-body the Christian ethic of love, humility, and fai t h . In attempting to define a r t i s t i c a l l y "the better fortitude/Of Patience and Heroic Martyrdom" i n Paradise Lost Milton begins by painting i n Books I to III an impressive picture of false heroism in Satan and by presenting the alternative of true heroism i n the Son. By undermining the cl a s s i c a l heroism of Satan while exalting at the same time the nobility of the Son, Milton orients the reader to the standards of heroism upon i i i which the epic i s founded. The f i r s t main movement within Paradise Lost deal-ing with the heroic nature of Adam and Eve consists largely of a process of education instituted by the Father through the Archangel Raphael intended to c l a r i f y for man the issues involved i n maintaining his original heroic standing. The War in Heaven serves to emphasize for both unfallen man and the reader the heroism of obedience by displaying a show-piece of Christian fortitude, Abdiel, and by revealing the terrible results of disobedience which b e f a l l Satan and his followers. The f i r s t movement concerning the heroism of Adam and Eve i n Paradise Lost ends i n the t r i a l of their obedience, the heroic contest between man and Satan. The f a l l i s significant for Milton as a negation of those qualities which are involved in his concept of heroism, and he implies that i f noble acts of Christian heroes are more glorious than those of other he-roes, acts of v i l l a i n y by the former are more heinous than the sins of the latter. Doubt, revealed f i r s t i n Adam by his questioning of divine providence in his talk with Raphael, pre-vents Adam from exercising the heroic faith which would have sought a solution to his dilemma in an appeal to the love and wisdom of God. The second main movement within Paradise Lost dealing with the heroism of man i s complementary to the f i r s t , con-sisting largely of a process of education instituted by the Father through the Archangel Michael by means of which Adam iv and Eve's heroic stature i s restored. Milton stresses here the importance of God's grace for the existence of true hero-ism. The patient submission of Adam and Eve to their expul-sion from Eden i s an act of Christian heroism which signifies their restoration as heroes. Contents I n t r o d u c t i o n 1 Chapter One: "This Subject f o r Heroic Song" 6 Chapter Two: Divine and Demonic Heroism 23 Chapter Three: I n s t r u c t i o n i n F o r t i t u d e 43 Chapter Four: The C a t a s t r o p h i c E p i c Contest . . . . . . . 65 Chapter F i v e : The Regeneration of Heroic V i r t u e 83 L i s t of Works Consulted 115 Acknowledgements I wish t o thank P r o f e s s o r s P. G. Stanwood and Jan de Bruyn of the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia f o r t h e i r v a l -uable c r i t i c i s m and advice p e r t a i n i n g t o the p r e p a r a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s . / 1 I n t r o d u c t i o n C r i t i c s have long debated the q u e s t i o n of who i s the hero of Paradise Lost, h o t l y defending, or h o t l y d i s p u t i n g , the cases for, Adam, Eve, the Son, and Satan. D i f f i c u l t i e s a r i s e w i t h each character proposed. Some object t h a t the Son i s not a c e n t r a l enough f i g u r e w i t h i n the epi c s t r u c t u r e , o t h -ers t h a t Satan i s e v i l ; such c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s make i t hard f o r the reader t o regard them as w h o l l y s a t i s f a c t o r y heroes. While few would b r i n g the same charges a g a i n s t Adam and Eve, many dismiss them as heroes, or r e t a i n them w i t h some embar-rassment, because t h e i r defeat and degradation go ag a i n s t c l a s s i c a l epic precedents concerning h e r o i c v i r t u e . T h i s l a s t view r e s t s on a premise which o f t e n remains hidden: namely, t h a t a l l heroes ought t o conform t o c l a s s i c -a l standards of heroism. When the l i m i t a t i o n s of t h i s assump-t i o n are recognized, a w h o l l y new outlook on M i l t o n ' s l a t e r poetry becomes p o s s i b l e . Woodhouse has s a i d t h a t "one w i l l never understand M i l t o n ' s problem, or ap p r e c i a t e h i s a r t i s t -r y , unless one recognizes the degree of divergence between h i s theme and Homer's, h i s theme and even V i r g i l ' s , t h a t i s , the divergence between a C h r i s t i a n and a c l a s s i c a l view of l i f e . " " ' " T h i s i s p a r t i c u l a r l y t r u e w i t h regard t o the nature of heroism 2 i n Paradise Lost. The question of the poemfs hero receives a new significance i f we realize that i n his epic Milton i s at-tempting to define a type of heroism importantly different from HomerTs or V i r g i l 1 s . Unfortunately, confusion resulting from failure to note this divergence i n standards of heroism has continued to plague criticism of Paradise Lost almost from the moment of i t s publication. Early readers saw that the poem was d i f f e r -ent from previous epics, but they fa i l e d to grasp the essen-t i a l nature of this difference. Measuring the poem against c l a s s i c a l precedents, many found the subject, "Man's diso-bedience, and the loss thereupon of Paradise wherein he was  plac*t," an "epic heresy." Addison, one of Milton*s most sympathetic early c r i t -ics, f e l t uncomfortable about certain aspects of the poem which did not conform to cl a s s i c a l precedent. Popularizing Paradise Lost i n the Spectator papers of 1712, he confessed i n No. 2 9 7 , "I must, hovrever, own, that I think this kind of fable ["wherein the event i s unhappy"], which i s the most per-fect in tragedy, i s not so proper for an heroic poem."^ Dry-den, writing i n 1693> had been much less sympathetic i n his "Essay on Satire:" "his [Milton's] subject i s not that of an heroic poem, properly so called. His design i s the losing of our happiness; his event i s not prosperous, like that of a l l other epic works."^ Concerning the hero of the epic, Dryden wrote i n 1697 i n the "Dedication of the Aeneid" that Milton's claim to have composed a genuine epic would have been a bet-3 ter one " i f the Devil had not been his hero instead of Adam, i f the giant had not f o i l e d the knight and driven him out of his stronghold to wander through the world with his lady er-rant." 5 Dennis's criticism i s more confused on this issue than Addison or Dryden's. On the one hand, he realized that Milton had adopted a new attitude to the epic. Writing i n 1704, he said i n "The Grounds of Criticism i n Poetry:" That great Man had a desire to give the World something like an Epick Poem; but he resolv'd at the same time to break thro' the Rules of Aristotle.... he had discern-ment enough to see, that i f he wrote a Poem which was within the compass of them, he should be subjected to the same Fate which has attended a l l who have wrote Epick Po-ems ever since the time of Homer; and that i s to be a • Copyist instead of an Original.... Milton was the f i r s t , who i n the space of almost 4000 Years, resolved, for his Country's Honour and his own, to present the World with an Original Poem; that i s to say, a Poem that should have his own Thoughts, his own Images, and his own S p i r i t . Despite this statement, Dennis's comment i n the same work that "the Devil i s properly his Hero, because he gets the better,"^ shows that his criticism i s s t i l l largely bound by c l a s s i c a l norms of heroism and plot structure. As long as one looks at the question of heroic virtue i n c l a s s i c a l terms, one w i l l probably agree with Dryden and Dennis that Satan i s the hero of Paradise Lost. At the least, one w i l l feel, with Ad-dison, discomfort. One early reader, at least, did note the vast d i f f e r -ence between Milton's conception of heroism, and that t r a d i -t i o n a l l y held by writers of epic and romance. In 1734 Jona-than Richardson wrote in his "Explanatory Notes and Remarks on Milton's Paradise Lost:" "He [Adam] i s not such a hero as 4 Achilles, Ulysses, Aeneas, Orlando, Godfrey, &c, a l l roman-t i c worthies and incredible performers of fortunate, savage cruelties; he i s one of a nobler kind, such as Milton chose to write of, and found he had a genius for the purpose. He i s not such a conqueror as subdued armies or nations, or en-emies in single combat, but his conquest was what justly gave heroic name to person and to poem. His hero was more than a r conqueror through Him that loved us." As Richardson implies, Milton sees Christian heroism possible only within the con-text of a right relationship with God, the God of the Holy Scriptures, and, therefore, finds something wanting in the cla s s i c a l man of action, especially the Homeric hero, such as Achilles, whose s e l f - g l o r i f i c a t i o n among men i s the expressed purpose of his deeds; whose success depends on his strength, personal decisions, and self-reliant attitude; and for whom violence, destruction, and k i l l i n g are natural and necessary elements of heroic activity. As we shall see, to Milton, the true hero should embody the Christian ethic of sanctification i n a superlative degree. Thus, he should derive his strength, wisdom, courage, compassion, leadership a b i l i t y , and magnani-mous character from God; should seek to glor i f y God alone; and should show an antipathy to martial methods of achieving peace, turning to them only when called upon by God to do so. While able to undertake martial warfare successfully, patient endur-ance of t r i a l s and temptations would be his greatest heroic act, the culmination of a number of s p i r i t u a l prerequisites: humility, faith, love. 5 These insights into Milton's notion of heroism are important for a c r i t i c a l reading of Paradise Lost. Not u n t i l ' we have c l a r i f i e d our definition of the standard of heroism upheld i n the poem, can any scholarly discussion of Milton's hero, or heroes, proceed. t 6 Chapter One: "This Subject f o r Heroic Song" I t took M i l t o n most of h i s l i f e t o develop f u l l y the a t t i t u d e toward heroism we f i n d expressed i n Paradise Lost. From h i s student days, M i l t o n gave much thought t o h i s i n -tended magnum opus; e v e n t u a l l y published i n 1667 i t was, i n -deed, of "long choosing,and beginning l a t e " (IX, 26). He scorned u n t h i n k i n g poets who give l i t t l e c o n s i d e r a t i o n t o mat-t e r s of prime s i g n i f i c a n c e , d e r i d i n g i n Reason of Church-Gov-ernment (I642) "the c o r r u p t i o n and bane ... of l i b i d i n o u s and ignorant P o e t a s t e r s , who having scars ever heard of t h a t which i s the main consistence of a t r u e poem, the choys of such per-sons as they ought t o i n t r o d u c e , and what i s m o r a l l and decent t o each one, doe f o r the most part l a p up v i t i o u s p r i n c i p l e s i n sweet p i l s t o be swallowed down, and make the t a s t of v e r -2 tuous documents harsh and sowr." The problem of the nature of h i s prospective hero, of the essence of true heroism, must have been h i g h l y important t o M i l t o n , f o r he returned t o i t again and again throughout the many years preceding the composition of Paradise Lost, and t h a t h i s epic i s fundamentally d i f f e r e n t from those of h i s predecessors i s due l a r g e l y t o h i s fundamentally d i f f e r e n t an-swer to this problem."^ Milton's earliest statement of epic intentions, i n At a Vacation Exercise (1628), while mention-ing no specific person or subject, suggests the desire to write a poem along the lines of the Il i a d or Odyssey. It i s not unlikely, then, that at this point, Milton held the classic a l , especially the Homeric, view of heroism, and believed i t suitable for a Christian poet aspiring to write an epic. This view i s also implicit i n his plan in Elegy VI (1629) to sing of wars and heaven under Jupiter in his prime, and pious heroes and chieftains half-divine, and ... [to sing] now of the sacred counsels of the gods on high, and now of the infernal realms where the fierce dog howls. (55-58) In Manso (I63O) Milton's proposed subject becomes more spe-c i f i c , but the nature of heroism remains unchanged; he desires to summon back our native kings into our songs, and Arthur, waging his wars beneath the earth, ... [to] proclaim the magnanimous heroes of the table which their mutual f i d e l -i t y made invincible, and ... [to] shatter the Saxon pha-lanxes under the British Mars! (SO-84) In Epitaphium Damonis (1639-1641) he implies that he has made a start on the Arthurian epic, but this i s the last we hear of any intention on Milton's part toward the completion of the project. The reason generally given to account for Milton's aban donment of his Arthurian epic i s his growing doubt about the hi s t o r i c i t y of Arthur.^" This i s unquestionably a major factor, 8 for i n Paradise Lost Milton e x p l i c i t l y states his aversion to dissect With long and tedious havoc fabl'd Knights In Battles feign'd. (IX, 29-3D Similarly, i n the History of Britain (1670), he states that he i s not one "who can accept of legends for good story," and he t e l l i n g l y comments that, with regard to Arthur, he doubts 5 "whether ever any such reign'd i n Britain." But a second factor of importance must not be ignored. In the early l640's a dramatic change i n Milton's thinking on the type of heroism suitable for epic treatment occured. In Reason of Church-Government. Milton mentions as outstanding models of epic literature, not only the masterworks of Homer and V i r g i l , but the Book of Job, a portrait of the just man who maintains his righteousness and faith in God despite the worst of t r i a l s . Significantly, Milton asks, "what King or Knight before the conquest might be chosen i n whom to lay the pattern of a Christian Heroe [?]" (p. 109). He i s now aware that a truly Christian epic demands a specifically Christian hero. He goes on to note the s u i t a b i l i t y as subjects for his great poem not only of "the deeds and triumphs of just and p i -i ous Nations doing valiantly through faith against the enemies of Christ," but, also, of the "victorious agonies of Martyrs and Saints" (p. 110). This i s a new note, one far removed from Homeric and Arthurian brands of heroism. When we consider the strong convictions Milton had long held regarding Christian heroism, i t i s not surprising that, i n time, he should come to see this form of heroic v i r -9 tue as a v i a b l e a l t e r n a t i v e t o t h a t espoused by the c l a s s i c a l epic poets. I n an e a r l y poem, "The Passion" ( I 6 3 O ) , M i l t o n had w r i t t e n : on our dearest Lord d i d s e i z e ere long, Dangers, and snares, and wrongs, and worse than so, Which he f o r us d i d f r e e l y undergo: Most p e r f e c t Hero, t r i e d i n he a v i e s t p l i g h t . Of lab o r s huge and hard, too hard f o r human wight. (10-14) Here M i l t o n f i n d s the Son of God the great exemplar of C h r i s t -i a n heroism, and sees the h e r o i c nature of C h r i s t ' s l i f e i n the v o l u n t a r y and redemptive aspects of His s u f f e r i n g . The same aspects are emphasized i n much of M i l t o n ' s l a t e r w r i t -i n g s , as i n t h i s passage from the F i r s t Defence (1651) when he s t a t e s t h a t " C h r i s t . . . , everyone knows, took on the l i k e n e s s not only of a subject but even of a s l a v e , f o r the very reason t h a t we might be f r e e not only inwardly, but a l s o p o l i t i c a l l y . ... By h i s b i r t h , h i s s e r v i t u d e and h i s s u f f e r i n g under t y -r a n t s , he has bought f o r us a l l t r u e l i b e r t y " (p. 4 0 5 ) . The important element of obedience i n C h r i s t ' s heroism i s demon-s t r a t e d by His assumption of the r o l e of a sub j e c t , f o r , as M i l t o n notes i n The Tenure of Kings and M a g i s t r a t e s ( 1 6 4 9 ) , "obedience i s the t r u e essence of a s u b j e c t " (p. 3 6 5 ) . Voluntary obedience which must u l t i m a t e l y i n v o l v e r e -demptive s u f f e r i n g l i e s a t the heart of M i l t o n ' s view of C h r i s t -i a n heroism. Such obedience i n v o l v e s not only the a c t i v e f u l -f i l l m e n t of commands, but a l s o the i n a c t i v e v i r t u e of patience. In the f i r s t part of Sonnet XIX ( 1 6 5 2 ) , M i l t o n expresses a f a i r l y t r a d i t i o n a l view of C h r i s t i a n s e r v i c e : "God doth not need 1 0 E i t h e r man's work or h i s own g i f t s ; who best Bear h i s m i l d yoke, they serve him best." He proceeds, however, t o add t h a t "'They a l s o serve who only stand and w a i t . ' " Equal importance i s given here t o p e r s i s -t e n t labour and i n a c t i v e patience. Patience n e c e s s a r i l y r e q u i r e s f a i t h , f o r the only b a s i s of one's s e r v i c e , whether w a i t i n g , s u f f e r i n g , or ac-t i v e l y working i s c o n f i d e n t assurance t h a t one's s e r v i c e i s not i n v a i n . The f a i t h which r e s u l t s i n h e r o i c patience un-d e r l i e s the confidence M i l t o n expresses i n Sonnet V I I (1632) on the occasion of h i s t w e n t y - t h i r d b i r t h d a y having passed w i t h l i t t l e of e t e r n a l merit yet accomplished: Yet be i t l e s s or more, or soon or slow, I t s h a l l be s t i l l i n s t r i c t e s t measure ev'n To t h a t same l o t , however mean or high, Toward which Time leads me, and the w i l l of Heav'n. Th i s f a i t h which produces patience remains present throughout much of M i l t o n ' s poetry, as i n h i s l a t e r Sonnet XXII (I655) on h i s b l i n d n e s s : I argue not Against heav'n's hand or w i l l , nor bate a j o t Of heart or hope; but s t i l l bear up and s t e e r Right onward. In Comus (I634) M i l t o n g i v e s f o r the f i r s t time ex-tended treatment t o the aspect of patience i n heroism. I t i s the Lady who p r i m a r i l y d i s p l a y s the q u a l i t i e s of h e r o i c pa-t i e n c e . Alone and l o s t at night i n the b l i n d mazes of a t a n -g l e d wood, w i t h the sound of rude and i n s o l e n t w a s s a i l e r s near, and a thousand other t e r r i b l e f a n t a s i e s beginning t o r i s e i n her imagination, she says c o n f i d e n t l y : These thoughts may s t a r t l e w e l l , but not astound The v i r t u o u s mind, t h a t ever walks attended By a s t r o n g s i d i n g champion Conscience. — 0 welcome pure-ey'd F a i t h , white-handed Hope, Thou h o v ' r i n g Angel g i r t w i t h golden wings, And thou unblemish't form of C h a s t i t y . (210-15) Conscience, f a i t h , hope, and c h a s t i t y : these are her wea-pons, and they are as removed from the weaponry of the c l a s -s i c a l hero as the Lady's f e m i n i n i t y i s from the robust mas-c u l i n i t y of an A c h i l l e s or an Aeneas. Her weakness i s her s t r e n g t h , however, f o r i t encourages her t o r e l y t o a g r e a t -er degree upon God, the t r u e source of a l l C h r i s t i a n v i c t o -r i e s . She b e l i e v e s That he, the Supreme good, t'whom a l l t h i n g s i l l Are but as s l a v i s h o f f i c e r s of vengeance, Would send a g l i s t ' r i n g Guardian, i f need were, To keep my l i f e and honor u n a s s a i l ' d . (217-20) Her t r i a l becomes more dramatic, when, bound to the s o r c e r e r ' s c h a i r , she f a c e s Comus's arguments designed t o tempt her t o indulge i n s e n s u a l r i o t . Not i n w a r d l y defeated, wearing no mind-forged manacles, she performs the h e r o i c act of r e s i s t i n g the tempter's w i l e s . Her confidence i n d i v i n e d e l i v e r a n c e i s rewarded by the complete r e s t o r a t i o n e f f e c t e d by her b r o t h e r s , the Attendant S p i r i t , and Sabrina. C o n s i d e r i n g t h e ^ s t r o n g i n f l u e n c e C h r i s t i a n heroism long h e l d on M i l t o n , we may b e t t e r a p p r e c i a t e why, i n 1642, he ceased t o r e g a r d the c l a s s i c a l p r e s u p p o s i t i o n s concerning hero-i c v i r t u e as the only ones appropriate f o r the e p i c . He had come to see those C h r i s t i a n v i r t u e s long e x t o l l e d i n non-epic l i t e r a t u r e , love, h u m i l i t y , obedience, patience, f a i t h , s a c r i -f i c e , s u f f e r i n g , martyrdom, as e q u a l l y s u i t a b l e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s 12 of heroism w i t h i n the framework of the e p i c . As M i l t o n gave f u r t h e r c o n s i d e r a t i o n i n the years t h a t f o l l o w e d t o a s p e c i f i c a l l y C h r i s t i a n form of epic hero-ism, he came t o see i t as, not j u s t e q u a l l y s u i t a b l e , but more s u i t a b l e f o r epic treatment than the Homeric or V i r g i l i a n modes of heroism. M i l t o n found t h a t on many p o i n t s the pat-t e r n of a C h r i s t i a n hero was at odds w i t h the c l a s s i c a l hero-i c i d e a l . M i l t o n f r a n k l y admits, i n Book IX of Paradise Lost, t h a t he i s Not sedulous by Nature t o i n d i t e Wars, h i t h e r t o the only Argument Heroic deem'd, c h i e f m a i s t r y t o d i s s e c t With long and t e d i o u s havoc f a b l ' d Knights I n B a t t l e s f e i g n ' d ; or t o desc r i b e Races and Games, Or t i l t i n g F u r n i t u r e , emblazon'd S h i e l d s , Impreses quaint, Caparisons and Steeds; Bases and t i n s e l Trappings, gorgeous Knights At Joust and Tournament; then marshall*d Feast Serv'd up i n H a l l w i t h Sewers, and Seneschals. (27-31, 33-36) M i l t o n ' s i m p l i c i t c r i t i c i s m of preceding e p i c s , expressed at the outset of Book IX, i s owing not t o any f a i l u r e on t h e i r part i n p o e t i c technique, but t o the employment of what other-wise may be e x c e l l e n t a r t i s t i c craftsmanship t o promote a f a u l t y , and hence c o r r u p t i n g , view of heroism. His o b j e c t i o n t o c l a s s i c a l heroism, any form of heroism i n f a c t which places i t s main emphasis on human g l o r i f i c a t i o n through m a r t i a l en-deavour, i s expressed by the Archangel M i c h a e l i n Book XI: prodigious B i r t h s of body or mind [,] Such were these Giants, men of high renown; For i n those days Might only s h a l l be admir'd, And V a l o r and Heroic V i r t u e c a l l ' d ; To overcome i n B a t t l e , and subdue 13 Nations, and b r i n g home s p o i l s w i t h i n f i n i t e Man-slaughter, s h a l l be h e l d the h i g h e s t p i t c h Of human Glory, and f o r Glory done Of triumph, t o be s t y l T d great Conquerors, Patrons of Mankind, Gods, and Sons of Gods, Destroyers r i g h t l i e r c a l l ' d and Plagues of Men. Thus Fame s h a l l be achiev'd, renown on Ea r t h , And what most merits fame i n s i l e n c e h i d . ( 637 - 9 9 ) Verse which e x t o l l s such q u a l i t i e s d i s p l a y s The s k i l l of A r t i f i c e or O f f i c e mean, Not t h a t which j u s t l y g i v e s Heroic name To Person or t o Poem. (IX, 3 9 - 4 1 ) M i l t o n f e e l s o b l i g e d , i n the i n t e r e s t of t r u t h and m o r a l i t y , t o r e j e c t the c l a s s i c a l norms of heroism as u n s u i t a b l e f o r a genuinely C h r i s t i a n e p i c , and t o r e v i s e many of the t r a d i t i o n -a l epic conventions to make them compatible w i t h h i s under-standing of C h r i s t i a n heroism. "Mee of th e s e , " w r i t e s M i l t o n , r e f e r r i n g t o the q u a l -i t i e s of c l a s s i c a l heroes, Nor s k i l l e d nor stu d i o u s , higher Argument Remains. (IX, 4 1 - 4 3 ) The argument M i l t o n presents i s hig h e r , because, i n the C h r i s t i a n context, i t d e p i c t s a form of heroism nobler, and t r u e r than c l a s s i c a l modes. I n the i n v o c a t i o n t o Book IX, M i l t o n c r i t i c i z e s preceding poets f o r l e a v i n g the b e t t e r f o r t i t u d e Of Patience and Heroic Martyrdom Unsung. / ( 3 1 - 3 3 ) These neglected aspects of heroism are the ones M i l t o n wish-es t o portray, f o r they are the great a c t s of h e r o i c v i r t u e from a C h r i s t i a n standpoint. Because these elements, patience 14 and martyrdom, a r e . i n v o l v e d i n the consequences of the f a l l of man, M i l t o n can f i n d the " b r e a c h / D i s l o y a l on the part of Man, r e v o l t , / A n d disobedience" an argument Not l e s s but more Heroic than the wrath Of s t e r n A c h i l l e s on h i s Foe pursued T h r i c e F u g i t i v e about Troy W a l l ; or rage Of Turnus f o r L a v i n i a disespous'd, Or Neptune's i r e or Juno's, t h a t so long Perplex'd the Greek and Cytherea's Son. (IX, 13-19) U n l i k e other R e n a i s s a n c e poets who sought t o combine c l a s s i c a l and C h r i s t i a n heroism, M i l t o n , r e a l i z i n g t h a t the two are e s s e n t i a l l y incompatible, f r a n k l y r e j e c t s the c l a s -s i c a l conception, g i v i n g c r u c i a l importance to the f r a i l t y of man, and e x p l o r i n g the s p i r i t u a l a t t r i b u t e s needed before hero-6 i c a c t i o n may take place. T h i s does not mean t h a t i n M i l -ton's view the C h r i s t i a n hero shares none of the q u a l i t i e s of the c l a s s i c a l hero. The former, however, w h i l e s i m i l a r t o h i s c l a s s i c a l counterpart i n some aspects, i s d i s t i n c t i n so 7 many ways t h a t the two types are mutually e x c l u s i v e as i d e a l modes of v i r t u o u s a c t i o n . This w i l l become c l e a r i f we consider three of the major areas i n which M i l t o n ' s heroism v a r i e s from t r a d i t i o n a l types: s t r e n g t h , wisdom, and l e a d e r s h i p a b i l i t y . With regard t o s t r e n g t h , the C h r i s t i a n hero, as M i l -t o n sees him, i s q u i t e d i f f e r e n t from the s e l f - r e l i a n t hero w i t h h i s vaunting speeches. The C h r i s t i a n hero has no cause to boast, f o r he r e a l i z e s t h a t h i s power i s a g i f t of God and 9 i t s continuance depends on His grace. The hero must confess t h a t , w h i l e a l l t h i n g s are p o s s i b l e when he goes forward i n 15 God's st r e n g t h , apart from Him he can do nothing. Since on-l y those who abandon r e l i a n c e upon t h e i r own s t r e n g t h and t r u s t i n s t e a d i n God r e c e i v e t h i s g i f t , i t i s evident t h a t f a i t h i s of extreme importance f o r h e r o i c s t r e n g t h . Brute s t r e n g t h alone, then, i s never s u f f i c i e n t f o r the C h r i s t i a n h e r o . ^ He may be a c t i v e as a w a r f a r i n g champion, i f God so w i l l s , but, u n l i k e the c l a s s i c a l hero, h i s endeavours are a l -ways under the c o n t r o l of reason and f a i t h . Another k i n d of h e r o i c s t r e n g t h i s p o s s i b l e f o r the C h r i s t i a n champion, th a t needed f o r the seemingly passive he-r o i c act of remaining p a t i e n t i n times of great s u f f e r i n g or temptation. Patience and h e r o i c martyrdom, which, as we have seen, r e c e i v e primary emphasis i n M i l t o n ' s view of heroism, were minor v i r t u e s , i f v i r t u e s at a l l , i n previous notions of epic heroism. The statement of the Apostle Paul, "when I am weak, then I am s t r o n g " ( I I Cor. 12:10), u n d e r l i e s t h i s n o t i o n of s t r e n g t h i n seeming weakness. M i l t o n had discovered the t r u t h of t h i s apparent paradox i n h i s own experience: I do not t h i n k i t miserable, as you do, t o be numbered among the b l i n d , the s i c k , the g r i e v i n g , and the weak, si n c e I may hope t h a t t h i s b r i n g s me c l o s e r t o the mercy and p r o t e c t i o n of God, my f a t h e r . Upon the witness of the A p o s t l e , one may g a i n great s t r e n g t h through weakness. May I be one of the weakest of men so long as my weakness be the cause of the e f f e c t i v e f l o w e r i n g of t h a t immortal and b e t t e r strength, and so long as my darkness remain the more b r i g h t l y i l l u m i n e d by the l i g h t of d i v i n e countenance. Then I s h a l l be both weak and strong, simultaneously b l i n d and most p e r c e p t i v e . Thus my i n f i r m i t y s h a l l become my p e r f e c t i o n and crowning g l o r y , and thus my darkness w i l l c l o t h e me i n radiance. (The Second Defense of the People of England. I654, p. 414). While the i d e a of s t r e n g t h i n weakness seems paradox-16 i c a l , the s o l u t i o n , l i e s i n the d i s t i n c t i o n between s t r e n g t h r e s u l t i n g from r e l i a n c e upon one's own p h y s i c a l c a p a c i t i e s , which i s r e a l l y a pseudo-strength, and the s t r e n g t h which r e -s u l t s when, by d i v i n e grace, God i n f u s e s t r u e s t r e n g t h i n t o 11 the man of f a i t h . The s t r e n g t h of patience, l i k e the s t r e n g t h of pious a c t i v i t y , r e s u l t s from the i n d i v i d u a l ' s confidence i n God to win the v i c t o r y i n any circumstance. As opposed to the c l a s s i c a l hero w i t h h i s c a l c u l a t e d stratagems and t a c t i c a l " w i l i n e s s , " the C h r i s t i a n hero, as M i l t o n conceives him, c h i e f l y e x e m p l i f i e s s p i r i t u a l wisdom. Such wisdom demands r i g h t reason to enable the hero to con-t r o l h i s passions at a l l times; d i v i n e r e v e l a t i o n to estab-l i s h t r u t h ; and h u m i l i t y , p e r m i t t i n g one t o see c l e a r l y the v a s t c o n t r a s t between the l i m i t e d wisdom of the c r e a t u r e and 12 the i n f i n i t e wisdom of the Creator. The t r u l y wise man, l i k e the h e r o i c a l l y s t r o n g man, i s such through h i s f a i t h i n God. Recognizing h i s unaided reason's l i m i t a t i o n s , t r u s t i n g i n s t e a d i n d i v i n e testimony and obeying i t s laws even when he does not understand them f u l l y , he stands up f o r the t r u t h 13 despite i n t e n s e l y m a l i c i o u s o p p o s i t i o n . F i n a l l y , we come to the l e a d e r s h i p aspect of heroism. M i l t o n f o l l o w s c l a s s i c a l precedent t h a t e p i c heroes should be outstanding c i v i l or m i l i t a r y d i g n i t a r i e s . ^ While he f u r -t h e r agrees t h a t the leader must be a magnanimous man of high and deserved d i g n i t y , h i s conception of h e r o i c l e a d e r s h i p goes beyond t h i s . The t r u e leader, w h i l e aware of h i s e x c e l -lence, i s a l s o aware t h a t t h i s too, l i k e the v i r t u e s of h e r o i c 17 s t r e n g t h and wisdom, i s a g i f t of God. Thus, i n s t e a d of the pr i d e which motivated the c l a s s i c a l champion's concern f o r personal honour, the C h r i s t i a n hero i s marked by an obedience to God and love of Him which lead him, when necessary, t o aban-15 don h i s g l o r y and accept h u m i l i a t i o n . The i d e a l of hero-i c l e a d e r s h i p , l i k e t h a t of s t r e n g t h and wisdom, r e q u i r e s f a i t h , f o r the leader's moral e x c e l l e n c e c o n s i s t s i n h i s w i l -l i n g n e s s t o obey God and s u f f e r f o r Him. Thus, f o r a l l h i s moral e x c e l l e n c e , s t r e n g t h , and wisdom, the hero i s not s e l f -s u f f i c i e n t ; r a t h e r he i s seen as a sub j e c t , a servant, even simply as an instrument of God, used by Him to accomplish His 17 mighty works. The primary emphasis i n H i l t o n ' s view of heroism, then, as we have seen, f a l l s upon t h a t form of patience which may be d e f i n e d as the s t e a d f a s t l o y a l t y t o God d i s p l a y e d i n times of extreme temptation or t r i a l . Deeds of t h i s type of patience are the gr e a t e s t a c t s of obedience which f a i t h , love, and h u m i l i t y can produce. Obedience i s a q u a l i t y which can on l y prove i t s e l f when t e s t e d by temptation, "For," as M i l t o n says i n Reason of Church-Government, " i f t here were no oppo-s i t i o n where were the t r i a l ! of an unfained goodnesse and mag-nanimity?" (p. 105). I m p l i c i t , of course, i s the n o t i o n of human f r e e 18 w i l l . A hero cannot be a mere puppet manipulated by God, "an Adam as he i s i n the motions" (p. 2 9 6 ) . Before any a c t of heroism can be accomplished, a choice has t o be made. One mode of a c t i o n has t o be adopted, and a multitude of other 18 p o s s i b l e a c t i o n s r e j e c t e d no matter how appealing they may be. The more d i f f i c u l t i t i s t o make the r i g h t moral choice, the gre a t e r the hero's v i r t u e i s proved t o be. I f patience i s the b a s i c s p i r i t u a l m o t i v a t i o n of M i l -ton's heroes, r e s i s t a n c e t o temptation i s the primary mode of 19 h e r o i c a c t i o n . P a r a d o x i c a l l y , t h i s k i n d of h e r o i c a c t i o n demands non-action; a b s t e n t i o n , i n other words, from some ev-i l a c t i v i t y . M i l t o n sees the h e r o i c v i c t o r y as won or l o s t f i r s t w i t h i n the s o u l ; only subsequently, and consequently, i n the e x t e r n a l f i e l d of human a c t i v i t y . The s t r u g g l e w i t h i n the s o u l becomes the f o c a l point f o r the a r t i s t t r y i n g t o portray 20 the dynamics of s p i r i t u a l heroism. Unfortunately, the C h r i s t i a n hero, as the B i b l e o n l y too c l e a r l y shows, i s not always i n v a r i a b l y s u c c e s s f u l ; even great heroes such as Moses, David, or Peter are f a l l i b l e . The hero has t o st r u g g l e throughout l i f e and remain at a l l times 21 completely ready f o r any a c t i o n and any s a c r i f i c e . The su-preme s a c r i f i c e , of course, i s "the Heavenly F o r t i t u d e of Martyrdome" (Of Reformation Touching Church D i s c i p l i n e i n En-gland, p. 48): "The C h r i s t i a n concept of he r o i c martyrdom ... s e t [ s ] up the courage of w i l l i n g n e s s t o undergo s a c r i f i c e a g a i n s t the concept of courage based upon p r i d e , honor, or 22 unreasoning stubbornness." The supreme' example of heroism i s C h r i s t , M i l t o n ' s "Most p e r f e c t Hero," who s t r u g g l e d not f o r a temporal or w o r l d l y end, not f o r the d e s t r u c t i o n of Troy o r the founding of Rome, but f o r an e t e r n a l g o a l , waging cosmic warfare on the 19 side of good against the powers of darkness i n order to es-23 tablish the New Jerusalem. While Christ i s the ultimate hero, triumphing over Satan, Sin, and Death on the cross, f a l -len man also becomes a victorious hero when, through faith, he vicariously partakes of Christ's triumph. The cosmic as-pect of Christ's struggle against Satan provides meaning for the suffering which the hero must undergo, for only in the perspective of the Christian view of the battle between good and e v i l , Christ and Satan, can the concept of heroic martyr-25 dom be understood. Before turning to Paradise Lost and a detailed exam-ination of i t s heroic aspects, we should note that, even af-ter his masterwork, Milton f e l t so strongly about his notion of heroism that he continued to give the exploration of i t f i r s t place i n his later epic and drama. A brief look at these works should lend weight to our argument, which has, by necessity, been rather general to this point. In Paradise Regained (1671) we see-heroic patience de-lineated i n the person of Christ. The Father's words to Gab-r i e l about the Son i n Book I clearly reveal the importance of the temptation motif i n this epic: > -this man born and now upgrown, To show him worthy of his birth divine And high prediction, henceforth I expose To Satan; let him /tempt and now assay His utmost subtlety, because he boasts And vaunts of his great cunning to the throng Of his Apostasy; he might have learnt Less overweening, since he f a i l ' d in Job. Whose constant perseverance overcame Whate*er his cruel malice could invent. (140-49) 20 These l a s t words are s i g n i f i c a n t , f o r M i l t o n long admired Job and considered him a hero of the f a i t h , a hero who proved h i s worth by p a t i e n t endurance of s u f f e r i n g . But C h r i s t w i l l prove even more exemplary than Job: He [Satan] now s h a l l know I can produce a man Of female Seed, f a r a b l e r t o r e s i s t A l l h i s s o l i c i t a t i o n s , and at length A l l h i s v a s t f o r c e , and d r i v e him back to H e l l , Winning by Conquest what the f i r s t man l o s t By f a l l a c y s u r p r i s ' d . ( I , 150-55) This may sound l i k e the c l a s s i c a l e p i c ' s emphasis on v i o l e n t conquest, but then we note the p r i o r s p i r i t u a l b a t t l e : But f i r s t I mean To e x e r c i s e him i n the Wilderness; There he s h a l l f i r s t l a y down the rudiments Of h i s great warfare,, ere I send him f o r t h To conquer S i n and Death the two grand foes, By H u m i l i a t i o n and s t r o n g Sufferance. ( 1 5 5 - 6 0 ) H u m i l i t y and the a b i l i t y to endure s u f f e r i n g are t o be the primary weapons of warfare, and, once again, as w i t h the Lady i n Comus, weakness i s seen as a source of s t r e n g t h which i s c r u c i a l t o the u l t i m a t e v i c t o r y : H i s weakness s h a l l o'ercome Sa t a n i c s t r e n g t h And a l l the world, and mass of s i n f u l f l e s h . S ( 1 6 1 - 6 2 ) L i k e the Lady, He i s tempted by the specious arguments of an a r c h - d e c e i v e r . Each of Satan's o f f e r s to C h r i s t , food, proof of p e r s o n a l i d e n t i t y t o Himself and others, the worship of the world, are t h i n g s C h r i s t d e s i r e s g r e a t l y , and are a v a i l -able immediately and w i t h comparatively l i t t l e t r o u b l e . But each o f f e r i n v o l v e s disobedience t o God's sovereign w i l l , and 21 the Son heroically refuses to disobey. The temptation, bas-i c a l l y , i s to take things out of God's hands, and to act au-tonomously. The Son recognizes that a l l depends on God and must be done according to His w i l l . Heroic patience and martyrdom are present also i n Samson Agonistes (1671), though the following lines might seem to indicate just the opposite: Oh how comely i t i s and reviving To the Spirits of just men long opprest! When God into the hands of t h i r deliverer Puts invincible might To quell the mighty of the Earth, th'oppressor, The brute and boist'rous force of violent men Hee a l l t h i r Ammunition And feats of War defeats With plain Heroic magnitude of mind And c e l e s t i a l vigor arm'd, Thir Armories and Magazines contemns, Renders them useless, while With winged expedition Swift as the lightning glance he executes His errand on the wicked, who surpris'd Lose t h i r defense, distracted and amaz'd. (1268-86) While this i s somewhat similar to the c l a s s i c a l he-ro's engagement i n violence and k i l l i n g , we should note some fundamental differences. This hero's strength and wisdom are' unquestionably derived from God, and, as the results of Da-l i l a ' s shearing Samson's locks make clear, are g i f t s of divine grace, not human merit, which remain only as long as the re-cipient maintains a f a i t h f u l obedience. Furthermore, the war-ri o r seeks to enhance God's glory, not his ,own. This type of active Christian heroism, moreover, i s the exception, not the rule: 22 But patience i s more o f t the e x e r c i s e Of S a i n t s , the t r i a l of t h i r f o r t i t u d e , Making them each h i s own D e l i v e r e r , And V i c t o r over a l l That tyranny or fo r t u n e can i n f l i c t . (1287-91) T h i s i s the d i s t i n c t i v e brand of heroism which we have noted as c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of M i l t o n ' s n o t i o n of epic v i r t u e . Again we see the f a m i l i a r p a t t e r n of r e s i s t a n c e t o temptation, and, as w i t h C h r i s t , t h i s i s a p r i o r c o n d i t i o n t o any a c t i v e phys-i c a l conquest. Samson s u c c e s s f u l l y r e s i s t s the temptations presented t o him i n v a r i o u s d i s g u i s e s : t o escape h i s punish-ment j u s t l y imposed by God by r e t u r n i n g home w i t h Manoa; t o give i n t o h i s weakness f o r women by acceding t o D a l i l a ' s wishes; and, most s u b t l e of a l l , t o d e s p a i r of God's grace. Having achieved the v i c t o r y w i t h i n , he i s e s t a b l i s h e d as a C h r i s t i a n hero, and i s ready t o do b a t t l e w i t h the P h i l i s t i n e s . The p a t t e r n we see repeated then i n these l a s t poems, t h a t of a hero r e s i s t i n g the temptation t o f u l f i l l h i s own very s t r o n g d e s i r e s when he r e a l i z e s t h a t t o do so would go agains t the higher w i l l of God, i s completely i n accord w i t h our e a r l i e r statements concerning M i l t o n ' s i d e a of C h r i s t i a n heroism. With these c o n c l u s i o n s i n mind, l e t us t u r n now t o a c o n s i d e r a t i o n of Paradise Lost i t s e l f . 23 Chapter Two: D i v i n e and Demonic Heroism In Paradise Lost M i l t o n attempts f o r the f i r s t time t o g i v e epic treatment t o h i s i d e a of heroism. He se t s about t h i s by undermining those i n h e r e n t l y s e c u l a r e x p e c t a t i o n s which we have noted as c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the c l a s s i c a l hero, and p r o v i d i n g i n t h e i r place the c o n t r a s t i n g C h r i s t i a n i d e a l s . Books I t o I I I c o n s t i t u t e an e s s e n t i a l phase of h i s d e f i n i t i o n of t r u e epic v i r t u e . At the outset of h i s e p i c , i n the i n v o c a t i o n , M i l t o n g i v e s the reader i n capsule form the essence of v i l l a i n y and the b a s i s of heroism. The negative i s presented f i r s t : Of Man's F i r s t Disobedience, and the F r u i t Of t h a t Forbidden Tree, whose m o r t a l t a s t e Brought Death i n t o the World, and a l l our woe, With l o s s of Eden. Sing Heav'nly Muse. (1-4, 6) The heavy rhythmic weignts of "Disobedience" and "Forbidden" are s i g n i f i c a n t ; they emphasize t h a t e v i l i s the r e f u s a l t o obey a u t h o r i t y . " M o r t a l , " "Death," "woe," and " l o s s " are a l s o weighty r h y t h m i c a l l y , f o r they suggest the r e s u l t s of such v i l l a i n o u s a c t s . Heroism i s then s u c c i n c t l y demonstrated; we have l o s t 24 Eden t i l l one gre a t e r Man Restore us, and r e g a i n the b l i s s f u l Seat. (4-5) "Restore" and " r e g a i n , " emphasized by a l l i t e r a t i o n as w e l l as rhythm, are words which sum up the fundamental a c t of heroism: the r e s t o r a t i o n of others t o t h e i r r i g h t s , property, or capa-b i l i t i e s . The r e s u l t of such h e r o i c a c t i v i t y i s b l i s s . M i l t o n uses the c o n t r a s t i n g f i g u r e s of Satan and C h r i s t t o continue h i s d e l i n e a t i o n of heroism i n Books I t o I I I . He moves e x p e r t l y from the opening i n v o c a t i o n t o the main body of h i s poem by a bridge i n the form of a d i r e c t q u e s t i o n which i s of i n t e r e s t t o us, f o r i t concerns "our Grand Parents:" Say f i r s t , f o r Heav'n hides nothing from thy view Nor the deep Tract of H e l l , say f i r s t what cause Mov'd our Grand Parents i n t h a t happy S t a t e , Favor*d of Heav'n so h i g h l y , t o f a l l o f f From t h i r Creator, and t r a n s g r e s s h i s W i l l For one r e s t r a i n t , Lords of the World besides? ( I , 27-32) I n asking the o r i g i n of man's f i r s t disobedience, M i l t o n asks here f o r the Muse t o t e l l him the "cause," a word which does not n e c e s s a r i l y i n d i c a t e the agency of another being. The next l i n e , however, permits no such ambiguity, and we see t h a t the human v i l l a i n y i s a r e s u l t of the v i l l a i n y of someone e l s e : "Who f i r s t seduc'd them t o t h a t f o u l r e v o l t ? " ( I , 3 3 ) . Thi s seducing being, r e s p o n s i b l e f o r not only our grand parents' misery, but " a l l our woe," i s " T h ' i n f e r n a l Ser-pent" ( I , 3 4 ) . " I n f e r n a l " may r e f e r t o the place of doom of the serpent, H e l l , or t o t h i s being's h e l l i s h a t t r i b u t e s . As 25 M i l t o n proceeds w i t h the opening of h i s n a r r a t i v e , we see t h a t both meanings apply: hee i t was, whose g u i l e S t i r r T d up w i t h Envy and Revenge, deceiv'd The Mother of Mankind; what time h i s P r i d e Had cast him out from Heav'n, w i t h a l l h i s Host Of Rebel Angels, by whose a i d a s p i r i n g To set h i m s e l f i n Glory above h i s Peers, He t r u s t e d t o have e q u a l l ' d the most High, I f he oppos'd; and w i t h ambitious aim Against the Throne and Monarchy of God R a i s ' d impious War i n Heav'n and B a t t l e proud With v a i n attempt. ( I , 34-44) In the space of eleven l i n e s , M i l t o n i s able t o g i v e us a s p l e n d i d l y concise d e s c r i p t i o n of the serpent's a t t r i b u t e s : g u i l e (34), envy (35), revenge (35), d e c e i t (35), p r i d e (36), r e b e l l i o u s n e s s (37-41), ambition (41), and impiety (43). Not only i s he the source of human misery, he a l s o trampled on the r i g h t s of h i s equals, f o r he had t r i e d "To set h i m s e l f i n Glo-r y above h i s Peers." The b l a t a n t i n j u s t i c e here i s matched and surpassed i n the f o l l o w i n g l i n e : "He t r u s t e d t o have e q u a l l ' d the most High." The attempt by an i n f e r i o r t o equal t h a t which i s "the most High" i s as m o r a l l y unjust as i t i s l o g i c a l l y absurd and p h y s i c a l l y i m p o s s i b l e . Lest we f e e l we may be d e a l i n g w i t h one who has been t e m p o r a r i l y p r o d i g a l but may soon repent, M i l t o n destroys such a p o s s i b i l i t y a few l i n e s f u r t h e r on by c a l l i n g a t t e n t i o n t o the two b a s i c c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the serpent: round he throws h i s b a l e f u l eyes That witness*d huge a f f l i c t i o n and dismay M i x t w i t h obdurate p r i d e and s t e a d f a s t hate. ( I , 56-53) The obdurate and s t e a d f a s t nature of the serpent's 26 v i l l a i n y , which his eyes make evident ("witnessTd"), rules out the possibility of his repentance. From this i t should be apparent that the serpent merits the "Prison" (71) to which, for his "crime" (79), he has been condemned by "Eternal Jus-t i c e " (70). Only at the end of this massive portrait of e v i l does Milton reveal the name of this character, but even as he does so he adds one more epithet: "th'Arch-Enemy" (81). By not specifying whose arch-enemy the serpent i s , Milton has given the epithet a universal application. The serpent, whom we are now at last informed i s "i n Heav'n call'd Satan" (83), i s not the enemy only of God and of those loyal to Him, but also of a l l mankind, and even of his own compeers. Everybody's enemy, he i s ultimately his own worst enemy as well. Milton has carefully bu i l t up the case against Satan without relying on any value judgment which the name "Satan" might evoke for his readers. Why a l l this trouble? Why not simply state at the outset that we are dealing here with Sa-tan, and let the reader's background knowledge and emotional reactions supply the rest? Largely, because Milton i s about to attempt something a r t i s t i c a l l y breath-taking. He i s about to clothe the v i l l a i n of his poem i n the garb traditionally worn by the cl a s s i c a l hero. The purpose of this has been ac-curately described by Harding: "For c r i t i c i z i n g the brand of heroism which the l i f e and death of Christ had relegated to a position of the second order, what more t e l l i n g device was available to Miiton than to embody the old heroism i n Satan and then to discredit i t by exposing i t s deficiencies and inade-27 2 quacies?" But, in so doing, Milton runs the risk of enhancing Sa-tan too much in the reader's eyes, and of drawing forth reac-tions of approval from his audience which i t had been cultur-a l l y conditioned to accord to heroes. Ambiguity and confusion are po s s i b i l i t i e s , but the worst reaction would be rejection by his Christian readership of his epic as immoral i f i t were thought to be whole-heartedly advocating Satan as a hero to be emulated. The long preamble to the introduction of Satan's name i s intended to prevent this. Milton takes care throughout the poem, but particu-l a r l y i n Books I and II, to reaffirm the effect of the pre-amble. Milton's portrayal of Satan's character constantly shifts abruptly from appearance to reality, often revealing as i t does so one of Satan's prime characteristics: hypocrisy. After one of Satan's grand performances or speeches, Milton generally supplies a comment which bursts the grand i l l u s i o n created by the fallen angel and uncovers the true nature of things, as i n the following passage where a single word i s sufficient for the poet's purpose: Forthwith upright he rears from off the Pool His mighty Stature; on each hand the flames Driv'n backward slope t h i r pointing spires, and r o l l ' d In billows, leave i ' th' midst a horrid Vale. Then with expanded wings he steers his f l i g h t Aloft, incumbent on the dusky Air That f e l t unusual weight, t i l l on dry Land He lights, i f i t were Land that ever burn'd With solid, as the Lake with liquid f i r e And such appear'd in hue; Such resting found the sole Of unblest feet. ("I, 2 2 1 - 3 0 , 2 3 7 - 3 8 ) 28 I t i s n o t n e c e s s a r y t h a t t h e r e a d e r no te t h e f a t e f u l s i m i l a r -i t y be tween S a t a n ' s doomed f l i g h t and t h a t of I c a r u s , who w i t h h i s f a t h e r a l s o f l e w " w i t h expanded w i n g s , " b o t h " g l o r y i n g t o have s c a p ' t . . . /A s Gods " (239-40) f r o m t h e i r p r i s o n . W i t h one word , " u n b l e s t , " M i l t o n u n d e r c u t s f a v o u r a b l e r e a c t i o n t o t h e c h a r a c t e r who i s p e r f o r m i n g such an a p p a r e n t l y g r and f e a t . T h i s u n d e r c u t t i n g i s i m p o r t a n t , f o r b y embody ing c l a s s i c a l h e r o i c q u a l i t i e s i n S a t a n who i s exposed as f r a u d -u l e n t a g a i n and a g a i n , M i l t o n a t t h e same t i m e unde rm ine s t h e t r a d i t i o n a l h e r o i c v a l u e s t h e m s e l v e s . T h i s s h o u l d become c l e a r i f we c o n s i d e r S a t a n a c c o r d i n g t o t h e t h r e e c l a s s i c a l f o r m u l a s o f h e r o i c v i r t u e w h i c h we have no ted a r e a t v a r i a n c e w i t h M i l t o n ' s h e r o i s m : s t r e n g t h , w i sdom, and l e a d e r s h i p a b i l -i t y . S a t a n ' s s u p e r l a t i v e s t r e n g t h i s o f t h e same k i n d o f b r u t e p h y s i c a l m igh t w h i c h an A c h i l l e s o r an A j a x g l o r i e d i n . One o f t h e p h y s i c a l a s p e c t s o f h e r o i s m w h i c h c o u n t e d f o r a 3 good d e a l w i t h t h e c l a s s i c a l w r i t e r s was p e r s o n a l a p p e a r a n c e . I n t h i s r e s p e c t , S a t a n ' s s i z e i s a match f o r t h e l a r g e s t o f c l a s s i c a l f i g u r e s ; " e x t e n d e d l o n g and l a r g e " we see h im l i e f l o a t i n g many a r o o d , i n b u l k as huge As whom t h e F a b l e s name o f mon s t r ou s s i z e , T i t a n i a n . o r E a r t h - b o r n , t h a t w a r r ' d on J o v e , B r i a r e o s o r Tyjphon, whom t h e Den By a n c i e n t T a r s u s h e l d . ( I , 196-200) S a t a n ' s appea rance i s g r e a t e r t h a n t h a t of p r e v i o u s e p i c h e -r o e s , f o r , when we see h i m f i r s t , h i s f o r m has no t l o s t " A l l h e r O r i g i n a l b r i g h t n e s s " ( I , 592) no r a p p e a r s L e s s t h a n A r c h - A n g e l r u i n ' d , and th» e x c e s s 29 Of G l o r y obscur'd. ( I , 593 -94) and he i s the foremost of a host of Godlike shapes and forms E x c e l l i n g human, P r i n c e l y D i g n i t i e s , And Powers t h a t e r s t i n Heaven sat on Thrones. ( I , 35^-60) M i l t o n e x p l i c i t l y compares the f a l l e n angels t o the ancient heroes, and f i n d s the former t o e x c e l i n those q u a l i t i e s t r a -d i t i o n a l l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h heroes: never s i n c e c r e a t e d man, Met such imbodied f o r c e , as nam'd w i t h these Could merit more than t h a t s m a l l i n f a n t r y Warr'd on by Cranes: though a l l the Giant brood Of Phlegra w i t h t h ' Heroic Race were j o i n ' d That fought at Thebes and I l i u m , on each s i d e M i x t w i t h a u x i l i a r Gods; Thus f a r these beyond Compare of m o r t a l prowess. . ( I , 573-79, 587-28) As h i s f o l l o w e r s e x c e l the Greek and Roman heroes, so Satan overshadows h i s f o l l o w e r s , as M i l t o n shows i n the f o l l o w -i n g passage: he above the r e s t In shape and gesture proudly eminent Stood l i k e a Tow'r. ( I , 589-91) T h i s passage strengthens M i l t o n ' s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of Satan w i t h the c l a s s i c a l hero, f o r i t i s borrowed l a r g e l y from V i r g i l ' s d e s c r i p t i o n of Turnus i n Book V I I of the Aeneid, which f o l l o w s , as does M i l t o n ' s l i n e s , a r o l l c a l l : ^ Himself too among the foremost, s p l e n d i d i n beauty of body, Turnus moves armed and towers a whole head over a l l . Satan's s t r e n g t h i s i n d i c a t e d not o n l y by these com-parisons, but a l s o by a c t u a l p h y s i c a l endeavours. He i s the 30 f i r s t to escape the Stygian pool, and when he c a l l s his troops he c a l l s so loud, that a l l the hollow Deep Of Hell resoundedi (I, 314-15) The weapons and armor of the c l a s s i c a l hero were most signif-icant, for they symbolized his tremendous stature; none but 5 Achilles could handle his spear, none but Odysseus his bow. Similarly, Satan's strength i s attested by the huge armour, superior to that of any c l a s s i c a l hero, which he bears: the superior Fiend Was moving toward the shore; his ponderous shield Ethereal temper, massy, large and round, Behind him cast; the broad circumference Hung on his shoulders like the Moon, His Spear, to equal which the t a l l e s t Pine Hewn on Norwegian h i l l s , to be the Mast Of some great Ammiral, were but a wand, He walkt with. (I, 283-87, 292-95) Finally, Satan's epic journey from Hell through the realm of Chaos and Old Night to Earth requires prodigious strength. The journey i s reminiscent of Jason's or Odysseus's, but i s far more dangerous; this "Voyage" (II, 919) i s across "no narrow f r i t h " (919), but over "a dark/Illimitable Ocean with-out bound" (891-92) where "time and place are lost" (894), and requires the utmost from Satan's "Sail-broad Vans" (927). After "many a League". (929) he meets his Scylla and "drops/ Ten thousand fadom deep" (933-34), but escapes only to face a Charybdis; "behoves him now both Oar and S a i l " (942). Before he i s able, "like a weather-beaten Vessel" (1043) with "Shrouds and Tackle torn" (1044) to reach "the Port" (1044), 3 1 he i s harder beset And more endangerTd, than when Argo passed Through Bosporus betwixt the justling Rocks: Or when Ulysses on the Larboard shunn'd Charybdis, and by t h T other whirlpool steer Td. (II, 1016-20) We have already seen that, while physical strength i s essential to the class i c a l hero, wisdom also played an im-portant role. For the hero, "since wits are another sign that he surpasses other men, there i s nothing discreditable i n their use to secure some glorious end.... At the lowest lev-e l i t might be argued that since the hero Ts chief aim i s to exert his own w i l l and get what he wants there i s no reason 6 why he should not use guile." Satan, in the half-truths, l i e s , and disguises he uses to manipulate Beelzebub, the out-come of the Stygian Council, Sin and Death, Chaos and Ancient Night, and Uriel, employs the same wiliness which character-ized the Greek hero Odysseus. Satan himself i s keenly anxious that his claim to heroic wisdom not be doubted: For mee be witness a l l the Host of HeavTn, If counsels different, or danger shunnTd By me, have lost our hopes. (I, 6 3 5 - 3 7 ) Satan, however, i s far superior to Odysseus i n guile, for he i s the "fraudulent Impostor foul" (III, 692) who beguil'd Uriel, though Regent of the Sun, and held The sharpest-sighted Spirit of a l l i n Heav'n. ( I l l , 639-91) Having lost a war based primarily on might, Satan now i s com-mitted to a course of wiliness and deceit: our better part remains 32 To work i n close design, by fraud or guile What force effected not. (I, 6 4 5 - 4 7 ) The council he calls to discuss the matter resembles the Ho-meric council in which heroes assemble to share wisdom and plot strategy.^ With respect to the formula of the heroic leader, we have already noted that cla s s i c a l tradition held that the greatest heroes were men whose magnanimity was attested to by their being placed i n outstanding c i v i l or military positions. Satan i s his followers' "great Sultan" (I, 3 4 & ) , and i s anx-ious that the ceremony due to his position be observed. Having raised his troops' s p i r i t s , he straight commands that at the warlike sound Of Trumpets loud and Clarions be uprear'd His mighty Standard. (I, 531-33) The magnificent temple, Pandemonium, i s built as his "high Capitol" (I, 7 5 6 ) , and "winged Heralds by command/Of Sovran power, with awful Ceremony/And Trumpets' sound" ( 7 5 2 - 5 4 ) de-liver his proclamations. The opulence of "State," as well as the dignity of ceremony, i s sought by Satan: High on a Throne of Royal State, which far Outshone the wealth of Ormus and of Ind, Or where the gorgeous East with richest hand Show'rs on her Kings Barbaric Pearl and Gold, Satan exalted sat., (II, 1-5) Such luxury reminds one of the c l a s s i c a l banqueting and royal splendour which characterized Dido's reception of Aeneas and' his Trojans at the conclusion of the f i r s t book of the Aeneid: 33 The queen receives them, on a golden couch Below the royal tapestries, where spreads Of crimson wait Aeneas and his Trojans. 8 That Satan i s a hero i n the cl a s s i c a l tradition can be inferred from Milton's description of his followers. They are armed with "Spears" (I, 5 4 7 ) , "Helms" ( 5 4 7 ) , and "serried Shields" (548) and march "In perfect Phalanx" (550) to "Mar-t i a l sounds" (540) such as rais'd To highth of noblest temper Heroes old Arming to Battle. (I, 551-53) When a volunteer i s needed to pursue alone the dread-f u l voyage to spy out God's newly created world, Satan, like 9 many a cla s s i c a l hero faced with a c r i t i c a l emergency, volun-teers himself. Even the words he speaks i n acceptance of the challenge help reinforce the portrait of Satan as a cla s s i c a l leader, for they allude to the Sybil's advice to the leader Aeneas i n Book VI of the Aeneid: i t i s easy, the descending Down to Avernus. But to climb again, To trace the footsteps back to the air above, There li e s the task, the t o i l . (p. 148) Satan says: long i s the way And hard, that out of Hell leads up to light. (II, 4 3 2 - 3 3 ) It should be evident by now that Milton has incorporat-ed i n the character of Satan a great many of the qualities of the c l a s s i c a l hero. Milton undermines Satan in each of the heroic formulas we have looked at, and in doing so, casts doubt upon the classical ideal of heroism as well. 34 The basic fault which Milton reveals in Satan, and which he implies about the old heroic creed, i s pride. Satan appears not simply eminent above the rest, but "proudly emi-nent" (I, 590). Milton shows that beneath the Archangelic exterior reigns pride: yet shone Above them a l l th'Arch-Angel: but his face Deep scars of Thunder had intrencht, and care Sat on his faded cheek, but under Brows Of dauntless courage, and considerate Pride Waiting revenge. (I, 5 9 9 - 6 0 4 ) Satan i s proud of his might; when he sees his troops, his heart Distends with pride, and hard'ning in his strength Glories. (I, 571-73) This pride i s present in his every speech, and i n his "Vaunt-ing aloud" (I, 126) he strikes the boasting tone customary in the addresses of the c l a s s i c a l warrior. Diomedes' answer to Paris i n Book XI of the Ili a d i s a typical example: "Bowman, reviler, proud in thy bow of horn, thou gaper after g i r l s , verily i f thou madest t r i a l in f u l l harness, man to man, thy bow and showers of shafts would nothing avail thee, but now thou boastest vainly, for that thou hast grazed the sole of my foot. I care not, more than i f a woman had struck me or a senseless boy, for feeble i s the dart of a craven man and a worthless. In other wise from my hand, yea, i f i t do but touch, the sharp shaft f l i e t h , and straightway layeth low i t s man, and torn are the cheeks of his wife, and fatherless his children, and he, reddening the earth with his blood, doth rot away, more birds than women round him."!-1-/ • • The boastful pride evident here i s also clearly demonstrated by Satan, as i n the following speech to his troops: 0 Myriads of immortal Spirits, 0 Powers Matchless, but with th'Almighty, and that s t r i f e Was not inglorious, 3 5 what power of mind Foreseeing or presaging, from the Depth Of knowledge past or present, could have fear'd How such united force of Gods, how such As stood like these, could ever know repulse? For who can yet believe, though after loss, That a l l these puissant Legions, whose exile Hath emptied Heav'n, shal l f a i l to re-ascend Self-rais'd, and repossess t h i r native seat? (I, 622-24, 6 2 6 - 3 4 ) The word "Self-raised" i s important, for i t suggests the s e l f -reliant attitude typical of cl a s s i c a l heroes. Such s e l f - r e l i -ance Milton implies, arises not from a true evaluation of the nature of things, but from arrogance. The "wisdom" of Satan and the c l a s s i c a l heroes i s a l -so corrupted by pride. Milton's brief description of Satan's f i r s t speech to his troops reveals the motivation behind the pseudo-logic of a l l Satan's speeches: he his wonted pride Soon recollecting, with high words, that bore Semblance of worth, not substance, gently rais'd Thir fainting courage, and dispell»d t h i r fears. (I, 5 2 7 - 3 0 ; emphasis mine) Satan's essential f o l l y i s displayed in his nt-.xt speech, for, acknowledging God to be "Matchless" i n open combat, he pre-sumes that a new war prosecuted by guile may be effective, since he who overcomes by force "hath overcome but half his foe" (I, 649). He cannot see that he i s not half, but wholly undone, that he would never have escaped the Stygian flood were i t not for "the sufferance of supernal Power" (I, 241). Satan's "wisdom," then, like the unscrupulous guile which a cla s s i c a l hero such as Odysseus frequently resorted to, con-sists primarily of an a b i l i t y to deceive others, and an i n a b i l -i t y to undeceive himself.. Only when the human intelle c t i s d i -36 rected toward an end truly worthy i s wisdom possible in M i l -ton's view; in this respect he found both Satan and the clas-s i c a l heroes inadequate. The same i s true of Satan as leader; the greatness of his leadership qualities i s vitiated by his use of them to promote a corrupt regime. It i s clear from his love of order, ceremony, opulence, and glory that he i s committed to a hier-archical social structure, but the thing of prime importance to him i s that he should be at the top of such a structure: in my choice To reign i s worth ambition though in Hell: Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heav'n. (I, 2 6 1 - 6 3 ) He does not want his followers to cease to believe that, i n his words, Mee ... just right and the f i x t Laws of Heav'n Did f i r s t create your Leader (II, 18-19) yet at the same time he w i l l not recognize the truth of his own statement that he Who now i s Sovran can dispose and bid What shall be right. (I, 2 4 5 - 4 7 ) Satan acknowledges the sovereignty of God, and hence His right to.be Lord of Lords, yet he w i l l not serve. Satan's un-willingness to accept any position of authority less than the highest perverts his value as a leader and, instead of his rule benefitting his followers, his actions result in their condem-nation: condemn*d For ever now to have t h i r lot i n pain, 37 Millions of Spirits for his fault amerc't Of Heav'n, and from Eternal Splendors flung For his revolt. (I, 6 0 7 - 1 1 ) Pride, of course, i s behind Satan's desire to be lead-er, and his heroic a c t i v i t i e s as leader are undertaken simply to remain unrivalled i n that position. Milton i s at pains to make i t clear what are the motivating impulses behind Satan's offer to undertake the epic journey alone. Eefore Satan speaks to make his offer, we are told: at last Satan, whom now transcendent glory rais'd Above his fellows, with Monarchal pride Conscious of highest worth, unmov'd thus spake. (II, 4 2 6 - 2 9 ) This same pride, highly conscious of glory and renown, Milton reveals i n Satan at the conclusion of his offer: Thus saying rose The Monarch, and prevented a l l reply, Prudent, lest from his resolution rais'd Others among the chief might offer now (Certain to be refus'd) what erst they fear'd; And so refus'd might i n opinion stand His Rivals, winning cheap the high repute Which he through hazard huge must earn. (II, 4 6 6 - 7 3 ) A desire for sel f - g l o r i f i c a t i o n , not any a l t r u i s t i c notion, i s clearly shown to be the motivation here. In this desire he 12 resembles many classical heroes, especially Achilles. M i l -ton i s opposed to this desire, for, as with Satan and Achilles, i t eventually leads to rebellion against authority. who can think Submission? War then, War Open or understood, must be resolv'd, (I, 6 6 1 - 6 2 ) cries Satan. Because pride i s so central a characteristic of Satan, and i s the causal factor i n his rebellion, Milton says, as he introduces the f a l l e n Archangel chained on the burning lake, that i t was his Pride Had cast him out from Heav'n. (I, 3 6 - 3 7 ) Rejecting Satan, Milton at the same time makes i t clear to the reader that he i s also rejecting the c l a s s i c a l type of heroism. The ground i s thus prepared for him to pro-vide an alternative type of heroism. Those who complain that Milton upsets the balance of his poem by presenting such an appealing character as Satan f i r s t , creating an impression which the reader cannot entirely escape from afterwards, miss the point; i n presenting a form of heroism at variance with that traditionally approved, he wisely decides to expose the shortcomings of the old hero before, introducing the new. Qualities of Milton's alternate form of heroism appear i n the Son. The Son's introduction in Book III i s far different from Satan's, being, in comparison, quite brief. Milton does not have to fear that his reader w i l l misinterpret him here. The entire introduction takes a l i t t l e more than eight lines: Now had th'Almighty Father from above, From the pure Empyrean where he sits High Thron'd above a l l highth, bent down his eye, His own works and their works at once to view: About him a l l the Sanctities of Heaven Stood thick as Stars, and from his sight receiv'd Beatitude past utterance; on his right The radiant image of his Glory sat, His only Son. ( I l l , 5 6 - 6 4 ) The Father i s described f i r s t : "Almighty" and "High Thron'd above a l l highth" reveal the exalted nature of His person; 39 "pure" describes that which He creates, and hence that which He i s , and "Sanctities" implies the same; the word "Father" conveys His concern for "His own works and their works;" and the "Beatitude past utterance" which He bestows on the inhab-itants of Heaven suggests the loving regard He has for His creation. This description puts content into Milton's intro-duction of the Son as "The radiant image of his Glory," the words "radiant" and "Glory" having an especially strong emo-tional appeal for the reader. Even i f we set aside the attitudes prevalent among seventeenth-century readers and later developments within the epic i t s e l f , i t i s evident from the way Milton introduces Sa-tan and the Son that the poet has provided the reader with characters who are morally polar opposites. Upon the former negative pole he hangs the old heroic ethic, upon the latter positive pole he founds his new heroism. The Son of God, Milton's great exemplar of Christian heroism, provides the contrast to Satan's pseudo-heroism. In terms of strength, we find Him matchless i n the only type of heroic strength Satan knows, physical combat. In an apostrophe to the Son, Milton writes that the Father by thee threw down Th* aspiring Dominations: thou that day Thy father's dreadful Thunder didst not spare, Nor stop thy flaming Chariot wheels, that shook Heav'n's everlasting Frame, while o'er the necks Thou drov'st of warring Angels disarray'd. ( I l l , 3 9 1 - 9 6 ) The Son's "fierce vengeance" (III, 399) here, however, i s not the sheer brute strength of classical heroes and of Satan, be-40 cause reason and piety at a l l times control His endeavours. The combination of reason and piety, never present in Satan, i s often lacking in c l a s s i c a l heroes' acts; even Aeneas, the most reasonable and pious of ancient warriors, at times shows unbelief and i r r a t i o n a l passion. In direct contrast to Satan and c l a s s i c a l epic heroes i s another kind of heroic strength which the Son manifests. This i s the strength of patience, which, as we have seen, re-ceives prime emphasis in Milton's notion of heroism. When the Father asks for one to redeem fal l e n man, the Son volunteers to go on an epic journey quite unlike Satan's: Behold mee then, mee for him, l i f e for l i f e I offer, on mee let thine anger f a l l ; Account mee man; I for his sake w i l l leave Thy bosom, and this glory next to thee Freely put off, and for him lastly die Well pleas'd, on me let Death wreck a l l his rage. ( I l l , 236-41) This i s a.heroism of which Satan knows nothing; unlike Satan's offer i n the para l l e l passage i n Book II, motivated by pride and vainglory, the Son offers to suffer and die for fallen man out of love. In order to accomplish this He must "Freely put off" those qualities of strength He used to defeat the rebel angels in the War in Heaven,': and, becoming a man, conquer again by strength which li e s i n seeming weakness. The strength of patience demanded by the Son's future r o l l w i l l depend upon His f a i t h that God w i l l achieve the victory through Him. The Son reveals this f a i t h only a few lines after His. offer: Though now to Death I yield, and am his due A l l that of me can die, yet that debt paid, Thou w i l l not leave me i n the loathesome grave His prey, nor suffer my unspotted Soul 4 1 For ever with corruption there to dwell; But I shall rise Victorious, and subdue My vanquisher, spoil'd of his vaunted spoil. ( I l l , 2 4 5 - 5 D In terms of wisdom and leadership abi l i t y , the Son again stands in complete contrast to Satan. In Satan we found l i e s and self-deception; i n the Son we find the epit-ome of right reason, the embodiment of Truth. The Father and Son are in such complete harmony that the Father cal l s the Son "my wisdom" (III, 170) and says " A l l hast thou spok'n as my thoughts are" (III, 1 7 1 ) . We found Satan's leadership a b i l i t y perverted by his extreme self-concern. The Son's leadership shows i t s authen-t i c i t y i n His great concern for those whom He leads. His love leads Him to suffer for others, and not others for Him as with Satan. As the Father says, in thee Love hath abounded more than Glory abounds. ( I l l , 311-12) Thus Milton has clearly delineated in the f i r s t three books of his epic the attitudes he wishes his reader to take toward Satan and the Son, toward clas s i c a l and his own notion of heroism. In rejecting Satan Milton rejects the heroic ideal in more than one form. In the f i r s t place, he rejects the authen-t i c hero who lives for his glory and i s moved by personal pride.... Milton may s t i l l keep his old love for the poems which told of Achi/lles or Roland, but he denies the ideals which they embody.... But he i s not content to c r i t i c i s e only this type. In Satan he even c r i t i c i s e s the more civ-i l i s e d types of heroism which V i r g i l and others had created. ... For what Milton rejects i s the whole notion that hero-ism l i e s i n deeds which bring earthly glory or are con-cerned with human power. In their different ways V i r g i l , Cam'des, and Tasso, even Boiardo and Ariosto, had made this 42 assumption, but Milton thinks that heroism lies in suffer-ing for the good and that the only true glory belongs to t h i s . ^ In the figure of the Son Milton depicts a heroism consisting of wisdom founded on the recognition of God's authority, lead-ership based on love, and strength manifested in patient suf-fering and heroic martyrdom; a l l attributes ultimately rest-ing on faith in God's providence. As Milton soon makes clear i t i s important that man emulate the divine heroism of the Son, rather than the demonic pseudo-heroism of Satan. 43 Chapter Three: Instruction i n Fortitude We have seen that Milton, in the f i r s t three books of Paradise Lost, clearly indicates to his reader that he i s rejecting c l a s s i c a l heroism, and proceeds to show, i n i t s es-sential form, the type of heroism he i s advocating as a viable alternative. Having thus reappraised the nature of heroism, the reader i s now prepared to judge the epic's heroic contest between man and Satan in a new way. With regard to the heroic nature of Adam and Eve there are two main movements within Par-adise Lost: a process of education instituted by the Father through the Archangel Raphael intended to c l a r i f y for man the issues involved in maintaining his i n i t i a l heroic standing, and a second movement, similar to the f i r s t , instituted by God through the Archangel Michael, which assists Adam and Eve to become heroes on the highest? level possible for postlapsarian man. This chapter w i l l deal with the former movement. As with the introductions of Satan and the Son, the introduction of Adam and Eve i s a miniature portrait, intended to suggest i n brief their main characteristics. We have noted earlier the importance of physical appearance as a heroic quality; Adam and Eve not only are 44 Two of far nobler shape erect and t a l l , Godlike erect, (IV, 288-89) when compared to the "other living creatures in the Garden, but are the loveliest pair That ever since in love Ts imbraces met, Adam the goodliest man of men since born His Sons, the fairest of her Daughters Eve. (IV, 3 2 1 - 2 4 ) They are more gloriously attractive than any Achilles, be-cause they have not been tainted by sin as their descendants, including the clas s i c a l heroes, w i l l be. In "thir looks Di-vine" shines f u l l y "the image of thir glorious Maker" (IV, 291-92). Milton suggests the robust physique of the cl a s s i c a l hero i n his f i r s t description of Adam: His f a i r large Front and Eye sublime declar'd  Absolute rule; and Hyacinthine Locks Round from his parted forelock manly hung Clust'ring, but not beneath his shoulders broad. (IV, 3 0 0 - 0 3 ; emphasis mine) Harding (p. 70) points out that this portrait i s similar to one in the f i r s t book of the Aeneid: Aeneas stood discovered in sheen of b r i l l i a n t light, like a god in face and shoulders; for his mother's self had shed on her son the grace of clustered locks, the radiant light of youth, and the lustre of joyous eyes; as when ivory takes beauty under the artist's hand, or when silver or Parian stone i s i n l a i d i n gold.l It i s also reminiscent/of Homer's description of Odysseus in Book VI of the Odyssey: Athene ... from his head caused deep curling locks to flow, like the hyacinth flower. And as when some s k i l -f u l man overlays gold upon silver — one that Hephaestus and Pallas Athene have taught a l l manner of craft, and f u l l 45 of grace i s his handiwork — even so did Athene shed grace about his head and shoulders. 2 Milton's contemporary reader would undoubtedly have recognized at least the association of Adam with Aeneas in these pas-sages;^ i t seems probable then that Milton i s presenting the knowledgeable reader with a challenge to weigh the heroism of Adam against the acknowledged excellence of an Aeneas or an Odysseus.^ Further evidence of Adam's heroic strength i s provided later i n the poem by Satan, who shuns a direct confrontation with Adam because of his "strength" (IX, 484), as well as his intellec t (483). He goes on to describe Adam as of courage haughty, and of limb Heroic built, though of t e r r e s t r i a l mould, Foe not informidable, exempt from wound. (IX, 484-86) That the t e r r i f i c figure of Satan which we have met i n Books I and II should seek to avoid face to face conflict with Adam i s i n i t s e l f an eloquent testimony to the latter's superlative strength. Adam surpasses the class i c a l hero not only i n terms of physical appearance and strength, but also in wisdom. Created in the image of God, he embodies "Truth" and "Wisdom" (IV, 293). Adam then i s superlative in both the qualities of hero-ism so highly valued by the class i c a l writers: "For contem-plation hee and valor form'd" (IV, 297; emphasis mine). As a magnanimous leader, Adam excells also. He possess-es true dignity, for he i s "with native Honor clad" (IV, 289) and i s marked by 46 Sanctitude severe and pure, Severe, but i n true f i l i a l freedom plac't; Whence true autority i n men. (IV, 293-95) Given by God dominion-over a l l the earth, he i s leader with-out equal, he has "Absolute rule" (IV, 301). Clearly, then, Milton i s indicating that, in those areas of heroism which the cl a s s i c a l writers tended to emphasize, Adam i s superior to even the greatest heroes of Homer and V i r g i l . Indeed, Eve as well not only surpasses a l l heroines descended from her but, despite her femininity, exceeds the noblest c l a s s i c a l heroes in some aspects of heroic virtue. Like Adam, she possesses "Truth, Wisdom, Sanctitude severe and pure" (IV, 293) i n their original fullness, a fullness which no sin-defiled descendant of hers, no matter how exem-plary compared to his contemporaries, can hope to claim. M i l -ton makes i t clear at the same time that Adam and Eve are "both/Not equal, as thir sex not equal seem'd" (IV 295-96). We learn later that Adam has the "higher intellectual" (IX, 483), and that Eve therefore i s in the prime end Of Nature ... th' i n f e r i o r i n the mind And inward Faculties, which most excel. (VIII, 540-42) Also, despite her "outward show/Elaborate" (VIII, 53^-39), her appearance i s overshadowed by Adam's; we find 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. (VIII, 543 -46) Lastly, i f both seem "Lords of a l l " (IV, 290), Adam i s the 47 supreme leader, as.Milton.makes explicit i n his f i r s t descrip-tion of Eve: Shee as a v e i l down to the slender waist Her unadorned golden tresses wore Dishevell'd, but in wanton ringlets wav'd As the Vine curls her tendrils, which impli Td  Subjection, but requir'd with gentle sway, And by her yielded. (IV, 3 0 4 - 0 9 ; emphasis mine) Her heroism consists i n obeying her husband i n a manner identi-cal to Adam's heroism of obedience to God: "Hee for God only, shee for God in him" (IV, 2 9 9 ) . "While the heroism of prelapsarian Adam and Eve i s sim-i l a r , but superior to that of postlapsarian c l a s s i c a l heroes i n some respects, i t i s also different i n ways that should not surprise us when we r e c a l l Milton's convictions about Christian heroism. The faith which i s so essential to Milton's heroism reveals i t s e l f i n the f i r s t words we hear Adam speak, as he t e l l s Eve, needs must the Power That made us, and for us this ample World Be i n f i n i t e l y good, and of his good As l i b e r a l and free as i n f i n i t e , That rais'd us from the dust and plac't us here In a l l this happiness. (IV, 412-17) Humility i s also present, as he recognizes their dependence on God and confesses that they at his hand Have nothing merited, nor can perform Aught whereof hee hath need. (IV, 417-19) The importance of obedience for Adam and Eve i s also brought out i n this speech; "let us not think hard/One easy prohibi-tion" (IV, 4 3 2 - 3 3 ) , says Adam, 48 The only sign of our obedience l e f t Among so many signs of power and rule Conferr'd upon us. (IV, 428-30) Finally, Adam expresses the love of God which i s one of the prime motivations in a Christian hero: "let us ever praise him, and extol/His bounty" (IV, 436-37). Adam and Eve, of course, are not at this point f u l l y -fledged heroes i n the Miltonic sense, for they have yet to un-dergo the t r i a l of temptation and suffering, they have yet to demonstrate the better fortitude of patience and martyrdom. They are, at best, potential heroes, possessed of a l l the at-tributes of the proven hero, but these qualities have not been tested under f i r e . The test w i l l come, however, and, again indicating the hero's dependence upon God, out of "pity" (V, 220) God sends Raphael to Adam, t e l l i n g him to bring on such discourse As may advise him of his happy state, Happiness in his power l e f t free to w i l l , Left to his own free Will, his Will though free, Yet mutable; whence warn him to beware He swerve not too secure. (V, 234-38) The word "pity" i s important, for i t shows that love i s the chief motivation behind the commissioning of Raphael. "The descent of Raphael typifies that c e l e s t i a l condescension which i s opposed to demonic aspiration. It i s a minor instance of the solicitous compassion for man whose major instance i s 5 Christ's s a c r i f i c i a l redemption." A recent c r i t i c , after looking at the convention of the angelic messenger descending to speak with the hero i n 49 c l a s s i c a l and Renaissance epics, notes that "Milton's celes-t i a l messenger represents a unique departure from the conven-tion. For he i s dispatched neither to prod nor to encourage nor to punish but to explain, almost indeed to lecture. The success or failure of his mission w i l l lead to visible, ob-jective consequences, but these are actually secondary; they serve only to manifest the crucial consequences which are i n -ter i o r . Milton welcomed the t r i v i a l i t y i n the act of eating an apple because that t r i v i a l i t y demonstrates the primacy of interior action." Raphael comes, then, as an educator to help man, in the words of Milton's Tractate On Education ( 1 6 4 4 ) , "perform justly, s k i l f u l l y , and magnanimously a l l the offices both p r i -vate and publike of peace and war" (p. 2 3 2 ) . At the same time that Raphael reinforces Adam's convictions of heroic behaviour, Milton reinforces i n the reader's mind the concept of Christ-ian heroism which he had revealed i n Books I to III. The Archangel f i r s t schools Adam i n the responsibility to obey necessitated by the hierarchic structure of the cos-mos: 0 Adam, one Almighty is,? from whom A l l things proceed, and up to him return, If not deprav'd from good, created a l l Such to perfection, one f i r s t matter a l l , Indu'd with various forms, various degrees Of substance, and i n things that live, of l i f e ; But more refin'd, more spiritous, and pure, As nearer to him plac't or nearer tending Each in t h i r several active Spheres assign'd. (V, 469-77) The dependence of the hero, as of a l l things, upon God i s clearly indicated here, as i s his need, as a free creature to 50 act in accordance with the "degree" assigned to him, lest he be "deprav'd from good." What i s emphasized here i s "the ne-cessity of 'wholeness* to the maintenance, indeed the very ex-7 istence, of the good." Man, created in the image of God, by God, and for God, i s made i n such a way that he can only be happiest when he assumes his ri g h t f u l position, and f u l f i l l s the characteristics of his role, within the hierarchic frame-work. Raphael i s not exaggerating when he advises Adam later to enjoy Your f i l l what happiness this happy state Can comprehend, incapable of more. (v, 5 0 3 - 0 5 ) In their present condition, maintained by their obedi-ence, Adam and Eve could not be happier. But a future state, more exalted than that they now enjoy, i s envisioned by Ra-phael, and again the precondition of such b l i s s i s the heroism of obedience: Your bodies may at last turn a l l to s p i r i t , Improv'd by tract of time, and wing'd ascend Ethereal, as wee, or may at choice Here or in Heav'nly Paradises dwell; If ye be found obedient. (V, 4 9 7 - 5 0 1 ) Adam cannot comprehend the possibility of disobedience suggested by the Archangel's words, and this gives Raphael the opportunity to explain a second aspect of heroism: the free w i l l of the hero. Calling his pupil to "Attend" (V, 520), the master proceeds: God made thee perfet, not immutable; And good he made thee, but to persevere He l e f t i t i n thy power, ordain'd thy w i l l By nature free, not over-rul'd by Fate Inextricable, or s t r i c t necessity. (V, 524-28) Free w i l l i s not only a necessary prerequisite of heroism, i t i s a fundamental part of selfhood i t s e l f , since, for any cre-ated being, i f selfhood i s to be real and meaningful, the i n -dividual must have at least as much freedom as w i l l allow him to choose rationally to accept or reject those claims of love, obedience, worship, and service which his creator justly makes. To be heroic, then, Adam cannot be "a meer a r t i f i c i a l l Adam, such an Adam as he i s i n the motions" (p. 296), in the words of Milton's Areopagitica (1644); he must be, as he i s , a truly free individual, "Sufficient" to stand, "though free to f a l l " (III, 99). That he i s subject to temptations suggests no im-perfection or inclination to sin i n him, for, as Adam t e l l s Eve, E v i l into the mind of God or Man May come and go, so unapprov'd, and leave No spot or blame behind. (V, 117-19) Thus, Adam possesses an individual selfhood capable of heroic actions, but also capable of villainous transgressions. The existence of free w i l l i s undeniable i n view of the f a l l of Satan, and Raphael alludes to i t as a case in point, whereupon Adam encourages the instructor to relate the War in Heaven. Raphael, accomodating his "intuitive" i n t e l -lect to Adam's "discursive" by "lik'ning s p i r i t u a l to corpo-r a l forms,/As may express them best" (V, 573-74), uses the narration of the War as a means of graphically demonstrating 52 the meaning of obedience and disobedience, of heroism and v i l -lainy. The narration also serves as another opportunity for M i l -ton to expose the weaknesses of c l a s s i c a l heroism, especially those elements associated with warfare. Bowra notes that M i l -ton's "objection to Homer and V i r g i l i s that they treat of war, and Milton rejects war as not a truly heroic subject. He introduces i t on a noble scale into Paradise Lost, but his war i s of a very special kind, unlike human war and far more impor-tant i n i t s issues and i t s results." Another c r i t i c has de-scribed Milton's narration of the War i n Heaven not only as "a f u l l length critique of war," but also as "the revelation of 9 true heroic virtue i n a rampantly false heroic background." Through Raphael's relation, Adam learns the identity of his enemy and the characteristics of his nature. The f i r s t time Satan's name i s mentioned to Adam, as when i t was intro-duced to the reader in Book I, his pride i s brought out: Satan, so c a l l him now, great in Power, In favor and preeminence, yet fraught With envy against the Son of God, that day Honor'd by his great Father, and proclaim'd Messiah King anointed, could not bear Through pride that sight, and thought himself impair'd. (V, 6 5 8 , 6 6 0 - 6 5 ) Adam sees, i n Raphael's description of the exaltation of the Son, the hypocrisy that results from Satan's pride; after the Omnipotent has finished His great proclamation, with his words A l l seem'd well pleas'd, a l l seem'd, but were not a l l . (V, 616-17) The inevitable f r u i t of pride, disobedience, i s soon made 53 clear to Adam; Satan, he hears, resolved to dislodge, and leave Unworshipt, unobeyed the Throne supreme, Contemptuous. (V, 6 6 9 - 7 1 ) Raphael's account permits Adam to see the disobedi-ent creature's attempt to justify his rebellion, and the bas-ic absurdity of such rationalization. Satan pits himself and his followers against what he portrays as the tyrannous na-ture of God's hierarchy, yet at the same time he i s himself an advocate of hierarchy, for he jus t i f i e s his own position as leader by insisting that Orders and Degrees Jar not with liberty, but well consist. (V, 7 9 2 - 9 3 ) His only argument against the present structure, thus, clear-ly reduces i t s e l f to the arrogant and se l f i s h grudge that he i s not the one at the top of the scale. "Knee-tribute" i s , in his view, "prostration vile,/Too much to one" (V, 7 8 2 - 8 3 ) ; he asks his cohorts i f they w i l l submit their necks and "choose to bend/The supple knee" (V, 7 8 7 - 3 8 ) to th' abuse Of those Imperial T i t l e s which assert Our being ordain'd to govern, not to serve. (V, 800-02) The rebellion of Satan occasioned by the exaltation of the Son i s not only an object lesson for Adam in pride and disobedience, but i s also useful to Milton i n reinforcing the bias against classical heroism which Milton tried to establish i n the early books of the epic. When the Chadwicks come to consider the nature of the causes which lead to feuds and wars 54 in heroic poetry they write: "In view of the importance at-tached to personal honour and glory, ... i t i s not surprising to find that personal wrongs, especially insults and outrages to dignity, are among the most p r o l i f i c sources of s t r i f e . Such i s the case not only with the quarrel between Achilles and Agammemnon, which forms the subject of the Iliad, but also with the siege of Troy i t s e l f . ""^ In connection with this, Frye's comment i s significant: " i t i s to Satan and his follow-ers that Milton assigns the conventional and Classical type of heroism. Satan, like Achilles, retires sulkily i n heaven when a decision appears to be favoring another and emerges in a torrent of wrath to wreak v e n g e a n c e < S a t a n maintains the Homeric standard of honour in opposition to the Christian 12 standard of justice; he t e l l s Michael that The s t r i f e which thou c a l l T s t e v i l ... wee style The s t r i f e of Glory. (VI, 289-90) In Abdiel Adam sees the alternative to Satanic pride and disobedience; in him the reader sees Milton's alternative to the class i c a l hero. Abdiel's rebuttal to Satan reveals to Adam the speciousness of those arguments. If "everything he 13 says i n the poem i s of the highest importance," his remarks in reply to Satan's j u s t i f i c a t i o n of his rebellion are espe-c i a l l y so. His apologia in defense of God's hierarchy can be applied to a l l rebellion against God, and through i t the i n -justice of disobedience and the virtue of heroism are shown to Adam again. Abdiel destroys Satan's case with two crushing argu-55 merits, both exposing the f o l l y of Satan's pride. F i r s t he attacks Satan's inflated estimation of his wisdom: Shalt thou give Law to God, shalt thou dispute With him the points of liberty, who made Thee what thou art? (V, 622-24) Abdiel here bases his case on the omniscience of God. How can Satan, who cannot fathom at best anything more than a small part of God's thoughts, consider himself in a position to c r i t i c i z e ? God's wisdom may seem foolishness to Satan, but i t i s wisdom for a l l that. Next Abdiel attacks Satan's i n -flated estimation of his worth: to grant i t thee unjust, That equal over equals Monarch Reign: Thyself though great and glorious dost thou count, Or a l l Angelic Nature join'd in one, ^ Equal to him begotten Son, by whom As by his Word the mighty Father made A l l things, ev'n thee. (V, S31-37) We have earlier noted the necessity of humility and faith i n divine testimony for the Christian hero. Abdiel's arguments reinforce Adam's innate appreciation of the need of such v i r -tues. Abdiel i s important for Adam, and the reader, not on-ly because of his arguments/ but because he i s a showpiece of Christian heroism. "The speech which he makes to Satan at the time of the war in heaven indicates that he i s establishing the pattern of genuine heroism that i s later to be exhibited i n the l i f e of Christ, the 'better part of fortitude' which consists primarily in obedience and endurance and i n the kind of courage that i s willing to suffer under ridicule and con-56 tempt and a chorus of opposition.""1"'4' Abdiel's arguments are not the product of mere cold logic, but arise " i n a flame of zeal severe" (V, 807) from one than whom none with more zeal ador'd The Deity, and divine commands obey'd. (V, 805-08) His deep love manifests i t s e l f i n loyalty \tfhich i s willing to pay any price; only he among Satan's legions i s found "f a i t h -f u l " (V, 8 9 7 ) : unmov'd, Unshak'n, unseduc'd, unterrifi'd His Loyalty he kept, his Love, his Zeal; Nor number, nor example with him wrought To swerve from truth, or change his constant mind Though single. (V, 898-903) The emphasis on Abdiel's facing temptation alone i s surely not accidental on Raphael's part; Adam and Eve w i l l soon have to undergo testing with, on the human level, only each other for support. "Brave though he i s i n battle, he has the high-est kind of courage in that he defends what he knows to be right.... By defending the truth Abdiel has almost been ready to endure that 'heroic martyrdom' which Milton thought 15 a proper subject for epic." The Father makes this explicit when He commends Abdiel for having borne "for the testimony of Truth" (VI, 33) Universal reproach, far worse to bear Than violence. 7 (VI, 3 3 - 3 4 ) The motivation behind his action i s also recognized: this was a l l thy care To stand approv'd i n sight of God, though Worlds Judg'd thee perverse. (VI, 3 5 - 3 7 ) 57 Abdiel's response to Satan, then, acts as a model of heroic behaviour for Adam, presenting unmistakably the hero-ism which stems from one's recognition of one's limited per-ception of truth, the f u t i l i t y of battling against e v i l i n one's own strength, and the need to wait upon God, and His timing, for the fulfillment of His purposes. 1^ Abdiel exem-p l i f i e s for the reader the highest type of heroism, for, as the Father says, he has "fought/The better fight" (VI, 2 9 - 3 0 ) of patiently suffering for the cause of truth; having done so, the active physical combat that remains to be done is "the easier conquest" (VI, 3 7 ) . These statements by the Father should warn the alert reader that the ensuing warfare described by Raphael i s an oc-casion for the display of a form of heroic action which i s , at best, secondary and inferior to that already displayed by Ab-d i e l . There i s , however, i n the "Military prowess" (VI, 45) which God commands the f a i t h f u l angels to perform an element which unites i t with the heroism of patience; both types of heroic fortitude require obedience. "Abdiel does in Book VI 17 exactly what he did i n V; he obeys God." Active physical combat, we have noted earlier, i s not inconsistent with M i l -ton's view of heroism, so long as i t i s sanctioned by God and waged under His guidance. "The paradox most often mentioned with respect to Milton's concept of heroic virtue i s that God accomplishes 'great things, by things deem'd weak,' or that highest victory i s won by patient suffering; central though this idea i s i n Milton, i t i s impossible to ignore another, 58 which the modern mind i s less comfortable with — Abdiel's as-sertion that 'he who i n debate of truth hath won/Should win i n 18 Arms.'" Nevertheless, i t becomes evident i n the narration of the War i t s e l f that Milton i s again undermining the tradition-a l heroic expectations; showing the i n f e r i o r i t y of the heroic activity the f a i t h f u l angels are engaged in, and the f a l s i t y of those who, like Satan and the Homeric heroes, account deeds of warfare the chief glory of heroic endeavour. "The f i r s t day's battle i s Milton's main exercise i n the depiction of warfare i n the epic manner. The scene i s f i l l e d with the ac-coutrements of war — shields, spears, armor, even chariots and 'firey, foaming steeds.' Great masses of armed legions occupy the background, with the foreground f i l l e d by a series of individual skirmishes presented in rapidly shifting close-ups."^ Satan vaunts i n the c l a s s i c a l style: 111 for thee, but i n wisht hour Of my revenge, f i r s t sought for thou return'st From fl i g h t , seditious Angel, to receive Thy merited reward, the f i r s t assay Of this right hand provoked. (VI, 1 5 0 - 5 4 ) The f a i t h f u l angels appear to vaunt i n the same manner: Proud, art thou met? fool, not to think how vain Against th' Omnipotent to rise i n Arms. (VI, 131 , 135-36) The difference i s that whereas what the f a i t h f u l angels speak is truth, what Satan says i s mere empty boasting, and, thus, Satan, so closely associated with the classical hero, again i s 59 used to undermine the old.heroic ideal. The clash of angelic champions deliberately suggests the contests of classical heroes: likest Gods they seem'd, Stood they or mov'd, i n stature, motion, arms Fi t to decide the Empire of great Heav'n. Now wav'd t h i r fiery Swords, and in the Air Made horrid Circles; two broad Suns t h i r Shields Blaz'd opposite, while expectation stood In horror; from each hand with speed r e t i r ' d Where erst was thickest fight, th' Angelic throng, And l e f t large f i e l d , unsafe within the wind Of such commotion, Together both with next to Almighty Arm, Uplifted imminent one stroke they aim'd That might determine, and not need repeat, As not of power, at once; nor odds appear'd In might or swift prevention; but the sword Of Michael from the Armory of God Was giv'n him temper'd so, that neither keen Nor solid might resist that edge. (VI, 301-10, 316-23) The "godlike" appearance of the combatants; their weaponry, especially that received by divine favour; the withdrawal of other warriors from the range of their activity; and the de-sire for a skirmish,, a stroke even, that w i l l end the entire War, are a l l elements to be found i n Homer's I l i a d . A passage similarly Homeric i n i t s surface details i s the following, but here the horror Milton f e l t about war becomes evident: the battle swerv'd, With many an inroad gor'd; deformed rout Enter»d, and foul disorder; a l l the ground With shiver*d armor strown, and on a heap. Chariot and Charioter lay overturn'd And fie r y foaming Steeds. (VI, 3a.6-.91) The "glory" of military heroism only begins to deteriorate in this passage; i t reaches i t s ultimate absurdity on the second 6 0 day of battle: So h i l l s amid the Air encounter'd H i l l s Hurl'd to and fro with jaculation dire, That under ground they fought i n dismal shade: Infernal noise; War seem'd a c i v i l Game To this uproar; horrid confusion heapt Upon confusion rose. (VI, 6 6 4 - 6 9 ) The repudiation of cla s s i c a l heroism receives reinforcement in this passage from i t s suggestion of the c l a s s i c a l story of 20 the War of the Titans, i n which a similar contest of moun-t s tain-throwing occurred. Raphael's comment on the rebel angels i s i n harmony with Milton's attitude toward the c l a s s i c a l he-roes: the other sort In might though wondrous and i n Acts of War, Nor of Renown less eager, Nameless i n dark oblivion let them dwell. For strength from Truth divided and from Just, IIlaudable, naught merits but dispraise And ignominy, yet to glory aspires Vain-glorious, and through infamy seeks fame. (VI, 3 7 6 - 7 8 , 3 8 0 - 8 4 ) The f a i t h f u l angels, on the other hand, "Seek not the praise of men" (VI, 3 7 6 ). Further, though on occasion put at a dis-advantage by the rebels, the loyal angels remain "Invulnerable" (VI, 4 0 0 ) , and this, again, i s due to their heroic obedience: Such high advantages t h i r innocence Gave them above t h i r foes, not to have sinn'd, Not to have disobey'd. ( v i , 4 0 1 - 0 3 ) Faithful arid obedient, the loyal angels are yet unable to expel the hosts of Satan, for the War i s a kind of livi n g parable, i l l u s t r a t i n g the fact that the victory of good i s im-possible apart from the power of God. The Son of God comes 6 1 forth with "Victory" (VI,_762) at His right hand to encounter the rebels alone, and, significantly, His f i r s t act i s one of 21 re-creation, rather than destruction: Before him Power Divine his way prepar Td; At his command the uprooted H i l l s r e t i r ' d Each to his place, they heard his voice and went Obsequious, Heav'n his wonted face renew'd, And with fresh Flow'rets H i l l and Valley smil'd. (VI, 780-84) In Milton's view of Christian heroism, active physical deeds of war are undertaken, not to unleash a violence-prone nature, but to re-establish order from chaos. The Son's entering the War indicates the need for God's assistance i n the battle 22 which must take place i n every Christian hero's soul. It i s thus highly important as. a lesson to Adam concerning his need of God's assistance i n a l l his a c t i v i t i e s and t r i a l s . "The warfare i n Heaven gives cosmic dimension to the s p i r i t u a l war in which Adam and every man must participate. It i s an enact-ment on a colossal scale of the analogous battle which Adam must fight against Satan (or against the aspects of himself 23 which Satan represents) within his own soul." Thus, i n the description of the War i n Heaven, Raphael makes clear to Adam the essential features of heroism. Physi-cal power, knowledge and intelligence, bravery, loyalty, s e l f -PL. sacrifice — a l l are insufficient by themselves. Even.faith and obedience, unlike some magical r i t e , have no power at a l l in, and of, themselves alone. A l l i s dependent on the unmerit-ed favour of God who alone achieves the victory for those who acknowledge their weakness and rely on Him. The words of the Apostle Paul convey the Christian hero's fundamental attitude: 62 "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves, but our sufficiency i s of God" (II Cor. 3:5)-Raphael has tried to encourage Adam to trust i n God, not i n himself, when his t r i a l by Satan occurs. Yet Adam doubts. His doubt i s f i r s t expressed after his divine h i s t o r i -an has granted Adam's request to hear of the creation of the world. Raphael, believing that the relation w i l l , as he says to Adam, serve To g l o r i f y the Maker, and infer Thee also happier, (VII, 115-17) t e l l s of the wonders of God's creation, only to find i n his pupil "something yet of doubt remains" (VIII, 13). Adam ap-pears to show conscientious anxiety about a wasteful economy in nature by questioning the c e l e s t i a l motions, but basically i t i s God's wisdom he i s doubting: reasoning I oft admire, How Nature wise and frugal could commit Such disproportions. (VIII, 25-27) Raphael counters these queries by suggesting more doubts than ever could have occurred to Adam, for he "has been too quick to doubt the intelligence and providence of God; he has not experienced enough doubts about his own a b i l i -ty to observe and judge God's aims and methods." J He then ad-vises Adam: So l i c i t not thy thoughts with matters hid, Leave them to God above, him serve and fear; 63 Heav'n is for thee too high To know what passes there; be lowly wise: Think only what concerns thee and thy being. (VIII, 1 6 7 - 6 8 , 172-74) Implicit i n this advice i s another advocacy for the faith in God which the hero must have, fa i t h which i s far more impor-tant than any abstract knowledge. Since a man cannot know ev-erything about God's ways to man, fa i t h must be the hero's sole resource i n times of t r i a l and doubt. Adam's second doubt comes out as he entertains his guest with a narration of his own. Raphael, knowing that cor-rection of self-expression i s a valuable teaching technique, listens patiently u n t i l Adam describes his love for Eve i n a manner which casts doubt upon God's providence: here passion f i r s t I f e l t , Commotion strange, i n a l l enjoyments else Superior and unmov'd, here only weak Against the charm of Beauty's powerful glance. Or Nature f a i l ' d i n mee, and l e f t some part Not proof enough such Object to sustain, Or from my side subducting, took perhaps More than enough; at least on her bestow'd Too much of Ornament, i n outward show Elaborate, of inward less exact. (VIII, 5 3 0 - 3 9 ) Whereas he had earlier found the macrocosm out of 26 joint, now Adam finds the microcosm disproportioned. Adam's statement, "Nature fa i l e d i n mee," i s not so much an expres-sion of doubt as art accusation, as Raphael recognizes; "Accuse not Nature" (VIII, 5 6 l ) , he replies. While Adam may say "Na-ture," i t i s clear that he means God, and therefore Raphael, as before, points out that one must trust God's wisdom: Nature ... hath done her part; Do thou but thine, and be not diffident Of Wisdom, she deserts thee not, i f thou 64 Dismiss not her, when most thou need'st her nigh. (VIII, 5 6 1 - 6 4 ) Raphael warns Adam lest the transport he feels turn love into "subjection" (VIII, 5 7 0 ) , and reminds him that he was created to rule: weigh with her thyself; Then value: Oft-times nothing profits more Than self-esteem, grounded on just and right Well manag?d; of that s k i l l the more thou know'st, The more she w i l l acknowledge thee her Head. (VIII, 5 7 0 - 7 4 ) Raphael concludes his instruction of Adam by stressing one last time the theme which has run throughout: the need to obey. As he departs he encourages Adam to love, but f i r s t of a l l Him whom to love i s to obey, and keep His great command. (VIII, 6 3 3 - 3 5 ) The f i r s t movement concerning the heroism of Adam and Eve i n Paradise Lost ends i n the t r i a l of their obedience, the heroic contest between man and Satan. Milton places so much importance on this s p i r i t u a l combat that we shall consid-er i t i n some depth i n the following chapter. 65 Chapter Four: The Catastrophic Epic Contest We have said that the f i r s t main movement concerning Adam and Eve in Paradise Lost culminates i n their f a l l , and so momentous and complex i s this climactic deed that i t would be well before moving on to consider the second phase to at-tempt to analyze the f a l l in the light of Milton's concept of heroism. In the invocation to Book IX, as i n those to Books I and VII, Milton invites comparison of his poem with the clas-s i c a l epics."'" Here, however, the stress i s not so much upon the superiority of poetic undertaking or Muse, but of heroic mode, of that better fortitude of patience and heroic martyr-dom which we have seen to be of central importance in Milton's thinking concerning the epic hero. We have seen that the pa-tient endurance of t r i a l or temptation i s a crucial part of Milton's heroism and he found few heroes i n cl a s s i c a l epic that even approach his high standards. "None of Homer's pro-tagonists i s tested i n a significantly moral way, and V i r g i l ' s Aeneas i s made to undergo t r i a l s of a moral sort only i n the opening books; by the sixth book he has become an instrument of Fate, impelled to the task put upon him." Such, at any rate, i s the view of one recent c r i t i c , and i t i s highly prob-66 able that Milton would have agreed with him. From what we have said earlier i t should be evident that "Adam's tempta-tion i s a higher argument, and 'more Heroic' than the wrath of Achilles[,] because i t focuses on the inner test." While i t i s true that Adam and Eve f a i l this crucial moral testing, i t i s not the last battle. Through God's grace, man w i l l face many similar t r i a l s afterwards, and be able to achieve victory. 4 The epic hero was often the untested son of a noble father. "Adam, the son of God" (Luke 3:38), i s i n such a po-s i t i o n at the commencement of Book IX. Eve too i s untried. The couple's f i r s t dialogue i n Book IX prepares the way for the heroic contest with Satan. Eve's immediate concern i s how two people can keep up the maintenance of so vast a garden. She defines the problem succinctly: what we by day Lop overgrown, or prune, or prop, or bind, One night or two with wanton growth derides Tending to wild. (IX, 209-12) Something about her speech, accurate and practical though i t i s , strikes us as unusual; her i n i t i a t i v e in raising the prob-lem i s foreign to the Eve presented to us up to this point. Her simple address, "Adam." i s peculiar, gone are the elabo-rate epithets; she i s a woman of business now, she i s talking to an equal. She asks for Adam's opinion i n the blunt manner of a board manager, "Thou therefore now advise" (212), but without waiting for a reply she proceeds to lay out what she 67 feels i s the proper plan: "Let us divide our labors" (214). This, she admits, i s not a conclusion based upon deep consid-eration of the problem, but her " f i r s t thoughts" on the sub-ject; nevertheless, she has taken i t upon herself both to raise the issue and to propose a solution. She has begun to take the lead i n their domestic affairs, whereas the essence of her heroism consists i n her obedience to Adam. Adam makes i t clear that he thinks i t best she should stay with him; "doubt possesses me, lest harm/Befall thee sever Td from me" (251-52), he says. He does not assert that harm w i l l b e f a l l her alone; he i s concerned that i t might be-f a l l her. It i s the possibility, not the certainty, of harm •which Adam raises, and the possibility of human f a l l i b i l i t y had been clearly indicated by Raphael. Adam's caution, then, i n suggesting that two are better than one i n dealing with their "malicious Foe" (253) who works "By sly assault" (256), i s just. Eve, however, acts as though insulted: that thou shouldst my firmness therefore doubt To God or thee, because we have a foe May tempt i t , I expected not to hear. (IX, 279-81) This i s unjust, for she raised no protest when she heard Ra-phael t e l l Adam, Satan. .../who envies now thy state, . . . i s plotting how he may seduce Thee also from obedience, But l i s t ' n not to his Temptations, warn Thy weaker; let i t profit thee to have heard By terrible Example the reward Of disobedience; firm they might have stood, 68 Yet f e l l ; remember, and fear to transgress. (VI, 900-02, 908-12) Warning his weaker i s exactly what Adam i s doing. In the course of his attempt to dissuade Eve from de-parting^Adam discusses the nature of temptation i n a passage which i s highly important i n our understanding of this aspect of Milton's heroism. The hero i s Secure from outward force; within himself The danger l i e s , yet l i e s within his power: Against his w i l l he can receive no harm. (IX, 348-50) Adam has learned from Raphael that the chief battleground l i e s within man's soul, and that, so long as there i s perfect harmony within, God has given him the power to achieve complete victory over discordant elements from without. Continuing his summary of Raphael's lessons, Adam says, . God l e f t free the Wil l , for what obeys Reason, i s free, and Reason he made right, But bid her well beware, and s t i l l erect, Lest by some f a i r appearing good surpris'd She dictate false, and misinform the W i l l To do what God expressly hath forbid. (IX, 351-56) The importance of right reason to Milton i s clearly indicated by this passage. Prerequisite to heroic obedience and love are knowledge and understanding^ and thus the display of heroic virtue depends upon the maintenance of a reason which i s "right." Right reason is- not merely reason in our sense of the word; i t i s not a dry light, a nonmoral instrument of i n -quiry. Neither i s i t simply the religious conscience. It i s a kind of rational and philosophic conscience which distinguishes man from the beasts and which links man with man and with God. This faculty was implanted by God i n a l l men, Christian and heathen alike, as a guide to truth and conduct. Though i t s effectual workings may be ob-69 scured by sin, i t makes man, i n his degree, like God; i t enables him, within limits, to understand the purposes of a God who i s perfect reason as well as perfect jus-tice, goodness, and love.° Reason for Milton " i s man's only way of distinguishing between virtue and vice within, of avoiding the self-deception which leads him to confuse his desires with his best interests."^ The hero's s p i r i t u a l t r i a l , then, involves a struggle to keep reason — which in the hierarchy of the soul governs the w i l l which i n turn curbs the passions — functioning as i t should, to keep i t " s t i l l erect;" a struggle against de-ception by a false but " f a i r appearing" good that would seek to "misinform the W i l l " and allow the passions to bring both reason and w i l l into perpetual bondage to the lowest nature of man's soul. This idea i s so v i t a l to Milton that no soon-er has he stated i t once than he repeats a good deal of i t : Firm we subsist, yet possible to swerve, Since Reason not impossibly may meet Some specious object by the Foe suborn'd, And f a l l into deception unaware, Not keeping strictest watch, as she was warn'd. (IX, 3 5 9 - 6 3 ) Eve, to whom these warnings about the possibility of deception are addressed, nevertheless persists, and, with Ad-am's reluctant permission, leaves to do her gardening alone. She has rejected Adam's advice, and thus has fai l e d i n the type of heroism alotted to her: obedience to her husband. Her action contradicts her earlier acknowledgement: My Author and Disposer, what thou bidd'st Unargu'd I obey; so God ordains, God i s thy Law, thou mine: to know no more Is woman's happiest knowledge and her praise. ( i v , 6 3 5 - 3 8 ) 70 Since to obey Adam i s the role God has ordained for her, i n rejecting Adam's advice Eve i s also rejecting the role God has given her. That Milton does not approve of this indepen-dence on Eve's part i s evident: " 0 much deceiv'd, much f a i l -ing, hapless Eve" (IX, 4 0 4 ) , he addresses her, and calls her action an "event perverse" ( 4 0 5 ) . The presumption of her "presum'd return" (405) l i e s i n her self-assured confidence that, enemy or no enemy, she w i l l return unscathed. Whether Adam acted rightly i n acceding to Eve's wishes to separate may be a debatable matter, but, to this writer, Raphael's injunction to Adam, coming so close to the termina-tion of his instruction, i s highly significant. Eve i s f a i r no doubt, and worthy well Thy cherishing, thy honoring, and thy love, Not thy subjection: weigh with her thyself; Then value: Oft-times nothing profits more Than self-esteem, grounded on just and right Well manag'd; of that s k i l l the more thou know'st, The more she w i l l acknowledge thee her Head. (VIII, 5 6 B - 7 4 ) That Eve f a i l s to acknowledge perfectly Adam's headship by ignoring his advice i s partly due to Adam's weakness just at that point where, as Til l y a r d points out, Adam could have carried the day, and this weakness i s a result of his having f a i l e d to accept completely Raphael's advice to re-evaluate his relationship with Eve. She i s s t i l l too important to Adam. It seems more important for him to avoid a domestic squabble than f a i t h f u l l y to perform his duty of ruling Eve for her own best interests. He thus reneges his heroic responsibilities. Satan finds Eve, then, alone, and alone Eve undergoes the heroic contest. "In meeting her enemy face to face, Eve 7 1 usurp Ts Adam's role, just as Adam, in following his wife's Q leadership, forsakes his own matrimonial office for hers." Satan, disguised as a serpent, a " f a i r appearing good," tempts her to pervert the true heroic norm even further by enticing her to desire to become a goddess. The subversion of her reason i s his f i r s t desire. He begins the t r i a l of her fortitude by appealing to her pride through flattery: Wonder not, sovran Mistress, i f perhaps Thou canst, who are sole Wonder, much less arm Thy looks, the Heav'n of mildness, with disdain, Displeas'd that I approach thee thus, and gaze Insatiate, I thus single, nor have fear'd Thy awful brow, more awful thus r e t i r ' d . Fairest resemblance of thy Maker f a i r , Thee a l l things living gaze on, a l l things thine By g i f t , and thy Celestial Beauty adore With ravishment beheld, there best beheld Where universally admir'd. (IX, 5 3 2 - 4 2 ) He concludes his f i r s t speech by t e l l i n g Eve she should be seen A Goddess among Gods, ador'd and serv'd By Angels numberless, thy daily Train. (IX, 5 4 7 - 4 8 ) Satan continues to praise Eve, calling her "Empress of this f a i r World, resplendent Eve" ( 5 6 8 ) , and "Sovran of Creatures, universal Dame" ( 6 1 2 ) ; when Eve mildly protests this "over-praising" ( 6 1 5 ) , Satan ignores her objection and proceeds with his flattery, calling Eve "Queen of this Universe" (684) and "Goddess humane" (-732). He also continues to suggest that she ought to be a goddess, second to none: in the day Ye Eat thereof, your Eyes that seem so clear, Yet are but dim, shall perfetly be then Op'n'd and clear'd, and ye shall be as Gods, Knowing both Good and E v i l . . . . 72 That ye should be as Gods, since I as Man, Internal Man, i s but proportion meet, I of brute human, yee of human Gods. So ye s h a l l die perhaps, by putting off Human, to put on Gods, death to be wish't. (IX, 705-14) Satan f i r s t attempts to get Eve to direct her gaze inwardly i n self-admiration, and then proceeds to convince her that her rights have been withheld: look on mee, Mee who have touch*d and tasted, yet both live, And l i f e more perfet have attain'd than Fate Meant mee, by vent'ring higher than my Lot. Shall that be shut to Man, which to the Beast Is open? Why then was this forbid? Why but to awe, Why but to keep ye low and ignorant, His worshippers. (IX, 687-92, 703-05) Satan i s trying to disrupt the hierarchical structure i n the microcosm of Eve's soul, using flat t e r y and false logic to de-ceive her reason, i n order to disjoint the hierarchical frame-work of the macrocosm, encouraging her to rebel against God and the creational role He has assigned her. The conception of hierarchy here was a commonplace Renaissance notion, but v i t a l l y important to Milton's thinking. According to this conception degrees of value are objec-tively present i n the universe. Everything except God has some natural srperior; everything except unformed mat-ter has some natural i n f e r i o r . The goodness, happiness, and dignity of every being consists i n obeying i t s natural superior and ruling i t s natural inferiors. When i t f a i l s i n either part of/this twofold task we have disease or monstrosity i n the scheme of things u n t i l the peccant be-ing i s either destroyed or corrected. One or other i t w i l l certainly be; for by stepping out of i t s place i n the system ... i t has made the very nature of things i t s enemy. It cannot succeed. 1 0 That Eve should step out of her place i n the system and be de-73 stroyed i s precisely Satan's purpose; before commencing the temptation he soliloquized: under show of Love well feign'd, ... to her ruin now I tend. (IX, 4 9 2 - 9 3 ) Satan succeeds i n persuading Eve to eat the f r u i t , and he does so through a twofold strategy of flattery and false reasoning. Flattery encourages her to want the good things which the serpent has told her the f r u i t offers: Fixt on the Fruit she gaz'd, which to behold Might tempt alone, and in her ears the sound Yet rung of his persuasive words, impregn'd With Reason, to her seeming, and with Truth. (IX, 7 3 5 - 3 8 ) False reasoning has produced In her such confusion that she cannot, for the moment, see clearly why she should not take the offered benefits. In Satan's last temptation speech he fi r e s a dozen questions at Eve, and she shows her confusion i n her f i n a l speech before eating the f r u i t by asking seven more. Dazzled by Satan, she has lost her bearings: What fear I then, rather what know to fear Under this ignorance of Good and E v i l , Of God or Death, of Law or Penalty? (IX, 7 7 3 - 7 5 ) Her reason i s so weakened that i t cannot defend her against the importunity of her desires to eat the f r u i t . Ironically, however, her reason, now completely entangled, actually i n -vites her to eat i n order to end the agony of confusion i t i s suffering: Here grows the Cure of a l l , this Fruit Divine, Fair to the Eye, inviting to the Taste, Of virtue to make wise: what hinders then To reach, and feed at once both Body and Mind? (IX, 7 7 6 - 7 9 ) 74 And so Eve eats; the heroic contest i s over; the enemy of mankind has won. Milton again shows the superiority of his heroic argument over that of the c l a s s i c a l pagan poets by em-phasizing that i f noble acts of Christian heroes are more glo-rious than those of other heroes, acts of v i l l a i n y by Christian heroes are more heinous than the sins of other heroes. In de-scribing Eve's crime, he writes: her rash hand in e v i l hour Forth reaching to the Fruit, she pluck'd, she eat: Earth f e l t the wound, and Nature from her seat Sighing through a l l her Works gave signs of woe, That a l l was lost. (IX, 780-84) This i s reminiscent of the sin of Dido i n Book IV of the Ae-neid: The heaven Darkens, and thunder r o l l s , and rain and h a i l Come down i n torrents. mountain nymphs wail high their incantations, First day of death, f i r s t cause of e v i l . Dido Is unconcerned with fame, with reputation, With how i t seems to others. (p. 92) Eve's sin, however, does not produce a mere local effect upon nature, but an universal one; a l l of nature's works reflect the pathos of her act. Further, whereas Dido's sin leads to the Punic Wars, Eve's i s a necessary cause of a l l wars between nations, a l l crimes within society, and a l l rebellions against God of which postlapsarian man i s guilty. If the goodliness of Dido pales before that of the unfalien Eve, so too does her crime. In i t s criminal dimensions Eve's act outweighs any wickedness done by c l a s s i c a l heroes; i n i t s tragic dimensions, 75 too, Eve's f a l l surpasses the defeat of any cla s s i c a l hero. Milton suggests this latter aspect i n an allusion which leads one to compare the conquest of Eve with that of Hector in the Iliad, the most moving of a l l tragic defeats in c l a s s i c a l ep-ic s . Adam, unaware that Eve has f a l l e n in battle to her mor-t a l enemy, fashions a love g i f t to please her when she comes back: Adam the while Waiting desirous her return, had wove Of choicest Flow'rs a Garland to adorn Her Tresses, and her rural labors crown, As Reapers oft are wont t h i r Harvest Queen. Great joy he promis'd to his thoughts, and new Solace in her return, so long delay'd. (IX, 838-44) In Book XXII of the Iliad i t i s the wife, Andromache, not know-ing that he has been defeated by his great enemy, Achilles, who prepares for the return of her husband, Hector, from battle: But Hector's wife knew not as yet, for no true messenger had come to t e l l her how her husband abode without the gates, but in an inner chamber of the lofty house she was weaving a double purple web, and broidering therein mani-fold flowers. Then she called to her goodly-haired hand-maids through the house to set a great tripod on the f i r e , that Hector might have a warm washing when he came home out of the battle — fond heart, and was unaware how, far from a l l washings, bright-eyed Athene had slain him by the hand of Achilles. (p. 401-02) If the f a l l of noble Hector i s tragic, Milton implies that the f a l l of Eve i s far more tragic, for, as we have noted earlier, prelapsarian Eve i s of a higher nature than any of her descen-dants, no matter how noble. The f a l l of Eve i s different from the defeats or sins of c l a s s i c a l heroes i n another respect, and i n this case the difference i s a radical one. A defeated warrior, i f he lived 76 to fight again, or a character who sinned, such as Dido, re-mained, by and large, unchanged in the general make up of their personalities after their defeat or sin. Eve, however, under-goes a subtle, but essential, transformation of character. The Eve who returns to Adam i s not the Eve who departed from him. She now takes on the role of the seductive and deceptive tempt-ress who, like Calypso i n the Odyssey or Dido i n the Aeneid, traditionally tests the epic hero and seeks to lure him from his quest.^ Eve herself has become that " f a i r appearing good" (IX, 354) which, being in re a l i t y a "specious object by the Foe suborn Td" (IX, 3 6 1 ) , Adam warned might deceive the rea-son. Ironically, Adam f a i l s to heed his own advice. Adam enters into s p i r i t u a l combat with the forces of e v i l at the point where he i s weakest: the tension between his love for Eve and his love for God. Although the heroic battle i s over almost immediately, we have been assured that Adam was created "Sufficient to have stood" (III, 9 9 ) , and i t i s clear that when Adam capitulates, he i s aware of the tremendous i s -sues involved and of the certain outcome: some cursed fraud Of Enemy hath beguil Td thee, yet unknown, And mee with thee hath ruin'd, for with thee Certain my resolution i s to Die. (IX, 9 0 4 - 0 7 ) He i s not confused, as Eve was, as to the propriety of eating the f r u i t ; to him i t i s clearly wrong. He asks Eve, how hast thou yielded to transgress The s t r i c t forbiddance, how to violate The sacred Fruit forbidd Tn! (IX, 9 0 2 - 0 4 ) Having decided to reject his heroic duty to obey God, he j u s t i -77 fies his decision by a perversion of true heroism: he w i l l be heroically f a i t h f u l to Eve. I with thee have f i x t my Lot, Certain to undergo like doom; i f Death Consort with thee; Death i s to mee as Life; So forcible within my heart I fe e l The Bond of Nature draw me to my own, My own i n thee, for what thou art i s mine; Our State cannot be sever*d, we are one, One Flesh; to lose thee were to lose myself. (IX, 952-59) To lose Eve i s unthinkable to Adam; "How can I live without thee?" (IX, 90S), he asks. Without her "sweet Converse and Love so dearly joinM" (IX, 909) Eden i s reduced to nothing more than "wild Woods forlorn" (IX, 910). The ardent loyalty he shows to Eve might on another occasion have been truly hero-i c : Should God create another Eve, and I Another Rib afford, yet loss of thee Would never from my heart. (IX, 911-13) In choosing to die with Eve, Adam "has made what appears, on the surface, to be a heroic renunciation.... This looks like heroic constancy — a firmness of devotion i n adverse fortune, a love that Tlooks on tempests and i s never shaken.* But, i n reality, i t i s the opposite. Adam has chosen the lesser love 12 before the greater." Eve, however, interprets Adam's actions as the proof of his heroism i n her t r i a l of his love. Seeing things from her fallen perspective she can only regard as heroic that which best promotes her own self i s h interests: 0 glorious t r i a l of exceeding Love, Illustrious evidence, example high! Ingaging me to emulate, but short 78 Of thy perfection, how shall I attain, Adam, from whose dear-side I boast me sprung. (IX, 9 6 1 - 6 5 ) She shows no concern for her Creator in encouraging her hus-band to displease Him'(IX, 991-93), nor any genuine love for her husband i n thus placing him in jeopardy, for, as Milton says concerning her f a l l i n De Doctrina Christiana ( 1 6 5 8 - 6 0 ) , 13 she i s guilty of being "negligent of her husband's welfare." She i s only concerned that "This happy t r i a l " (IX, 975) gives proof of Adam's love, which otherwise "So eminently never had been known" (IX, 976) to her. That Milton did not think Adam's sin a noble act i s clear: i t i s "compliance bad" (IX, 9 9 4 ) . he scrupl'd not to eat Against his better knowledge, not deceiv'd, But fondly overcome with Female charm. (IX, 9 9 7 - 9 9 ) In De Doctrina Christiana Milton attributes one causal aspect of the f a l l to Adam's being "uxorious" (I, x i , 3 8 3 ) , and i n Eikonoklastes (1649) he clearly reveals his attitude to uxori-ousness. Charles I, he says, ascribes ... a l l vertue to his Wife, i n straines that come almost to Sonnetting. How f i t to govern men, under-valuing and aspersing the great Counsel of his Kingdom, in comparison of one Woman. Examples are not farr to seek, how great mischeif and dishonour hath befall»n to Nations under the Government of effeminate and Uxorious Magistrates. Who being themselves govern'd and overswaid at home under a Feminine usurpation, cannot be but farr short of s p i r i t and autority without dores, to govern a whole nation. (pp. 3 9 5 - 9 6 ) In the light of this condemnation of uxoriousness in Charles I, i t i s hardly l i k e l y that Milton could find Adam's uxorious-ness heroic. Adam, in fact, i s truly a traitor, for his f i r s t 79 love and allegiance should be to God. He has preferred things less excellent to the One who i s perfect, and thus has fa i l e d i n his duty as a Christian hero. In choosing Eve be-fore God, Adam has made her into an i d o l . ^ In the completion of the f a l l of man, the sin of Adam, we see the f r u i t of the doubts we earlier noted i n his dis-cussion with Raphael. It i s only i f we take these doubts into consideration that we can account for the suddenness of his capitulation. Eve takes a good deal of persuading before she eats the f r u i t ; Adam, despite his "higher i n t e l l e c t u a l " (IX, 483), v i r t u a l l y none at a l l . In De Doctrina Christiana. Milton identifies other causal aspects of the f a l l and condemns Adam "for not trusting God; he was faithless" (I, x i , 383). That the doubts which Milton went at length to reveal in Adam i n Book VIII are i n some way connected with this unbelief at the time of the f a l l i s evident i n that, when confronted by fallen Eve, Adam sees only two possibilities before him: to choose God and lose Eve, or choose Eve and fo r f e i t his relationship with God. We do not mean to suggest that we expect Adam to en-vision such a strategy as the Son of God, or Adam himself, dy-ing to redeem Eve; we can only make such suggestions with the benefit of hindsight. But that he should doubt the possibil-i t y of God effecting some form of rescue, he who has been i n such close communion with the God for whom a l l things are pos-sible, shows an appalling lack of faith i n his Creator. And faith, as we have noted several times, i s a prerequisite for heroic obedience. While we do not mean to oversimplify the causes of the f a l l , only one element of which Milton diag-nosed i n De Doctrina Christiana as unbelief, nevertheless, from the angle at which we are approaching i t , namely,in the light of Milton's concept of heroism, Adam's failure to live up to his heroic potential must be seen as owing as much to a refusal to exercise that faith which i s the s p i r i t u a l basis of heroism as to his uxoriousness. For, i n the words of Au-gustine, "man had been so designed that i f he had trusted in God's help as a good human being he would have overcome the e v i l angels, whereas i f i n pride and self-pleasing he desert-ed God, his creator and helper, he would be overcome. As Eve experienced a radical transformation of charac ter after her defeat in s p i r i t u a l warfare, so does Adam after his. "He becomes a man of the world, a punster, an aspirant 16 to fine r a i l l e r y . " He t e l l s Eve that, from his new perspec tive, he can see now that she i s "exact of taste" (IX, 1 0 1 7 ) , punningly extolling the sensory faculty and the cultured so-phistication she evidenced by eating the f r u i t and disregard-ing God's law. He continues i n a tone of jocular blasphemy: Much pleasure we have lost, while we abstain'd From this delightful Fruit, nor known t i l l now True relish, tasting; i f such pleasure be In things to us forbidden, i t might be wish'd, For this one Tree had been forbidden ten. (IX, 1 0 2 2 - 2 6 ) Adam also becomes a hedonist, or as one c r i t i c puts i t , he suffers "the transmutation of the s p i r i t to flesh (the opposite process to that which Raphael had described in V, 4 9 6 - 9 9 ) . " ^ Having broken the hierarchic order of the cosmos 81 by disobeying his superior, Adam has lost control of the basic workings of his physical being, as i s most clearly seen i n the 18 unbridled sexual passion which overpowers him. The f r u i t inflames "Carnal desire" (IX, 1013) and Adam looks on Eve with "lascivious Eyes" (IX, 1014); she, too, i s feeling the effects of an impotent w i l l ; " i n Lust they burn" ( 1 0 1 5 ) , writes Milton. The degrading act of lust which follows symbolizes the ultimate cause of the f a l l , a disregard of the r i g h t f u l o b l i -gation to venerate and love another person, whether God or man, stemming from a sel f i s h concern with one's own gr a t i f i c a t i o n . " ^ Again i n the words of Augustine, "man has become like the Dev-on i l ... by livi n g by the rule of s e l f . " What had previously been ceremonious is reduced to the t r i v i a l i t y of "play" (1027). Adam boasts to Eve of his "ardor to enjoy [her]" ( 1 0 3 2 ) ; she has become an object, a thing, the "bounty of this virtuous Tree" ( I O 3 3 ) , and, like the f r u i t of the tree, exists now only to satisfy his self-indulgence. The destruction of perfect piety has necessitated destruction of perfect love on the hu-21 man level as well. The loss of their perfect love i s evident to Adam and Eve when they awaken "As from unrest" (IX, 1052) and find themselves "naked left/To guilty shame" ( 1 0 5 7 - 5 8 ) . Milton a l -ludes at this point to the effect of defeat upon another spir-i t u a l hero, one to whom Milton was to return later i n his po-etic career: So rose the Danite strong Herculean Samson from the Harlot-lap Of Philistean Dalilah, and wak'd 82 Shorn of his strength, They destitute and bare Of a l l t h i r virtue. ( i x , 1059-63) Swept by shame, sorrow, "high Passions, Anger, Hate,/Mistrust, Suspicion, Discord" (IX, 1123-24), they resort to bitter "mu-tual accusation" (IX, 1187), but are "neither self-condemning" (IX, 1138). Milton makes i t quite explicit that what Raphael had warned the couple about, and what Adam later warned Eve to avoid, has come to pass: their souls have become dominated by their passions, and they can do nothing about i t . Understanding r u l T d not, and the W i l l Heard not her lore, both in subjection now To sensual Appetite, who from beneath Usurping over sovran Reason claim fd Superior sway. (IX, 1127-31) In this state of slavery to fleshly desires heroic activity i s impossible. The re-establishment of heroic virtue in man i s the concern of the f i n a l books of Paradise Lost. 83 <5> Chapter Five: The Regeneration of Heroic Virtue We come now to the second movement concerning the heroism of Adam and Eve i n Paradise Lost, a movement comple-mentary to the f i r s t , i n which Adam and Eve's heroic stature i s restored through s p i r i t u a l regeneration. At the same time, in the last quarter of his epic, Milton makes clear the f u l l meaning of t r i a l and suffering as necessary elements i n the better fortitude.''' The heroism of suffering i s alluded to early in Book X. The Son, speaking to the Father, reminds Him of the cove-nant of grace: I go to judge On Earth these thy transgressors, but thou know'st, Whoever judg'd, the worst on mee must light. (X, 71-73) The Son has undertaken to pay the penalty for fallen man,we are reminded, and even i n the judgment scene i n the garden He shows His merciful condescension, for He disdains not Thenceforth the form of servant to assume, As when he wash'd his servants' feet, so now As Father of his Family he clad Thir nakedness. (X, 213-17) The eventual triumph of the heroism which Christ perfectly 84 manifests i s also clearly alluded to i n this scene. The Son curses the serpent with the words: "Her Seed shall bruise thy head, thou bruise his heel" (X, 181). Milton explains that this oracle was verified When Jesus son of Mary second Eye, risi n g from his Grave Spoil'd Principalities and Powers, triumpht In open show, and with ascension bright Captivity led captive through the Air, The Realm i t s e l f of Satan long usurpt, Whom he shall tread at last under our feet. (X, I83, 185-90) It i s incumbent upon Adam and Eve to relearn the principles of Christ's heroism before they can share Christ's victory. At this point, however, "the Son's merciful bearing i n pro-nouncing judgment, and his active charity in giving them clothes, make no impression on their conscious minds. To a l l 2 appearances Hell has triumphed completely i n them." The judgment over, Adam in solitude shows a general awareness of the results of his sin. "Three consequences f o l -low from this usurpation. The f i r s t i s death.... The second consequence i s the propagation of this depravity in space, the overflowing of sin upon the creatures.... The third ... con-sequence of this rebellion i s the transmission of e v i l i n s 3 time, the death of posterity in the loins of Adam." Adam i s tortured by his awareness of a l l three of these disastrous consequences of his sin. Adam's most agonizing reproaches concern his poster-i t y . The epic hero was obliged to consider the welfare of his descendants, especially his eldest son;^- Aeneas' concern for 85 Julus i s a good example. Adam in this regard has miserably failed, and, as we noted i n the last chapter, the consequences of the original sin are far more serious than those of any postlapsarian transgression. Adam recognizes that his sin i n -volves a l l of mankind: both Death and I Am found Eternal, and incorporate both, Nor I on my part single, in mee a l l Posterity stands curst: Fair Patrimony That I must leave ye, Sons; 0 were I able To waste i t a l l myself, and leave ye none! (X, 8 1 5 - 2 0 ) Moved by guilt, Adam begins to examine his past conduct and motives i n a way markedly unlike Satan's deliberate self-de-5 ception at the beginning of Book IV, for "Adam's soliloquy exhibits not only an intense awareness of his own misery, but an equally intense recognition of his own responsibility for i t : " 6 [God] after a l l Disputes Forc't I absolve: a l l my evasions vain And reasonings, though through Mazes, lead me s t i l l But to my own conviction: f i r s t and last On mee, mee only, as the source and spring Of a l l corruption, a l l the blame lights due. (X, 8 2 8 - 3 3 ) "If we compare his soliloquy with Satan's at the beginning of Book IV, when 'conscience wakes despair,' Adam's submission may to some appear less heroic than Satan's defiance of his doom; but for Milton i t i s not less but more heroic, 'the bet-/ 7 ter fortitude of patience.'" If Adam's I submit, his doom i s f a i r , That dust I am, and shall to dust return, (X, 7 6 9 - 7 0 ) 86 i s , despite the general tone of despair which pervades his speech, a step toward the achievement of heroic stature, the scene between fal l e n man and fa l l e n woman which takes place after Adam's soliloquy i s of even greater significance. Eve comes to console Adam with "Soft words" (X, 8 6 5 ) , but i s cruelly repelled: "Out of my sight, thou Serpent" (X, 8 6 7 ) . Eve persists, however, and, ironically, the very person Satan used to bring about Adam's downfall becomes a means of restor-ing Adam to his heroic role. Eve's action parallels, and i s only surpassed in the epic by, the loving self-surrender of the Son's unexampled 8 love. She pleads, Adam, witness Heav'n What love sincere, and reverence in my heart I bear thee, [I] to the place of judgment w i l l return, There with my cries importune Heaven, that a l l The sentence from thy head remov'd may light On me. (X, 9 1 4 - 1 6 , 9 3 2 - 3 5 ) She moves Adam's pity, and thus teaches him the necessity of forgiveness on the part of man, and from this moment he, who had been considering only God's power and justice, begins to 9 believe again i n the existence of mercy on the part of God. "Eve's love makes their reconciliation to God possible by re-moving the hardness and bitterness from Adam's heart."^ After Adam and Eve are reconciled "complete humility before God has not yet been reached.""1'"1' Immediately after her heroic action, Eve f a l l s into the erroneous rationalism to which the postlapsarian mind i s ever prone. She has concocted 87 a scheme which, she believes, w i l l avoid the worst consequences of the f a l l on their posterity: in thy power It l i e s , yet ere Conception to prevent The Race unblest, to being yet unbegot. (X, 986-88) If Adam thinks abstention from sexual intercourse too hard and d i f f i c u l t , she has a further proposal: let us make short, Let us seek Death, or he not found, supply With our own hands his Office on ourselves. (X, 1000-02) Adam sees that she i s wrong, not i n her wish to a l -leviate the miseries of the f a l l on others, but in her manner of thinking which has omitted any searching out of the divine w i l l , and has excluded any possibility of a supernatural so-lution to their dilemma. Adam, his f a i t h i n the God with whom a l l things are possible re-awakened, counsels her: No more be mentionTd then of violence Against ourselves, and w i l f u l barrenness, That cuts us off from hope, and savors only Rancor and pride, impatience and despite, Reluctance against God and his just yoke Laid on our Necks. .(X, 1041-46) Adam at this point then reassumes his heroic role of leader. Having pointed out ;the error in her rat i o n a l i s t i c ar-gument, he invites her to turn with him to God, who alone can cure their distress: what may ... be remedy or cure To evils which our own misdeeds have wrought, Hee w i l l instruct us praying, and of Grace Beseeching him, so as we need not fear To pass commodiously this l i f e , sustain*d By him with many comforts, t i l l we end 88 In dust, our f i n a l rest and native home. (X, 1079-85) Adam's faith, the essential weapon of the heroic champion, has made a remarkable recovery, but two points should be kept i n mind with regard to i t . It i s easy to view the couple's pen-i t e n t i a l prayer to God, sent from hearts f u l l of "sorrow un-feign'd, and humiliation meek" (X, 1 1 0 4 ) , as the f i n a l step i n the process of their recovery. However, i t i s not so. That their prayers have had a beneficial effect i n their restoration i s evident: Adam and f i r s t Matron Eve Had ended now thir Orisons, and found Strength added from above, new hope to spring Out of despair. ( x i , 136-39) At the same time, however, we note their lack of comprehension of God's purposes. Adam, in an outburst of unfounded optimism, t e l l s Eve that God's promise that her seed shall bruise their foe now Assures [him] that the bitterness of death Is past, and [they] sha l l l i v e . ( x i , 1 5 6 - 5 8 ) Eve shares this confidence born of ignorance: while here we dwell, What can be toilsome i n these pleasant Walks? Here let us live, though i n f a l l ' n state, content. (XI, 178-80) Adam and Eve, then, "do not yet understand God's ways to Man nor Christ's offer of salvation. Until they understand these things and u n t i l they know the answers to the questions raised i n Christ's judgments and i n Adam's speeches at the end of 11 Book X, their earthly redemption w i l l be p a r t i a l . " 89 We must note as well another important factor here: Adam and Eve are incapable of attaining heroic virtue through their own unaided efforts. At the outset of Book XI we read: Thus they in lowliest plight repentant stood Praying, for from the Mercy-seat above Prevenient Grace descending had remov'd The stony from thi r hearts, and made new flesh Regenerate grow instead, that sighs now breath Td Unutterable, which the Spir i t of prayer Inspir'd. (XI, 1-7) Milton stresses here his fundamental axiom that the existence of his brand of heroism depends upon God, and thus His preve-nient grace i s needed to soften the "stony1' hearts of Adam and Eve before they can begin to repent and regain heroic stature. Milton emphasizes this idea further by restating i t in the Son's words: See Father, what f i r s t f r u i t s on Earth are sprung From thy implanted Grace in Man, these Sighs And Prayers. (XI, 22-24) And, concerning f a l l e n man, the Father Himself says, He sorrows now, repents, and prays contrite, My motions in him; longer than they move, His heart I know, how variable and vain S e l f - l e f t . (XI, 9 0 - 9 3 ) It i s not surprising that Milton underscores the im-portance of God's grace in the re-formation of Adam and Eve's heroism. As we noted earlier, dependence upon God i s the h a l l -mark of Milton's heroism; i t i s this more than anything else which distinguishes his concept of heroic virtue from that 'of the c l a s s i c a l epic writers. To Milton, the hero f i r s t passive-ly experiences the operation of divine grace upon his soul, and 90 only then i s able to choose to co-operate with the continued outpouring of such grace. This does not negate human heroism by reducing man to the condition of a puppet, completely pas-sive while God pulls the strings, for Milton sees man's hero-ism lying i n his free decision — a decision that must be con-tinually repeated in the most trying of circumstances — to actively and diligently co-operate with the Sp i r i t of grace which has begun the good work i n his soul. As these statements involve an understanding of im-portant ideas i n Milton's theology, i t would be worth while looking for a moment at Milton's discussion of repentance and regeneration i n De Doctrina Christiana. Of the former Milton says briefly, "REPENTANCE ... i s THE GIFT OF GOD" (I, xix, 466), and of the latter, "REGENERATION means that ... THE IN-NER MAN IS REGENERATED BI GOD that i s , by God the Fa-ther, for generation i s an act performed only by fathers" (I, x v i i , 460). Speaking more generally of man's restoration, Milton defines i t as "the act by which man, freed from sin and death by God the Father through Jesus Christ, i s raised to a far more excellent state of grace and glory than that from which he f e l l " (I, xiv, 415):, and he notes shortly afterwards that "the Father i s frequently called our Savior, as i t i s by his eternal counsel and grace alone that wa are saved" (I, xiv, 416). These statements clearly show the importance for f a l l e n man of grace on the part of God, who, "OUT OF GRATUITOUS KIND-NESS, INVITES BELIEVERS TO SALVATION" (I, x v i i , 453). God's grace i n i t i a t e s the process of salvation. 91 Milton also makes clear, however, his belief that, after the i n i t i a l movement of grace upon the heart, God enables man to co-operate i n the outworking of his salvation. In dis-cussing God's decision whom to predestinate, Milton writes that God's grace i s acknowledged supreme ... because he grant-ed that we should once again be able to use our wills, that i s , to act freely, when we had recovered liberty of the w i l l through renewing of the S p i r i t . In this way he opened Lydia's heart, Acts xvi.14. The condition upon which God's decision depends, then, entails the action of a w i l l -which he himself has freed. (I, iv, 189) Man, whose w i l l has been freed by God from i t s bondage to sin, i s able to act heroically once more. Milton says this again i n discussing man's vocation, his invitation by God to salva-tion: The change i n man which follows his vocation i s that whereby the mind and w i l l of the natural man are partially renewed and are divinely moved towards knowledge of God, and undergo a change for the better, at any rate for the time being.... this change ... i s sometimes called a hearing or a listening, though i t i s usually understood that the a b i l i t y to hear or listen i s i t s e l f a g i f t from God.... God gives us the power to act freely, which we have not been able to do since the f a l l unless called and restored. (I, x v i i , 457) Kelley, i n his introduction to the Yale edition of De Doctrina, concurs with what we have been saying about these statements. "To make belief possible i n fa l l e n man," he summarizes, "God graciously restores to each individual sufficient freedom of w i l l for him to answer the c a l l of salvation; and on those who respond, he bestows increasing powers.... to attain salvation the restored free w i l l of man cooperates with the i n i t i a l and 92 continuing grace of God."""y The best summary of Milton's beliefs on the relation between God's grace and the freewill necessary for the possi-b i l i t y of heroism occurs i n Paradise Lost i t s e l f : in Book III the Father says, Man shall not quite be lost, but sav'd who w i l l , Yet not of w i l l in him, but grace i n me Freely voutsaf't; once more I w i l l renew His lapsed powers, though f o r f e i t and enthrall'd By sin to foul exorbitant desires; Upheld by me, yet once more he shall stand On even ground against his mortal foe, By me upheld, that he may know how f r a i l His f a l l ' n condition i s , and to me owe A l l his deliv'ranee, and to none but me. ( I l l , 173 - 6 2 ) It i s grace, "Freely voutsaf't," which w i l l "renew" man's "lapsed powers." The i n i t i a l operation of God enabling man to respond to divine grace, and the onus upon men, at least upon those not specially chosen as "Elect above the rest" (III, 1S4), to respond to and continue to co-operate with this grace, i s stated by the Father: men shall hear me c a l l , and oft be warn'd Thir s i n f u l state, and to appease betimes Th'incensed Deity while offer'd grace Invites; for I w i l l clear th i r senses dark, What may suffice, and soft'n stony hearts To pray, repent, and bring obedience due. To Prayer, repentance, and obedience due, Though but endeavor'd with sincere intent, Mine ear shall not be slow, mine eye not shut. 'And I w i l l place within them as a guide My Umpire Conscience, whom i f they w i l l hear, Light after light well us'd they shall attain, And to the end persisting, safe arrive. This my long sufferance and my day of grace They who neglect and scorn, sha l l never taste. ( I l l , 185-99) In this passage, "The absolute primacy of grace i s established absolutely, yet once that i s done Milton ensures the proper 93 balance through strategically placed words. Grace may con-strain but does not necessarily command. It i s •offerd,' i t 'invites,' i t can even be 'neglected.' If neglected, i t de-prives man of mercy; but i f 'endevord' with sincere intent, i t 14 enables 'persisting' man safely to reach the end." It would seem then that i n Paradise Lost heroism of any sort i s impossible for Adam and Eve apart from the preve-nient grace which regenerates their a b i l i t y to obey and love God, but that fallen man and fallen woman are obliged to co-operate with this movement of grace, once i t has been i n i t i -ated by God. In the fulfillment of this obligation l i e s their claim to Milton's brand of heroism. Seen in retrospect then, Adam's confession and Eve's reconciliation with Adam are the visible outcome of their submission to and co-operation with an inward s p i r i t u a l grace acting within them. In this sub-mission and co-operation resides the s p i r i t u a l essence of their heroism. Early i n Book XI Michael i s sent by God to further the process of regeneration i n man. This movement complements Adam and Eve's earlier t u t o r i a l under Raphael. As Michael ex-plains to Adam: ! know I am sent To show thee what shal l come i n future days To thee and to thy Offspring; good with bad Expect to hear, supernal Grace contending With sinfulness of Men; thereby to learn  True patience, and to temper joy with fear And pious sorrow. (XI, 356-62; emphasis mine) Michael's statement that one of the prime goals of his i n -struction w i l l be to teach "True patience" adds weight to our 94 contention that in. the last two books Adam and Eve continue to grow i n the better fortitude of patience and heroic martyrdom. If Raphael's instruction accords with one of Milton's defini -tions of education, Michael's i s i n keeping with the following statement that the goal of education i s "to repair the ruins of our f i r s t parents by regaining to know God aright, and out of that knowledge to love him, to imitate him, to be like him, as we may the neerest by possessing our souls of true vertue, which being united to the heavenly grace of faith makes up the highest perfection"(p. 230). Milton couches this instruction within the traditional convention of the epic vision. In Book XVIII of the Iliad, He-phaistos, fashioning Achilles' shield, engraves upon i t sev-eral visions, and Milton clearly models some scenes i n Michael's 15 speech upon these. Closer to Milton's use of this convention i s V i r g i l ' s , however, for Anchises' talk with Aeneas i n Book VI of the Aeneid and Vulcan's elaborate carvings on the shield of Aeneas i n Book VIII serve a prophetic purpose, and Michael, when he i s not didactic and hortatory, i s similarly prophetic. The purpose of the prophetic visions i n the Aeneid i s to i n -spire Aeneas "to f u l f i l l his mission by showing him the sub-16 sequent history and glories of Rome." The vision of Michael i s at once far worse, and far better, than any i n the Aeneid. for i t vividly portrays both the horrors of the "sinfulness of Men" (XI, 3 6 O ) , and the glories of "supernal Grace" (XI, 3 5 9 ) . Adam's instructor i n righteousness seeks f i r s t to teach him the enormity of his crime. As we have said, the ten-95 dency to believe that a l l i s well now must give way to a clear-er understanding of those very general notions of the results of his sin on himself, nature, and his posterity which tor-mented Adam in Book X. He must learn about death, disease, seduction, and complete moral depravity, and about God^s reac-tion to them. Adam learns about the f i r s t of these, death, i n the vision i n which he sees his son Abel k i l l e d by another son, Cain, and about disease i n the subsequent vision of the Lazar-house; about moral depravity in the seduction of the sons of Seth by the daughters of Cain, and about God's hatred of sin in the picture of the world at Noah's time. This brings to a conclusion Book XI with the destruction of a l l mankind except Noah and his family through flood, the result of God's righ-teous anger against the evils prevalent among men. The theme of the e v i l consequences of the F a l l con-tinues in Book XII: Adam's sin has made possible Babel, the persecution of the Jews under Pharoah, idolatry, and the Baby-lonian captivity. This theme reaches i t s culmination i n the crucifixion of Christ and the persecution of His followers. Michael's summary i s indeed bleak: so s h a l l the World go on, To good malignant, to bad men benign, Under her own weight groaning, t i l l the day Appear of respiration to the just, And vengeance to the wicked. (XII, 537-41) Adam learns from this panoramic sweep of mankind's fu-ture "that the multifarious forms of e v i l which are to harass the human race and actually menace i t s existence are a l l reduc-96 ible to the same kind of moral and intel l e c t u a l defection as 17 that which proved so fateful i n the Garden of Eden." Michael brings this home to Adam: f i r s t behold Th'effects which thy original crime hath wrought In some to spring from thee, who never touch*d  Th'excepted Tree, nor with the Snake conspir'd. Nor sinn' d thy sin, yet from that sin derive Corruption to bring forth more violent deeds. (XI, 423-28; emphasis mine) Later, he reinforces this: know withal, Since thy original lapse, true Liberty Is lost. (XII, 82-84; emphasis mine) Again, he t e l l s Adam concerning the children of Israel: Doubt not but that sin W i l l reign among them, as of thee begot. TXII, 285-86; emphasis mine) Thus, Adam learns not simply the consequences of sin, but the consequences of his sin. While the f o l l y of disobedience i s shown to Adam, the glory of heroism i s also exemplified. Michael's second major purpose, then, i s to reveal to Adam the greatest instances of godly heroes in man's future, in order that his own r e i n s t a t e -ment as a hero may be effected by the power of their examples. The single righteous irdividual, the "one just Man" (XI, 8 1 8 ) i n a wicked world, i s the most extreme case of Christian hero-ism. Adam has seen this type of hero earlier, i n Raphael's description of Abdiel. Now, Michael cites case after case. Of Enoch, Adam asks, who was that Just Man, whom had not Heav'n Rescu'd, had in his Righteousness been lost? (XI, 681-82) 97 Michael replies, thou beheld'st The only righteous i n a World perverse, And therefore hated, therefore so beset With Foes for daring single to be just, And utter odious Truth, that God would come To judge them with his Saints: Him the most High Did ... receive, to walk with God. (XI, 700-05, 707) From this account Adam learns the glory of heroism, and the great regard God has for the f a i t h f u l champion, rewarding his stance with providential care. "In a dark Age, against exam-ple good" (XI, 809), Noah, also, stands as "The one just Man alive" (XI, 818), as, in his time, does Abraham, the "one fa i t h f u l man" (XII, 1 1 3 ) . Each of these great heroes i s abun-dantly rewarded: Noah, with his family, i s spared in the del-uge and "God voutsafes to raise another World/From him" (XI, 877); Abraham i s blessed, and God "from him w i l l raise/A mighty Nation" (XII, 123-24) from whom the promised redeemer w i l l come. These heroes are Christian heroes, for they fight a spi r i t u a l battle; they are weak i n their solitariness, but are made strong by fai t h to remain obedient. Ultimately, of course, the one just man theme reaches i t s climax i n the great exemplar of obedience: Jesus Christ. Adam, hearing of His ad-vent, "expects an earthly kingdom and an immediate and f i n a l victory over Satan.... He must s t i l l learn the nature of the Messiah's warfare. The true warfare i s inward, and man himself 18 i s the battleground." Michael, repudiating the false con-cept of heroism which i s implicit i n Adam's expectations, says, 98 Dream not of t h i r fight, As of a Duel, or the local wounds Of head or heel: not therefore joins the Son Manhood to Godhead, with more strength to f o i l Thy enemy. (XII, 386-90) There i s surely a humourous intent i n these last words, for the picture of the Son of God becoming a man i n order to add to the strength of His deity i s patently absurd. In Jesus, the supreme hero of Christendom, Milton's view of heroism finds i t s fulfillment. Christ's heroic strength i s not that of physical might, but of obedience; concerning man's deserved punishment, Michael says to Adam, hee, who comes thy Saviour, shall recure, Not by destroying Satan, but his works In thee and i n thy Seed: nor can this be, But by f u l f i l l i n g that which thou didst want, Obedience to the Law of God. (XII, 3 9 3 - 9 7 ) Christ's obedience arises not out of personal interest, but out of love: The Law of God exact he shall f u l f i l Both by obedience and by love. (XII, 4 0 2 - 0 3 ) Apparently weak, He shall come in the Flesh To a reproachful l i f e and cursed deaths he shall live hated, be blasphem'd, Seiz'd on by force, judg'd, and to death condemn'd A shameful and accurst, nail'd to the Cross By his own Nation, / so he dies. (XII, 405-06, 411-14, 419) But this i s not weakness; i t i s actually true heroic strength. Love constrains him to suffer for His beloved; Michael t e l l s 99 Adam, "thy punishment/He shall endure" (XII, 404-O5). His love for fallen man cr.n be compared to the love of Achilles and Aeneas for their friends who have fallen i n war. The deaths of Patroklos and Pallas "give Achilles and Aeneas spe-c i a l cause for revenge, in effect, impelling the hero's return 19 and resolution of the co n f l i c t . " In the Christian context, however, Christ overshadows the c l a s s i c a l heroes, for His re-venge, i n His punishment of Satan, i s more terrible, His sac-r i f i c e , i n laying down His l i f e , i s more costly, and His be-nevolence, i n restoring Adam and Eve to s p i r i t u a l l i f e , i s more efficacious, than any of Achilles' or Aeneas' actions. Here we have the noblest expression of that better fortitude of patience and heroic martyrdom which Milton saw as the high-est form of heroism. Through His suffering and death Jesus Christ achieves a victory which no other man, no matter how heroic, could hope to win: this God-like act Annuls thy doom, the death thou shouldst have di'd, In sin for ever lost from l i f e ; this act Shall bruise the head of Satan, crush his strength Defeating Sin and Death, his two main arms, And f i x far deeper i n his head t h i r stings Than temporal death shall bruise the Victor's heel. (XII, 427-33) His reward i s ' j n keeping with His deeds, far surpass-ing that of Enoch, Noah, or Abraham, for though He dies, He soon revives and ascends to enter into glory, and resume His seat at God's right hand, exalted high Above a l l names i n Heav'n. (XII, 456-58) The heroism of Christ sets the pattern for His follow-100 ers, for they must be " i n mind prepar'd, i f so befall,/For death, like that which the redeemer d i T d " (XII, 444-45). Their dependence upon God for victory i s clearly indicated by Christ's sending the Holy Spi r i t to dwell in each of them. This Comforter w i l l guide them i n a l l truth, and also arm With s p i r i t u a l Armor, able to resist Satan's assaults, and quench his f i e r y darts, What Man can do against them, not afraid, Though to the death, against such cruelties With inward consolations recompens't, And oft supported so as shall amaze Thir proudest persecutors. (XII, 490-97) The necessity of the Holy Spirit's assistance under-scores again the point that Michael's survey of history makes very clear: man cannot achieve true heroic standing by him-sel f . The need to rely on God through fa i t h instead of on one's own a b i l i t i e s i s stressed throughout Michael's speech. Trusting i n his own merits, the would-be champion "can, at best, achieve only a temporary and earthly reward. Tainted as they are by sin, his noblest exploits must ultimately i n -cur eternal death and shame instead of everlasting l i f e and glory. On the other hand, by trusting i n the imputed righ-teousness of Christ, he can attain the imperishable honours 20 of Heaven." Michael's teaching ministry has ended, and Adam now summarizes the lessons he has learned. He acknowledges f i r s t the f o l l y of aspiring to knowledge beyond his capacity to un-derstand or to appreciate. He has learned that which i s cru-c i a l to a l l true heroes, the importance of obeying God and lov-101 ing Him: Henceforth I learn, that to obey i s best, And love with fear the only God. (XII, 5 6 1 - 6 2 ) That dependence upon God which i s a hallmark of Christian her-oism has now become a part of Adam's outlook: he has learned to walk As i n [God's] presence, ever to observe His providence, and on him sole depend. ( x i i , 5 6 2 - 6 4 ) He can thus trust Him, because of what he has learned from his teacher concerning the nature of God, He who i s Merciful over a l l his works, with good S t i l l overcoming e v i l , and by small Accomplishing great things, by things deem'd weak Subverting worldly strong, and worldly wise By simply meek. ( x i i , 5 6 5 - 6 9 ) In his f i n a l words i n the epic we see that Adam has also learned the better fortitude of patience and heroic martyr-dom: suffering for Truth's sake Is fortitude to highest victory, And to the f a i t h f u l Death the Gate of Life. (XII, 5 6 9 - 7 1 ) Having become prepared i n heart and mind, Adam can only be exhorted now to put into practice that which he has learned, to move from b-^ing simply a potential hero to being one i n fact. Even i n Michael's exhortation, however, we note that heroic deeds are 7only one aspect of Christian heroism; the spi r i t u a l prerequisites for those deeds receive the greater em-phasis, and of these preconditions love receives the greatest emphasis of a l l : only add 102 Deeds to thy knowledge answerable, add Faith, Add Virtue, Patience, Temperance, add Love, By name to come ca l l ' d Charity, the soul Of a l l the rest. (XII, 5 8 1 - 8 5 ) The exercise of these s p i r i t u a l attributes of Christian hero-ism w i l l merit the hero a reward far better* than any attained by cl a s s i c a l epic heroes: then wilt thou not be loath To leave this Paradise, but shalt possess A paradise within thee, happier far. (XII, 5^5-^7) Eden exceeds a l l the earthly kingdoms which pagan heroes strive for, but Adam and Eve, through their heroic struggles in the s p i r i t u a l realm, w i l l achieve s p i r i t u a l satisfactions surpassing even the bliss of Eden. This promised s p i r i t u a l reward might seem proof of an attitude on Milton's part that the f a l l of man was ultimately a fortunate event, a f e l i x culpa. Further support for this view might seem to be found i n Adam's response to Michael's prophecy that Christ's f a i t h f u l w i l l be rewarded by being re-ceived into Paradise, far happier place Than this of Eden, and far happier days. (XII, 4 6 4 - 6 5 ) To this, Adam, "Replete with joy and wonder" (XII, 4 6 8 ) , ex-claims, 0 goodness i n f i n i t e , goodness immense! That a l l this good of e v i l s h a l l produce, And e v i l turn to good; more wonderful 'Than that which by creation f i r s t brought forth Light out of darkness! f u l l of doubt I stand, Whether I should repent me now of sin By mee done and occasion'd, or rejoice Much more, that much more good thereof sha l l spring, 103 To God more glory, more good w i l l to Men From God, and over wrath grace shall abound. (XII, 4 6 9 - 7 8 ) It i s tempting to adopt this view of the f a l l for our present purr ;es, because a case could be made that the f a l l was fortunate i n that human heroism as we now know i t , with the momentousness of i t s struggles and the greatness of i t s rewards, would have been impossible had Adam and Eve not sinned. However, i t would seem to this writer that Milton did not share this view. For one thing the.argument used to support the notion of the f e l i x culpa demeans the momentous-ness of the heroic exploits i n which unfallen man might have engaged. God, i n His original proclamation of His intention to create man, said, [I] w i l l create Another World, out of one man a Race Of men innumerable, there to dwell, Not here, t i l l by degrees of merit rais'd They open to themselves at length the way Up hither, under long obedience t r i ' d , And Earth be chang'd to Heav'n, and Heav'n to Earth, One Kingdom, Joy and Union without end. (VII, 154-61) The demonstration of heroic virtue "under long obedience t r i T d " i s clearly God's intention for unfallen man, and there i s no reason to suppose that such heroism should be inferior to that of postlapsarian heroes. Further, the reward envi-sioned here i s surely as great as that offered to Adam and to ,/' Christ's f a i t h f u l disciples. We should also note that Adam's speech referred to above only expresses "doubt" whether or not he should repent. "Adam's speech does not express a reasoned theological view of the consequences of sin; read dramatically, 104 i t expresses his emotional reaction to news of the f i n a l t r i -umph of good, after he has several times been on the verge of despair. The tale of misery that has preceded the f i n a l t r i -umph and the tale of postbiblical human history ... both con-21 tradict any argument that the f a l l was 'fortunate.*" Finally, we cannot accept the view of the f e l i x culpa, because the text i t s e l f f l a t l y denies that idea: God the Fa-ther says of fallen man, let him boast His knowledge of Good lost, and E v i l got, Happier, had i t suffic'd him to have known Good by i t s e l f , and E v i l not at a l l . 2 2 (XI, 86-89) The second, main movement of Paradise Lost concerned with human heroism culminates i n an act of heroism on the part of Adam and Eve which may at f i r s t seem "small" (XII, 5 6 6 ) , but i s in r e a l i t y the means of "Accomplishing great things" (XII, 5 6 7 ) . Michael concludes his instruction with a remind-er of his commission and with a show of military strength: Let us descend now ... from this top Of Speculation; for the hour precise Exacts our parting hence; and see the Guards, By mee encampt on yonder H i l l , expect Thir motion, at whose Front a flaming Sword, In signal of remove, waves fiercely round; We may no longer stay. (XII, 5 8 8 - 9 4 ) It would seem that Michael was prepared for the worst i f Adam and Eve decided to resist their expulsion from Eden. The "dreadful Faces" and "fiery Arms" (XII, 644) of the cherubim, and "t h i r f i x t Station, a l l in bright array" (XII, 627) are reminiscent of the demeanour, armament, and organization of. 105 those angels in Book IV whose duty i s to protect Adam and Eve from the malevolent and powerful figure of Satan, and of those in Book VI commanded to drive out of Heaven the unscrupulous and destructive rebels. If Satan found Adam a "Foe not i n -formidable" (IX, 4 8 6 ) , i t .'s conceivable that Michael might also have found him so had Adam decided to resist the Arch-angel. Adam chooses to obey. Michael had told him to "go, waken Eve" (XII, 594); Adam not only goes, he runs to do the angel's bidding (XII, 6 0 7 - 0 8 ) . Eve also exercises the hero-ism of obedience; "now lead on;/In mee i s no delay" (XII, 6 1 4 - 1 5 ) , she t e l l s Adam. Together they submit to the w i l l of God: In either hand the hast'ning Angel caught Our lingering Parents, and to th'Eastern Gate Led them direct, and down the C l i f f as fast To the subjected Plain; then disappear'd. They looking back, a l l th'Eastern side beheld Of Paradise, so late t h i r happy seat, Some natural tears they dropp'd, but wip'd them soon; The World was a l l before them, where to choose Thir place of rest, and Providence t h i r guide. (XII, 6 3 7 - 4 2 , 6 4 5 - 4 7 ) Not only heroic obedience i s revealed here; i n trusting sole-ly i n God's guidance to lead them through the unknown world i n -to which they are entering Adam and Eve show a heroic faith of the highest order. But apart from obedience and faith, the couple also demonstrate, i n leaving Paradise for a world f u l l ' of physical dangers and s p i r i t u a l snares, the heroic virtue of patient endurance of suffering. Their brave acceptance of the suffering they must undergo i s implicit i n the last lines 106 of the poem: They hand i n hand with wand'ring steps and slow, Through Eden took t h i r solitary way. (XII, 648-49) The word "solitary" harks back to the "one just man" theme which runs throughout Books XI and XII: entering the world of the "subjected" plain, beneath Eden morally as well as physi-cally, Adam w i l l be the one just man, and Eve the one just wom-an i n a world perverse. Warfaring, as well as wayfaring, Adam and Eve are truly heroic as they leave Paradise. Our investigation of Paradise Lost has confirmed what we said at the beginning of our study concerning MiIton vs con-cept of heroism. It i s clear that he rejects the destructive, self-glorifying, self-reliant type of heroism which he asso-ciated with classical epics for one that manifests the Christian virtues. Faith, humility, and love are the primary s p i r i t u a l attributes of the hero's character, and these produce a desire to obey, a desire so strong that great t r i a l s , suffering, even martyrdom i t s e l f , are borne patiently. In our time, when v i -olence, pride, and unrestrained individualism seem on the i n -crease as t r a i t s of heroes i n literature and cinema, studies of Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes, and more intensive examinations of Paradise Lost than the scope of the present work allows, offer opportunities to explore an alternative form of heroism which i s truly noble. 107 Notes Introduction A. S. P. Woodhouse, "Pattern in Paradise Lost," UTQ, 22 (Jan. 1953), 114-2 John M. Steadman. Milton and the Renaissance Hero (Oxford: Clarendon, 1967), p. v. 3 James Thorpe, ed., Milton Criticism: Selections  from Four Centuries (New York: Macmillan, Collier Books, 196"9), p. 49. 4 ^Thorpe, ed., p. 3 3 7 . 5Cited in E. M. V/. Tillyard, The English Epic and i t s Background (1954; rpt. London: Oxford Univ. Press, Galaxy Books, 19o"6), p. 435-^Thorpe, ed., pp. 3 4 4 - 4 5 . 7 'Thorpe, ed., p. 345. Thorpe, ed., p. 57. Chapter One: "This Subject for Heroic Song" ^"Merrit Y. Hughes, ed., John Milton: Complete Poems  and Maior Prose (New York: Odyssey, 1957), i s the edition used i n this thesis for Milton's poetry. References to this edition w i l l appear i n the text. 2 J . Max Patrick et a l , eds., The Prose of John Milton. Anchor Seventeenth-Century Series (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, Anchor Books, 1967), p. 110. This edition of Milr ton's prose i s employed throughout, unless otherwise noted. Subsequent references to this edition w i l l appear i n the text. 108 3 The discussion below follows the excellent treatment of the development of Milton's epic in James Holly Hanford and James G. Taaffe, A Milton Handbook. 5th ed. (New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1970), pp. 147-150. ^Hanford and Taaffe, eds., p. 149. 5Hanford and Taaffe, eds., p. 149. ^Steadman, p. v i . ^Burton 0. Kurth, Milton and Christian Humanism. Univ, of California Publications in English Studies, No. 20 (Berke-ley: Univ. of California Press, 1959), p. 10. The following discussion contrasting Christian and c l a s s i c a l modes of heroism i s deeply indebted to Steadman's Milton and the Renaissance Hero which i s the major scholarly work i n this area of Milton studies, and to a lesser extent to Kurth ?s Milton and Christian Humanism. ^Steadman, p. 2 9 . 10c Steadman, p. 3 2 . 12, "^Steadman, p. 37. 'Steadman, p. 73-76. "^Steadman, pp. 66, 77. ^Steadman, p. 78. "^Steadman, pp. 146-47 • ^Steadman, p. 8 3 . 17Steadman, p. 107. l 8Kurth, p. 8 . 19 ' 7Northrop Frye, "The Garden Within," The Return of Eden: Five Essays on Milton's Epics. Northrop Frye, 1965, . rpt. i n Arnold Stein, ed., On Milton's Poetry. Fawcett Litera-ture and Ideas Series (Greenwich, Conn.: Fawcett, 1970), p. 2 3 0 . For a discussion of the idea which follows, namely that heroic "action" demands non-action, see pp. 92-94 of Frye's "The Story of A l l Things," also reprinted from The Return of  Eden i n Stein's collection. 2 0Kurth, p. 3 0 . 2 1C. M. Bowra, From V i r g i l to Milton (1945; rpt. Lon-109 don: Macmillan, Papermacs, 1 9 6 7 ) , p. 2 1 1 . 2 2Kurth, p. 1 2 0 . 23Bowra, p. 1 9 9 . 2 Z (Marianna Woodhull, The Epic of Paradise Lost: Twelve  Essays (New York: Putnam's, 190777"p. 123-2 5Kurth, p. 1 3 4 . Chapter Two: Divine and Demonic Heroism ^Steadman, p. xix. 2 Davis P. Harding, The Club of Hercules: Studies i n the Classical Background of Paradise Lost., I l l i n o i s Studies in Language and Literature, No. 5 0 ~ T U r b a n a : Univ. of I l l i n o i s Press, 1 9 6 2 ) , p. 4 1 . -i ^Hector M. and Nora Kershaw Chadwick, The Ancient L i t -eratures of Europe, Vol. I in The Growth of Literature (Cam-bridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1932) " , p. 7 6 . ^Harding, p. 4 5 . The following lines cited i n Hard-ing, p. 4 5 . 5John E. Seaman, The Moral Paradox of "Paradise Lost," Studies i n English Literature, No. 6 1 (The Hague: Mouton, 1 9 7 1 ) , p. 3 9 . C. M. Bowra, Heroic Poetry ( 1 9 5 2 ; rpt. London: Mac-millan, Papermacs, 1 9 6 6 ), p. 1 0 0 . ^Seaman, p. 85. 8 V i r g i l , The Aeneid of V i r g i l , trans. Rolfe Humphries (New York: Scribner's, The Scribner Library Lyceum Editions, 1 9 5 1 ) , p. 2 8 . 9Cf. Iliad, X, 1 1 . 1 9 7 - 2 3 5 . 10Seaman, pp. 7 0 - 7 1 . •^Homer, The I l i a d of Homer, trans. Andrew Lang, Wal-ter Leaf, and Ernest Myers, Globe Edition ( 1 8 8 2 ; rpt. London: Macmillan, 1 9 6 1 ) , p. 1 9 2 . Subsequent references to this edi-tion w i l l appear i n the text. •^Harding, p. 46. 110 13Bowra, From V i r g i l to Milton, pp. 229-30. Chapter Three: Instruction i n Fortitude Warding, p. 70. 2Homer, The Odyssey of Homer, trans. S. H. Butcher and Andrew Lang, Globe Edition 11879; rpt. London: Macmillan, 1963), p. 99. This similarity noted by Harding, p. 70. ^Harding, p. 7 0 . ^Harding, p. 71. ^Thomas Greene, The Descent from Heaven: A Study i n Epic Continuity (New Haven, Conn.: Yale Univ. Press, 1963T7 p. 392. Greene, p. 405. ^Stel l a Revard, "Miltou's Critique of Heroic Warfare in Paradise Lost V and VI," SEL, 7 (Winter 1 9 6 7 ) , 127. ^Bowra, From V i r g i l to Milton, p. 197. Q 7Revard, p. 122. 10Chadwick, p. 90. i : LNorthrop Frye, "The Story of A l l Things," The Re-turn of Eden: Five Essays on Milton's Epics, Northrop Frye, 1965, rpt. i n Arnold Stein, ed., On Milton's Poetry. Fawcett Literature and Ideas Series (Greenwich, Conn.: Fawcett, 1970), p. 93. 123eaman, p. 70. •^Frye, "The Story of A l l Things," p. 94-1 / fFrye, "The Story of A l l Things," p. 94. •^Bowra, From V i r g i l to Milton, p. 2 3 1 . Arthur E.' Barker, "Structural and Doctrinal Pattern in Milton's Later Poems," i n Essays i n English Literature from  the Renaissance to the Victorian Age Presented to A. S. P. Woodhouse, eds. Millar Maclure and F.. V/. Watt "(Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press, 1964), p. 187. "^Stanley Eugene Fish, "Standing Only: Christian Hero-I l l ism," in Surprised by Sin: The Reader in Paradise Lost (New York: Macmillan, 196777~P. 1 9 0 . 18 Seaman, p. 1 1 . 1 9William McQueen, "Paradise Lost V, VI: The War in Heaven," SP, 71 (Jan. 1 9 7 4 ) , 90. 2 0Revard, p. 137 . 21 Joseph H. Summers, The Muse's Method: An Introduc-tion to "Paradise Lost" (London: Chatto and Windus, 1962), p. 1 3 3 . 22 J. B. Broadbent, Some Graver Subject: An Essay on  Paradise Lost (London, Chatto and Windus, I 9 6 0 ) , p. 2 3 0 . ^McQueen, p. 1 0 3 . 2 ^ "Summers, p. 137 . 2^Summers, p. 158. ^"George Williamson, "The Education of Adam,» Modern Philology. 61 (1963), rpt. i n Arthur E. Barker, ed., Milton: Modern Essays i n Criticism (London: Oxford Univ. Press, Gal-axy Books, 19637, p. 2 9 5 . Chapter Four: The Catastrophic Epic Contest "Hughes, ed., Milton: Complete Poems and Major Prose, p. 3 7 8 , n. 15. 2Kurth, p. 5 7 . 3 Seaman, p. 5 5 . "^Seaman, p. 3 6 . 5 ^ ^Seaman, p. 131. ^Douglas Bush, "Paradise Lost i n Our Time: Religious and Ethical Principles," "Paradise Lost i n Our Time: Some Com-ments. Douglas Bush, 1945, rpt. i n Arthur E. Barker, ed., Milton: Modern Essays i n Criticism (London: Oxford Univ. Press, Galaxy Books, 19o""5)7~ P* 161. V Se aman, p. 1 3 1 . % n "The Cr i s i s of Paradise Lost." Studies i n Milton. 112 E. M. W. Tillyard, 1951, rpt. in Milton: Paradise Lost: A Collection of C r i t i c a l Essays, Twentieth Century Views Series (Englewood C l i f f s , N. J.: Prentice-Hall, Spectrum Books, 1 9 6 6 ) , p. 164, T i l l y a r d writes, "Adam has been eloquent; we know that Eve must have been impressed. Indeed when she makes her next (and last) speech, she i s 'submiss.' Adam real l y has the situation in hand.... And then comes the tragedy. Adam, who could now be firm with impunity, whom Eve expects to be firm, suddenly weakens.... The whole situation i s pervaded with tragic irony. Adam weakens just when he could so easily have been strong. Eve, having requested to garden alone, gains her request just as she has repented of i t . " ^Steadman, p. 12,6. 1 0C. S. Lewis, A Preface to Paradise Lost (1942; rpt. London: Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford Paperbacks, 1 9 6 5 ) , p. 7 3 -i:LSeaman, p. 102. 12Steadman, p. 127-^John Milton, Complete Prose Works of John Milton, Vol. VI: ca. l658~ca. 1660, ed. Maurice Kelley (New Haven, Conn.: Yale Univ. Press, 1973), I, xi , 3 8 3 . Subsequent ref-erences to De Doctrina w i l l be from this edition and w i l l ap-pear i n the text. ^We do not mean to deny the great emotional power with which Milton invests the account of Adam's fal l " moving the reader to sympathize with Adam, any more than we should deny that poetic power which created i n Books I and II such an impressive figure i n Satan. The reader's sympathy i s aroused in both cases owing to the integrity of Milton's ar-t i s t r y . Understanding the attractiveness of e v i l under cer-tain conditions, he created i n Satan a figure superficially attractive, but e v i l ; understanding the strong emotional f e e l -ings which accompany the temptation to do e v i l i n certain c i r -cumstances, he renders Adam's f a l l i n such a way that the reader sympathizes with Adam i n his predicament while recog-nizing that his solution to the problem i s disastrously wrong. "^Augustine, Concerning the City of God against the Pagans, ed. David Knowles and trans. Henry Bettenson (Har-mondsworth, Eng.: Penguin, Pelican Classics, 1 9 7 2 ) , XIV, xxvii, 5 9 2 . / l 6Lewis, p. 1 2 7 . 1 7H. V. S. Ogden, "The Cris i s of Paradise Lost Recon-sidered," Philological Quarterly. 36 (1957), rpt. i n Arthur E. Barker, ed., Milton: Modern Essays i n Criticism (London: Ox-ford Univ. Press, Galaxy Books, 1965TT p. 3 2 2 . 113 •^Lewis, p. 69. "^Broadbent, p. 2 4 6 . 2 0 C i t y of God, XIV, i i i , 552. 21 Summers, p. 101. Chapter Five: The Regeneration of Heroic Virtue 1Kurth, p. 122. 2 T i l l y a r d , " C r i s i s , " p. 172. •^Balachandra Raj an, "Paradise Lost" and the Seven-teenth Century Reader (London: Chatto and Windus, 1 9 4 7 ) , p. 7 4 . ^Seaman, p. 3 s. 5Louis L. Martz, "Paradise Lost.: The Journey of the Mind," in The Paradise Within: Studies i n Vaughan, Traherne, and MiltonTNew Haven, Conn.: Yale Univ. Press, 1 9 6 4 ) , p. 139. ^John M. Steadman, Milton's Epic Characters (Chapel H i l l : Univ. of North Carolina Press, 196sT", p. 157. ^B. A. Wright, Milton's "Paradise Lost" (London: Methuen, 1968), p. 1 8 5 . g C. A. Patrides, Milton and the Christian Tradition (Oxford: Clarendon, 1 9 6 6 ) , p. 211. % e s t e r Svendsen, "Adam's Soliloquy in Book X of Par-adise Lost," College English. X ( 1 9 4 9 ) , rpt. in Arthur E. Bark-er, ed., Milton: Modern Essays i n Criticism (London: Oxford Univ. Press, Galaxy Books, 1965), p. 3 3 2 . 1 0Wright, p. 187. 1 : L T i l l y a r d , " C r i s i s , " p. 180. l 20gden, p. 3 2 3 . l 3Complete Prose Works, Vol. VI, p. 8 4 . 1 / fPatrides, p. 2 1 3 . ^See especially Homer's scene describing the f i r s t of two f a i r c i t i e s , pp. 342-343, and Paradise Lost. XI, 580-596; 6 3 8 - 6 7 3 . 114 l6Seaman, p. 127. ^ E . L. Marilia, The Central Problem of "Paradise  Lost:" The F a l l of Man, Univ. of Upsala Essays and Studies on English Language and Literature, No. 15 (Upsala: Univ. of Upsala, 1953), p. 8. -^Summers, p. 215. ^Seaman, p. 65. Steadman, MiIton and the Renaissance Hero, p. 148. 21 Lawrence A. Sasek, "The Drama of Paradise Lost, Books XI and XII," Studies i n English Renaissance Literature, ed., W. F. McNeir, 1962, rpt. in Arthur E. Barker, ed., Milton: Modern Essays i n Criticism (London: Oxford Univ. Press, 1965), p. 353. 22 As I see i t , this does not contradict Michael's later statement (XII, 581-587) that Adam w i l l , i f he adds good deeds to his re-awakened faith, "not be loath/To leave this Paradise," but w i l l possess a s p i r i t u a l paradise within "hap-pier far." The Father's statement means that, considering a l l the factors involved, i t would have been better for Adam not to have sinned; Michael i s saying that i t would be better now, i n his postlapsarian state, for Adam to leave Eden and seek a s p i r i t u a l paradise within, than to remain i n what was once an external material paradise, but as has been clearly evident since the f a l l , i s such no longer. / 115 List of Works Consulted I. Primary Sources Augustine. Concerning the City of God against the Pagans. Ed. David Knowles; trans. Henry Bettenson. Harmonds-worth, Eng.: Penguin, Pelican Classics, 1972. Homer. The I l i a d of Homer. Trans. Andrew Lang, Walter Leaf, and Ernest Myers. The Globe Edition. 1882; rpt. London: Macmillan, 1961. . The Odyssey of Homer. Trans. S. H. Butcher and Andrew Lang. The Globe Edition. 1879; rpt. London: Macmillan, 1963. Milton, John. Complete Prose Works of John Milton, Vol, VI: ca. 1658-ca. l6"60. Ed. Maurice Kelley. New Haven, Conn.: Yale Univ. Press, 1973-John Milton: Complete Poems and Ma.ior Prose. Ed. Merritt Y. Hughes. New York: Odyssey, 1957. . The Prose of John Milton: Selected and Edited from the Original Texts with Introductions. Notes. Transla-tions, and Accounts of A l l of His Ma.ior Prose Writings. Eds. J. Max Patrick et a l . Anchor Seventeenth-Century Series. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, Anchor Books, 1967. V i r g i l . The Aeneid of V i r g i l . Trans. Rolfe Humphries. New York: Scribner fs, The Scribner Library Lyceum Edi-tions, 1951. II. Secondary Material Barker, Arthur E. "'Paradise Lost:* The Relevance of Regener-ation." "Paradise Lost:" A Tercentenary Tribute. Ed. 116 Balachandra Rajan. Papers given at the Conference on the Tercentenary of Paradise Lost, University of West-ern Ontario, Oct. 19VT- Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press, 1969, pp. 4 8 - 7 8 . , ed. Milton: Modern Essays i n Criticism. London: Oxford Univ. Press, Galaxy Books, 1965. . "Structural and Doctrinal Pattern in Milton's Later Poems." Essays i n English Literature from the Renais-sance to the Victorian Age Presented to A. S_. P. Wood-house. Eds. Millar Maclure and F. W. Watt. Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press, 1964, pp. 1 6 9 - 9 4 . Baumgartner, Paul R. "Milton and Patience." Studies in Phi-lology, 60 (Jan. 1 9 6 3 ) , 203-13. Bowra, C. M. Heroic Poetry. 1952; rpt. London: Macmillan, Papermacs, 1 9 6 6 . . From V i r g i l to Milton. 1945; rpt. London: Mac-millan, Papermacs, 1967'. Broadbent, J. B. Some Graver Subject: An Essay on Paradise  Lost. London: Chatto and Windus, 196"0. Bundy, Murray W. "Milton's Viev; of Education i n Paradise Lost." Journal of English and Germanic Philology, 21 (Jan. 1 9 2 2 ) , 1 2 7 - 5 2 . Bush, Douglas, ed. The Complete Poetical Works of John MiIton. Cambridge Edition. Boston: Houghton M i f f l i n , 1 9 6 5 . . "The Isolation of the Renaissance Hero." Reason and Imagination, ed. Joseph A. Mazzeo, 1962, rpt. i n Douglas Bush, Prefaces to Renaissance Literature. The Norton Library Series. Norton, Norton Paperbouiid Edi-tions, 1965, pp. 9 1 - 1 0 6 . . "Milton." Mythology and the Renaissance Tradition i n English Poetry. Rev. ed. The Norton Library. New York: Norton, Norton Paperbound Editions, 1 9 6 3 , pp. 2 6 0 - 9 7 . . "Paradise Lost i n Our Time: Religious and Ethical Principles." "Paradise Lost" in Our Time: Some Com-ments, Douglas Bush, 1945, rpt. i n Arthur E. Barker, ed., Milton: Modern Essays i n Criticism. London: Ox-ford Univ. Press, Galaxy Books, 1965, pp. 1 5 6 - 7 6 . Chadwick, Hector Munro and Nora Kershaw Chadwick. The Growth ' Literature. Vol. I: The Ancient Literatures of  Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1 9 3 2 . 117 Chambers, A. B. "Wisdom and Fortitude in Samson Agonistes." PMLA, 78 (1963), 315-20. Di Cesare, Mario. "Paradise Lost and Epic Tradition." M i l -ton Studies,~TTl9o"9). 31-50. Dyson, A. E. "The Meaning of Paradise Regained." Texas Studies i n Literature and Language. 3 (Summer 1961), 197-211. Fish, Stanley Eugene. "Standing Only: Christian Heroism." Surprised by Sin: The Reader in Paradise Lost. New York: Macmillan, 1967, pp. 158-207. Frye, Northrop. "The Garden Within." The Return, of Eden: .Five Essays on Milton's Epics., Northrop Frye, 1965, rpt. i n Arnold Stein, ed"., On Miltpn's Ppetry_: A Selection of Modern Studies. The Fawcett Literature and Ideas Series. Greenwich, Conn.: Fawcett, 1970, pp. 2 2 8 - 3 6 . ' "The Story of A l l Things." The Return of Eden: Five Essays on Milton's_ Epics, Northrop Frye,"l96"5, rpt. i n Arnold Stein, ed., On Milton's Poetry: A Selection of Modern Studies. The Fawcett Literature and Ideas Series. Greenwich, Conn.: Fawcett, 1970, pp. 89-96. Gohn, Ernest S. "The Christian Ethic of Paradise Lost and Samson Agonistes." Studia Neophililogica. 34 ( 1 9 6 3 ) , Gossman, Ann. "Milton's Samson as the Tragic Hero Purified by T r i a l . " Journal of English and Germanic Philology. 6 1 ( 1 9 6 2 ) , 528-41. Greene, Thomas. The Descent from Heaven: A Study i n Epic Con-tinuity. New Haven, Conn.: Yale Univ. Press, 1963. Halewood, William H. The Poetry of Grace: Reformation Themes  and Structures i n English Seventeenth-Century Poetry. New Haven, Conn.: Yale Univ. Press, 1970. Hanford, James Holly. "The Temptation Motive in Milton." Studies i n Philology. 15 (1918), rpt. i n John Milton. Poet and Humanist: Essays by James Holly Hanford. Foreword by John S. Diekhoff. Cleveland: Western Re-serve Univ. Press, 1966, pp. 2 4 4 - 6 3 . and James G. Taaffe. A Milton Handbook. 5th ed. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1970. Harding, Davis P. The Club of Hercules: Studies in the Clas-118 s i c a l Background of Paradise Lost. I l l i n o i s Studies i n Language and Literature, No. 5 0 . Urbana: Univ. of I l l i n o i s Press, 1 9 6 2 . Harris, William 0 . "Despair and 'Patience as the Truest For-titude' in Samson Agonistes." ELH, 3 0 (March 1 9 6 3 ) , 1 0 7 - 2 0 . Herman, William R. "Heroism and Paradise Lost." College En-glish, 21 (Oct. 1959), 1 3 - 1 7 . Hughes, Merritt Y. "The Christ of Paradise Regained and the Renaissance Heroic Tradition." Studies in Philology, 35 ( 1 9 3 8 ) , 2 5 4 - 7 7 . , ed. John Milton: Complete Poems and Major Prose. New York: Odyssey, 1957-. "Milton and the Sense of Glory." Philological Quarterly. 28 (Jan. 1949), 1 0 7 - 2 4 -Kelley, Maurice, ed. Complete Prose Works of John Milton, Vol. VI: ca. 1658-caT lo"o0. New Haven, Conn. : Yale Univ. Press, 1973-Kermode, Frank, ed. The Living Hilton: Essays by Various Hands. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, I960. . "Milton's Hero." Review of English Studies, NS 4 (Oct. 1 9 5 3 ) , 3 1 7 - 3 0 . Kurth, Burton 0 . Milton and Christian Heroism: B i b l i c a l Ep-i c Themes and Forms in Seventeenth-Century England. Univ. of California Publications i n English Studies, No. 20. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1 9 5 9 . Lewis, C. S. A Preface to Paradise Lost. 1942; rpt. London: Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford Paperbacks, 1 9 6 5 . MacCallum, H. R. "'Most Perfect Hero:' The Role of the Son i n Milton's Theodicy." "Paradise Lost:" A Tercen-tenary Tribute. Ed. Balachandra Rajan. Papers given at the Conference on the Tercentenary of Paradise Lost, University of Western Ontario, Oct. 1967. Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press, 1969, pp. 7 9 - 1 0 5 . Maclure, M i l l a r and F. W. Watt, eds. Essays i n English L i t e r -119 ature from the Renaissance to the Victorian Age Pre-sented to A. S. P. Woodhouse. Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press, 1964. McNamee, Maurice B., S. J. Honor and the Epic Hero: A Study  of the Shifting Concept of Magnanimity i n Philosophy  and Epic Poetry. New York: Holt, Rhinehart and Win-ston, I960. McQueen, William. "Paradise Lost V, VI: The War in Heaven." Studies i n Philology", 71 (Jan. 1974), 89-104. Mahood, M. M. "Milton's Heroes." Poetry and Humanism. Lon-don: Jonathan Cape, 1950, pp. 207-51. Marilla, E. L. The Central Problem of "Paradise Lost:" The  F a l l of Man. Univ. of Upsala Essays and Studies on English Language and Literature, No. 15. Upsala: Univ. of Upsala, 1953-Marshall, William H. "Paradise Lost: Felix Culpa and the Problem of Structure." Modern Language Notes, 76 (I96.I), rpt. in Arthur E. Barker, ed., Milton: Modern Essays in Criticism. London: Oxford Univ. Press, Galaxy Books" 19o57 PP- 336-41. Martz, Louis L., ed. Milton: Paradise Lost; A Collection of  C r i t i c a l Essays. Twentieth Century Views Series. Englewood C l i f f s , N. J.: Prentice-Hall, Spectrum Books, 1966. . "Paradise Lost: The Journey of the Mind." The Paradise Within: Studies i n Vaughan, Traherne, and  MiIton. New Haven, Conn.: Yale Univ. Press, 19&47 pp. 105-67. Miller, Milton. "Paradise Lost: The Double Standard." Uni-versity of Toronto Quarterly. 20 (Jan. 1951), 183-99. Mollenkott, Virginia R. "Milton's Rejection of the Fortunate F a l l . " Milton Quarterly. 6 (March 1972), 1-4. Ogden, H. V. S. "The Crisis of Paradise Lost Reconsidered." Philological Quarterly. 36 (1957), rpt. i n Arthur E. Barker, ed., Milton: Modern Essays i n Criticism. London: Oxford Univ. Press, Galaxy Books, 1965, pp. 308-27. Patrides, C. A. Milton and the Christian Tradition. Oxford: Clarendon"] 1966. Rajan, Balachandra. "Paradise Lost" and the Seventeenth Cen-tury Reader. London: Chatto and Windus, 1947. 120 , ed. "Paradise Lost:" A Tercentenary Tribute. Pa-pers given at the Conference on the Tercentenary of Paradise Lost, Univ. of Western Ontario, Oct. 1967. Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press, 1969. Rama Sarma, M. V. The Heroic Argument: A Study of Milton's  Heroic Poetry. Madras: Macmillan, 1971. Revard, Ste l l a . "Milton's Critique of Heroic Warfare i n Par-adise Lost V and VI." Studies i n English Literature  1500-1900, 7 (Winter 1967), 119-39. Robson, V/. W. "The Better Fortitude." The Living Milton: Es-says by Various Hands. Ed. Frank Kermode. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, I960, pp. 124-37-Sasek, Lawrence A. "The Drama of Paradise Lost, Books XI and XII." Studies i n English Renaissance Literature. ed. W. F. McNeir, 1962, rpt. i n Arthur E. Barker, ed., MiIton: Modern Essays i n Criticism. London: Oxford Univ. Press, Galaxy Books, 1965, pp. 342-56. Seaman, John E. The Moral Paradox o_f "Paradise Lost." Studies i n English Literature, No. B l . Mouton: The Hague, 1971-Smith, Hallett. "Heroic Poetry." Elizabethan Poetry: A Study  i n Conventions, Meaning, and Expression. 1952; rpt. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press, 1966, pp. 29C-342. Steadman, John M. Milton and the Renaissance Hero. Oxford: Clarendon, 1967. Milton's Epic Characters: Image and Idol. Chapel H i l l : Univ. of North Carolina Press7 19oin~ Stein, Arnold. Heroic Knowledge: An Interpretation of "Para-dise Regained" and "Samson Agonistes." Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1957. , ed. On Milton's Poetry: A Selection of Modern Studies. Thu Fawcett Premier Literature and Ideas Series. Greenwich, Conn.: Fawcett, 1970. Summers, Joseph H. The Muse's Method: An Introduction to "Paradise Lost." London: Chatto and Windus, 196~2. Svendsen, Kester. "Adam's Soliloquy i n Book X of Paradise  Lost." College English, X (1949), rpt. i n Arthur E, Barker, ed., Milton: Modern Essays i n Criticism. London: Oxford Univ. Press, 19o5, pp. 328-35. 121 Swardson, Harold R. Poetry and the Fountain of Light: Obser-vations on the Conflict between Christian and Classical  Traditions i n Seventeenth-Century Poetry. London: Allen and Unwind 1962. Thorpe, James, ed. Milton Criticism: Selections from Four Centuries• New York: Macmillan, Col l i e r Books, 1969. Till y a r d , E. M. W. "The Crises of Paradise Lost." Studies i n Milton, E. M. W. Tilly a r d , 1951, rpt. i n Milton: Par-adise Lost; A Collection of C r i t i c a l Essays. Twenti-eth Century Views Series. Englewood C l i f f s , N. J.: Prentice-Hall, Spectrum Books, 1966, pp. 15o~S2. The English Epic and Its Background. 1954; rpt. London: Oxford Univ. Press, Galaxy Books, 1966. Ulreich, John C. "'Sufficient to Have Stood:' Adam's Respon-s i b i l i t y i n Book IX." Milton Quarterly. 5 (May 1971), 38-42. Williamson, George. "The Education of Adam." Modern P h i l o l -ogy, 61 (1963), rpt. i n Arthur E. Barker, ed., Milton: Modern, Essays, i n Criticism. London: Oxford Univ. Press, Galaxy Books, 1965,"" pp. 284-307. Woodhouse, A. S. P. "Pattern i n Paradise Lost." University of Toronto Quarterly. 22 (Jan. 195377~109-27. Woodhull, Marianna. The Epic of Paradise Lost• Twelve Essays. New York: Putnam's, 1907. Wright, B. A. Milton's "Paradise Lost." 1962; rpt. London: Methuen, 1968. C = 7 SOUTU JT. LZ 'SEA vice C/WTO ii J _ MAIN S e 7 T L £ M C N 7 - urvroucHaecc sire • J Sou* O ST C ca 2 -» D ISl 1=1 M c 0> 0 "3 3 r -4 c ret r S G * » r-< t I -4 • * s i -i & i i If i U -1=1 cr, 7" 3> P $ c X » r T Si & X 3 ,i S r- S *5l i is. i s id* r 

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