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Magnanimity : Milton's concept of heroic man Lovick, Laurence Dale 1969

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MAGNANIMITY.:  MILTON'S CONCEPT?  OF HEROIC MAN V  by LAURENCE DALE LOVICK B.A., The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, 1967  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n the Department of English  We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as c o n f o r m i n g t o the required standard  THE--UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September., 1969  i l l  In p r e s e n t i n g an the  this  thesis  advanced degree at Library  shall  his  of  this  written  representatives. thesis  of  be  gain  of  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i : V a n c o u v e r 8, Canada  _4ypf. ,  by  the  It i s understood  for financial  Columb i a  Iffy  for  for extensive  granted  shall  the  requirements  B r i t i s h Columbia,  available  permission.  Department  Pate ^  University  permission  s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may  by  fulfilment of  make i t f r e e l y  I f u r t h e r agree tha for  the  in p a r t i a l  not  r e f e r e n c e and copying of  Head o f my  that be  I agree  that  study.  this  thesis  Department  copying or  for  or  publication  allowed without  my  THESIS  T h a t no s e r i o u s s t u d e n t hero o f Paradise Milton's  Lost  of Milton considers  i s no l o n g e r  Satan the  a dabatable p r o p o s i t i o n .  c o n c e p t o f h e r o i c man, h o w e v e r , r e m a i n s t h e s u b j e c t  o f much c r i t i c a l will  ABSTRACT  discussion.  The p o e t ' s i t e r a t e d v a u n t s , he  s i n g o f "deeds a b o v e heroic'"}"™ h a s e a r n e d h i m t h e d i s -  pleasure  o f a h o s t o f c o m m e n t a t o r s , none o f whom a r e a t a l l  certain of Milton's f i n a l makes men  a t t i t u d e concerning  what i s i s t h a t  heroes.  T h i s t h e s i s , b y f o c u s i n g on M i l t o n ' s C h r i s t i a n i t y , out  t o show t h a t M i l t o n ' s r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f p r o v i d e d  new a n d e n l a r g e d  him w i t h  scope f o r t h e d e l i n e a t i o n o f h e r o i c  t o show t h a t t h e new d i s p e n s a t i o n possible, theoretically,  heralded  sets  virtue,  by C h r i s t made i t  f o r a l l men t o h e r o e s , and f o r men  t o be s u p e r i o r t o , o r b e t t e r h e r o e s t h a n a n y o f t h e w o r t h i e s whose c a r e e r s  antedated Paradise  Accepting closely  Lost.  m a g n a n i m i t y a s t h e s i n g l e v i r t u e t h a t most  corresponds t o heroic v i r t u e ,  I have attempted t o  d e m o n s t r a t e t h a t m a g n a n i m i t y , what I h a v e c a l l e d h e r o i s m , was n o t f u l l y vent.  p o s s i b l e f o r man u n t i l  C h r i s t ' s ad-  M i l t o n , I have contended, d e l i b e r a t e l y s e t s out t o  show t h e i n f e r i o r c o n d i t i o n i n w h i c h men l i v e d Son  perfect  manifested Basing  Paradise  before the  himself. my d i s c u s s i o n on M i l t o n ' s t h r e e m a j o r poems,  Lost, Paradise  R e g a i n e d , a n d Samson A g o n i s t e s ,  h a v e t r i e d t o show how M i l t o n r e v e a l s t h e i n f e r i o r tion  i n w h i c h men l i v e d  have t r i e d  before,the  commandment. fall  condi-  new d i s p e n s a t i o n .  t o show t h a t p e r f e c t h e r o i s m i s a m a n i f e s t  p o s s i b i l i t y w h i l e man i s i n n o c e n t ,  I im-  w h i l e he o b e y s God's s o l e  I h a v e t r i e d t o show t h a t man's l o t a f t e r t h e  and b e f o r e  C h r i s t ' s coming s i m i l a r l y p r e c l u d e s  h e r o i s m , t o show t h a t man's i m p e r f e c t rendered him i n c a p a b l e tentialities.  I  perfect  comprehension o f f a i t h  of r e a l i z i n g h i s highest  human p o -  Perfect of Milton's perfect do  heroism, magnanimity, i s r e v e a l e d  three  great  poems: P a r a d i s e  Regained.  h e r o , h i s e x e m p l a r y model o f what man  and! t o be,  i s Christ himself.  circumscribed. the  of Milton's Christian  o f God's g r a n d d e s i g n .  o n l y bona f i d e h e r o  brief  faith  permitted  no  real  Milton s r  to  Adam's c a r e e r  is  is  limited  M i l t o n makes i t v e r y  i s C h r i s t , the  epic, a distinctively  one  aspire  F a l l e n man's c a p a c i t y f o r h e r o i s m  by h i s i g n o r a n c e clear that  Innocent  can  i n only  protagonist  C h r i s t i a n hero.  or v i a b l e a l t e r n a t i v e .  Milton's  TABLE OF CONTENTS  Chapter  I.  II.  III.  Page  MAGNANIMITY: THE MEASURE OF HEROIC MAN  1  INNOCENCE: FUGITIVE AND CLOISTERED HEROISM  30  FROM SIN TO GRACE:  THE PATH  TO HEROIC MAGNANIMITY  51  IV.  SAMSON:  MAGNANIMITY AGONISTES  83  V.  CHRIST:  THE PATTERN OF  HEROIC MAGNANIMITY  115  CONCLUSIONS  144  SOURCES CONSULTED  i  VI.  The meaning o f l i f e here on e a r t h might be d e f i n e d as c o n s i s t i n g i n t h i s : to unfold your s e l f , t o work what you have the f a c u l t y for. I t i s a n e c e s s i t y f o r the human b e i n g , the f i r s t law o f our e x i s t e n c e . Thomas C a r l y l e On Heroes and Hero-Worship  CHAPTER I MAGNANIMITY: THE MEASURE OF HEROIC MAN M i l t o n i n c u r r e d the s p e c i a l d i s a d v a n t a g e s and r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s , as w e l l as the p r i v i l e g e s , o f those who r e j e c t t h e ready-made s t r u c t u r e s o f t h e i r t i m e . The mode o f h i s t h i n k i n g i s d e e p l y l i b e r t a r i a n and i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c ; i t s c o n t e n t , i n many f e a t u r e s , i s b r o a d l y t r a d i t i o n a l . B u t i t i s always h i s own thought stamped w i t h the s e a l o f h i s own r e s p o n s i b l e c h o i c e and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . R o b e r t M. Adams I k o n : John M i l t o n and the Modern C r i t i c s  Every age and c u l t u r e f a s h i o n f o r themselves a n image o f what they c o n c e i v e t o be t h e n o b l e s t e x p r e s s i o n o f human e x c e l l e n c e . h e r o i s i n d i g e n o u s t o human s o c i e t y .  The  Because h i s c a r e e r s e r v e s as a  y a r d s t i c k by w h i c h o r d i n a r y men c a n measure t h e i r achievement, he i s , ie for a l l  times and c u l t u r e s , a model o f what men c a n a s p i r e to^and t o b e .  Indeed, i f i t i s n o t f o r a l l men t o be h e r o e s , i t i s f o r a l l men t o a s p i r e t o become h e r o e s . However d i f f e r e n t l y he may be drawn by p a r t i c u l a r c u l t u r e s , the hero i s always a symbol o f human n a t u r e t r y i n g t o f u l f i l r e a l i z e i t s h i g h e s t human p o t e n t i a l i t i e s . human w o r t h and d i g n i t y .  i t s e l f , to  He i s a p o s i t i v e a s s e r t i o n o f  H i s c a r e e r demonstrates t o men what man c a n do,  c a n c r e a t e , c a n s u f f e r , and c a n endure.  He a t t e s t s t o the n o b i l i t y o f  man. The d i f f e r e n c e between heroes and o t h e r men i s e s s e n t i a l l y a q u a l i t a t i v e one. E v e r y t h i n g the h e r o does or endures bears t h e mark o f his superior nature.  What he a c c o m p l i s h e s o r endures must be g r e a t , or  g r a n d , o.r...larger than l i f e , because what d i s t i n g u i s h e s him from o t h e r men  2  i s t h a t h i s accomplishments a r e g r e a t e r , a r e g r a n d e r , a r e more demanding and more n o b l e than those of o t h e r men.  He  The h e r o , however, must be human.  i s a super-man. H i s a c t i o n s and h i s  charac-  t e r must not p l a c e him beyond the comprehension of h i s f e l l o w men. must be n e i t h e r i n v u l n e r a b l e nor i n v i n c i b l e ; he must be man.  He  And  his  s t r u g g l e to a s s e r t h i m s e l f must have meaning o u t s i d e the personal c o n t e x t . Everything  t h a t he does must be s i g n i f i c a n t and m e a n i n g f u l to o t h e r s .  The hero i s a l e a d e r of men;  he i s man's r e p r e s e n t a t i v e and man's champion.  Courageous and v a l i a n t man's s t r u g g l e to overcome h i s foes the elements has  t r a d i t i o n a l l y been the p r o v i n c e  To e x p r e s s i n d i v i d u a l man's d e t e r m i n a t i o n , v a l o r , and poets.  f o r t i t u d e i s , indeed,  But h e r o i c p o e t r y  of h e r o i c  literature.  s t r e n g t h of p u r p o s e , c o n v i c t i o n ,  the p r i n c i p a l c o n c e r n of a l l the  i s eminently  and  a p o e t r y of a c t i o n .  assume t h a t the p h y s i c a l a c t i o n s p r e s e n t e d  sepic  Though we  may  by the h e r o i c poets were to  m i r r o r the h e r o e s ' i n n e r q u a l i t i e s , the a c t i o n s themselves came to be u n d e r s t o o d as the essence of the h e r o i c .  M i l t o n ' s C h r i s t i a n i t y , however,  d i c t a t e d t h a t a c t i o n s not i n themselves good c o u l d not make any c l a i m to b e i n g named h e r o i c , and h i s t h r e e major poems thus draw e l a b o r a t e comp a r i s o n s between a p p a r e n t and a c t u a l h e r o i s m . r e v e a l the i n a d e q u a c i e s  of the c o n v e n t i o n a l  M i l t o n ' s method i s t o  concept of the h e r o i c  by  c o n t r a s t i n g pagan h e r o i c v i r t u e s w i t h d i s t i n c t i v e l y C h r i s t i a n ones. John M.  Steadman has  demonstrated, M i l t o n ' s s t r a t e g y i n Paradise  P a r a d i s e R e g a i n e d , and  Samson A g o n i s t e s  i s to c o n s t r u c t a  As  Lost,  systematic  c r i t i q u e of the c o n v e n t i o n a l h e r o i c formulae.''"  Milton's hero, i t i s c l e a r ,  i s v e r y d i f f e r e n t from h i s pagan c o u n t e r p a r t s .  Moreover, i n M i l t o n ' s v i e w ,  3  his hero i s more heroic than any of h i s predecessors i n epic poetry, greater than any hero of the c l a s s i c a l past.  Milton's reasons for  b e l i e v i n g i n the s u p e r i o r i t y of h i s own conception of heroic man comp r i s e the p r i n c i p a l subject matter of t h i s essay. The great t r a d i t i o n of heroic poetry M i l t o n i n h e r i t e d had accepted A r i s t o t l e ' s judgment concerning magnanimity:  "greatness  of  soul i s the b e a u t i f u l completion of a l l the v i r t u e s , for i t adds to 2  them i t s own greatness and i s inseparable from them."  Spenser's Prince  A r t h u r , f o r example, represented magnificence (magnanimity) "which vertue for that (according to A r i s t o t l e and the r e s t ) i t i s the p e r f e c t i o n of a l l the r e s t , and containeth i n i t them a l l . "  But because i t embraces  and encompasses a l l the moral v i r t u e s , magnanimity defies simple d e f i n i t i o n or d e s c r i p t i o n . Though M i l t o n s u c c i n c t l y defined i t i n the second book of h i s De Doctrina C h r i s t i a n a , acknowledging i t as one of the duties man  owed to h i m s e l f , Milton's c r i t i c s have had d i f f i c u l t y  the meaning of the concept.  i n clarifying  Accordingly, c r i t i c s have examined magna-  nimity from a number of d i f f e r e n t points of view and have assigned  various  meanings to the concept. In M i l t o n and the Renaissance Hero, John M. Steadman discusses magnanimity as the i n d i v i d u a l ' s sense of merit, h i s consciousness of 4 personal worth.  Two other c r i t i c s focus on M i l t o n s Paradise Regained  and consider magnanimity as the p u r s u i t of honour or g l o r y a n d M e r r i t t Y. Hughes traces the growth and development of a C h r i s t i a n v e r s i o n of magnanimity which emphasizes contemplation as the ultimate heroic achievement.  Magnanimity i n f a c t embraces a l l of these meanings, and  4 yet  e x i s t s as the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c t r a i t of h e r o i c man.  the  v a r i o u s meanings a s s i g n e d by c r i t i c s , magnanimity i s c o n s i s t e n t l y  acknowledged as tantamount t o h e r o i c v i r t u e . superior  Indeed, d e s p i t e  I t i s the mark of the  man. Magnanimity can be u n d e r s t o o d i n t h r e e d i s t i n c t ways, t h r e e mani-  f e s t a t i o n s of a s i n g l e v i r t u e . and c o m p r i s e magnanimity.  Taken t o g e t h e r , the t h r e e elements d e f i n e  F i r s t , magnanimity i s a p r o c e s s of s e l f -  d i s c o v e r y l e a d i n g t o s e l f - k n o w l e d g e and u l t i m a t e l y t o c o n v i c t i o n or w i l l . S e c o n d l y , i t i s the p u r s u i t of honour or g l o r y . ment o f the c o n t e m p l a t i v e f a c u l t y of b e i n g . a process.  Thirdly, i t i s a  fulfil-  Magnanimity t h e r e f o r e i m p l i e s  The magnanimous man must f i r s t j u s t i f y h i s c l a i m t o t h a t  d i s t i n c t i o n ; he must be worthy o f the p u r s u i t o f honour or g l o r y . i s , : he must d e v e l o p a measure o f j u s t i f i a b l e s e l f - e s t e e m . he i s t h e n worthy t o pursue honour. r i g h t honour.  That  Having t h i s ,  But the honour he seeks must be the  I t cannot be, f o r example, the fame a c c o r d e d by the m u l t i -  tude or t i t l e s bestowed by i n f e r i o r s .  I n i t s h i g h e s t s e n s e , t h e n , honour  i s the o b j e c t the magnanimous man p u r s u e s . Moreover, because honour can be a c c e p t e d o n l y i f a c c o r d e d by peers or s u p e r i o r s , the s u p e r i o r man the to  holds  w o r l d i n s m a l l esteem; h i s mind a s p i r e s t o h i g h e r t h i n g s , u l t i m a t e l y the c o n t e m p l a t i o n o f , and u n i o n w i t h the d i v i n e .  f e s t a t i o n s o f the s i n g l e v i r t u e must be c o n s i d e r e d .  A l l of these maniBut because what  c o n s t i t u t e s h e r o i c v i r t u e i s u n d e r s t o o d d i f f e r e n t l y by d i f f e r e n t c u l t u r e s , because magnanimity does not have the same meaning f o r A r i s t o t l e as f o r C i c e r o , f o r Homer as f o r V i r g i l , f o r A u g u s t i n e as f o r A q u i n a s , or f o r Tasso as f o r M i l t o n , we must a l s o c o n s i d e r t h e t r a d i t i o n M i l t o n i n h e r i t e d .  5 M i l t o n ' s v e r s i o n of g r e a t n e s s of s o u l i n f a c t r e p r e s e n t s a l i b e r a l b o r r o w i n g from a l l o f the w r i t e r s whose work a n t e d a t e d P a r a d i s e L o s t .  To understand  how M i l t o n f o r m u l a t e d h i s i d e a o f h e r o i c v i r t u e , we must c o n s i d e r the d i f f e r e n t meanings a s s i g n e d to the i d e a , and the d i f f e r e n t emphasis p l a c e d on p a r t i c u l a r a s p e c t s of the whole c o n c e p t , by c l a s s i c a l , M e d i e v a l , and R e n a i s s a n c e p h i l o s o p h e r s and poets.''  Magnanimity  must, t h e r e f o r e , be  examined i n i t s t h r e e m a n i f e s t a t i o n s and from the p o i n t s o f view of t h r e e h i s t o r i c a l periods. A r i s t o t l e ' s d i s c u s s i o n of magnanimity  i s most remarkable f o r i t s  apparent l a c k of c o n c e r n w i t h the s u p e r i o r man's grounds f o r j u d g i n g hims e l f to be w o r t h y .  I n A r i s t o t l e ' s terms, the magnanimous man's s e l f -  knowledge does not i n v o l v e any arduous  p r o c e s s of s e l f - d i s c o v e r y .  The  g r e a t - s o u l e d man's c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f h i s own w o r t h i s , i n f a c t , a s i n e qua non; i t does not e n t a i l any k i n d of e x a m i n a t i o n f o r d i s c o v e r y .  Aristotle's  magnanimous man knows i n s t i n c t i v e l y t h a t he i s s u p e r i o r to o t h e r men, his  and  l i f e i s r e a l l y d i r e c t e d to making h i s s u p e r i o r i t y obvious t o o t h e r s .  He thus adopts a c e r t a i n code of b e h a v i o u r and c e r t a i n mannerisms.  In  the Greek e t h o s , t h e n , s e l f - k n o w l e d g e i s a c o m p a r a t i v e l y s i m p l e t a s k . S e l f - k n o w l e d g e means a c c e p t a n c e o f the f a c t t h a t man has b u t one l i f e live.  As H e c t o r t e l l s Andromache,  F a t e i s the same f o r the man who h o l d s back, the same i f he f i g h t s h a r d . We a r e a l l h e l d i n a s i n g l e honour, the b r a v e w i t h the weaklings. A man d i e s s t i l l i f he has done n o t h i n g , as one who has done much. ( I l i a d , V I , 318-320)  to  6  Thus, the g r e a t - s o u l e d man can prove h i s w o r t h o n l y by what he can accomp l i s h i n the s h o r t time a l l o t t e d him.  He i s ennobled by a c c e p t i n g h i s  f a t e and by c o n t i n u i n g h i s s t r u g g l e t o l i v e and t o do i n the f a c e of irrevocable defeat.  Man's l i f e i s f u l f i l l e d and h i s d i g n i t y a s s e r t e d  by the way he r e a c t s t o the grim t r u t h o f h i s own m o r t a l i t y . demonstrates h i s s e l f - k n o w l e d g e , fate.  The h e r o  h i s magnanimity, by h i s a c c e p t a n c e of  H i s h e r o i c s p i r i t i s r e v e a l e d by h i s v i t a l i t y , and h i s c a r e e r i s  a c e l e b r a t i o n of l i f e . o t h e r men.  He proves t h a t he i s i n f a c t a l i v e by  killing  F o r the Greek poet the h e r o i s thus a w a r r i o r , and the b a t t l e -  f i e l d i s a m i c r o c o s m i c view o f l i f e .  S e l f - d i s c o v e r y l e a d i n g to s e l f -  knowledge, magnanimity, means a c c e p t i n g as t r u t h t h a t "he i s dead w i l l not f i g h t ; It  / And who dc?es f i g h t i n g has  who  increase."  i s u n l i k e l y t h a t the C h r i s t i a n argument t h a t v i r t u e i s i t s  own reward would have r e c e i v e d a s y m p a t h e t i c h e a r i n g from Homer's a u d i e n c e . For due.  the Greeks h e r o i c v i r t u e or magnanimity A r i s t o t l e ' s s u p e r i o r man,  s i d e r a t i o n from o t h e r s .  sought honour as i t s r i g h t f u l  f o r example, i s one who c l a i m s h i g h con-  The g r e a t - s o u l e d  or magnanimous  man  makes l a r g e , even the l a r g e s t , c l a i m s and i s e n t i r e l y j u s t i f i e d i n d o i n g s o . But he must have a p a r t i c u l a r o b j e c t i n v i e w . What i s i t ? When we say somebody or something has 'worth' or 'value' we a r e t h i n k i n g i n terms of e x t e r n a l goods. The g r e a t e s t of t h e s e we s h a l l take t o be t h a t w h i c h we a s s i g n t o the gods as t h e i r due and w h i c h i s d e s i r e d by the eminent and awarded as the meed o f v i c t o r y i n the most g l o r i o u s c o n t e s t s , namely, honour. For honour i s the g r e a t e s t of e x t e r n a l goods. The s u p e r i o r man, t h e n , has the r i g h t a t t i t u d e t o honours and d i s h o n o u r s . Indeed, i t goes w i t h o u t s a y i n g t h a t he concerns h i m s e l f w i t h honour; i t i s what he c l a i m s , and c l a i m s j u s t l y , above a l l . ^ The paramount i m p o r t a n c e honour h e l d f o r the Greeks i s a l o g i c a l c o r o l l a r y to the pagan w o r l d v i e w , f o r when the l i f e s p a n i s a l l , r e p u t a t i o n or honour  becomes the end o f l i f e ;  t o d i e w i t h o u t honour i s t o have never  lived.  The s u p e r i o r man i s o b l i g a t e d , t h e r e f o r e , t o leaves a n unblemished name and r e p u t a t i o n t o p o s t e r i t y .  C l a u c u s t e l l s Diomedes:  H i p p o l o c h o s begot me, and I c l a i m t h a t he i s my f a t h e r ; he ,&$ent me t o T r o y , and urged upon me r e p e a t e d i n j u n c t i o n s , to be always among the b r a v e s t , and h o l d my head above o t h e r s , n o t shaming t h e g e n e r a t i o n o f my f a t h e r s , who were t h e g r e a t e s t men i n Ephyre and a g a i n i n wide L y k i a ( I l i a d , V I , 206-210) p  Because d a r k n e s s a w a i t s the v a l i a n t and the c o w a r d l y a l i k e , t h e hero's l i f e i s a s t r u g g l e t o prove he has l i v e d w o r t h i l y ; t o prove t o t h e gods t h a t he i s f i t t o l i v e . In A r i s t o t l e ' s system of e t h i c s the u l t i m a t e h a p p i n e s s f o r man was t h e c o n t e m p l a t i v e l i f e .  To t h i n k , t o c o n t e m p l a t e , was t o f u l f i l the  h i g h e s t a s p e c t o f one's b e i n g , because thought r e f l e c t e d the d i v i n e presence.  As A r i s t o t l e  contended,  the a c t i v i t y o f God, w h i c h i s b l e s s e d above a l l o t h e r s , must t a k e t h e form o f c o n t e m p l a t i o n . And from t h i s i t f o l l o w s t h a t among human a c t i v i t i e s t h a t which i s most a k i n t o God's w i l l b r i n g us the g r e a t e s t h a p p i n e s s . What a l s o goes t o show the t r u t h o f t h i s i s t h e f a c t t h a t the lower a n i m a l s cannot p a r t a k e o f t h i s h a p p i n e s s , f o r they a r e u t t e r l y i n c a p a b l e o f c o n t e m p l a t i o n . The l i f e o f the gods i s a l t o g e t h e r happy; t h a t o f man i s happy so f a r as i t i n c l u d e s something t h a t resembles the divine activity.9  A r i s t o t l e d i d p o i n t o u t , however, t h a t the c o n t e m p l a t i v e l i f e was o f too h i g h a n o r d e r f o r human a t t a i n m e n t .  I f man c o u l d n o t l i v e by bread a l o n e ,  he c o u l d n o t l i v e e i t h e r by thought a l o n e .  B u t the p r i n c i p a l  i s p l a c e d , as A r n o l d c o r r e c t l y n o t e d , on becoming  emphasis  r a t h e r t h a n on b e i n g .  The t r u l y s u p e r i o r man was one who attempted t o t r a n s c e n d the merely  physical. Whereas t h e Greek c u l t u r e p l a c e d primary  emphasis on t h e i n d i -  v i d u a l ' s duty t o h i m s e l f , t h e Roman c o n s i d e r e d man's g r e a t e s t r e s p o n s i b i l i t y as owing t o h i s s o c i e t y o r s t a t e . was  The i n d i v i d u a l ' s sense o f w o r t h ,  then,  based on t h e c o n t r i b u t i o n he made t o t h e w e l l - b e i n g of o t h e r s .  Magnanimity, w i t h r e f e r e n c e t o s e l f - k n o w l e d g e , recognition of o b l i g a t i o n s to others.  meant t h e a c c e p t a n c e and  D e s p i t e the new emphasis on t h e  h e r o ' s d u t y , however, and d e s p i t e the f a c t t h a t i n t h e A e n e i d  (Book V I )  t h e r e i s suggested a d i m e n s i o n o f b e i n g beyond t h e p u r e l y p h y s i c a l and m o r t a l , t h e h e r o y e t has b u t one l i f e t o l i v e .  His career, l i k e his  Greek c o u n t e r p a r t ' s , i s governed and c i r c u m s c r i b e d by the knowledge t h a t  E v e r y man's hour i s a p p o i n t e d . For a l l , t h e span o f l i f e .  B r i e f and u n a l t e r a b l e ( A e n e i d , X, 467-468)  The  concept o f inward  s t r u g g l e , t h e process by w h i c h t h e s u p e r i o r man  becomes magnanimous and aware o f h i s own w o r t h , does n o t occupy much space i n e i t h e r V i r g i l ' s A e n e i d o r i n C i c e r o ' s De O f f i c i i s . magnanimous man imposes h i s w i l l - - a w i l l s u b o r d i n a t e  The  t o b o t h f a t e and  to h i s s t a t e - - o n o t h e r s , and h i s sense o f w o r t h i s demonstrated by what he c a n p h y s i c a l l y a c c o m p l i s h .  Aeneas i s n o t s e r i o u s l y tempted t o r e m a i n  w i t h D i d o , and t h e n o t i o n t h a t V i r g i l ' s poem i s a n a l l e g o r i c a l of t h e s o u l ' s p i l g r i m a g e  relation  ( i m p l i c i t l y i n v o l v i n g a moral c h o i c e and  s t r u g g l e ) i s a n i n t e r p r e t a t i o n imposed on i t by M e d i e v a l C i c e r o c a l l e d magnanimity " t h e g r e a t n e s s  Christianity.  and s t r e n g t h o f an  i n v i n c i b l e mind," and made i t one o f h i s f o u r c a r d i n a l v i r t u e s . ^  Though  9  C i c e r o expressed  a s t r o n g a n t i p a t h y to war, a r g u i n g t h a t a c t s o f peace  were n o b l e r , h i s magnanimous man do not f i n d any  demonstrates h i s v i r t u e by a c t i o n s .  s u g g e s t i o n i n the De O f f i c i i s t h a t the magnanimous  must s t r u g g l e t o r e c o g n i z e h i s own w o r t h . t h a t the magnanimous man,  The  important  We  man  p o i n t here i s  f o r b o t h the Greeks and Romans, seems to know  h i s own w o r t h and v i r t u e by i n s t i n c t , and he demonstrates h i s knowledge o f p e r s o n a l s u p e r i o r i t y by a c t i n g a c c o r d i n g l y . h e r o i s a man  I n c l a s s i c a l e p i c , the  o f a c t i o n ; he r e v e a l s h i s s e l f - k n o w l e d g e  Magnanimity as the p u r s u i t o f honour, was,  by a c t i n g r i g h t l y .  however, u n d e r s t o o d q u i t e  d i f f e r e n t l y by Greeks and Romans. C i c e r o ' s s u p e r i o r man or g l o r y .  was  H i s magnanimity was  i d e a l l y t o a v o i d any c r a v i n g f o r honour  r e v e a l e d by h i s s e r v i c e to o t h e r s ,  h i s g r e a t e s t c l a i m t o honour was  and  h i s w i l l i n g n e s s to s a c r i f i c e h i m s e l f  12 f o r the commonwealth.  S i m i l a r l y , i n V i r g i l i a n epic there i s d i s -  c e r n i b l e a curious ambiguity  r e g a r d i n g the p r e c i s e meaning of honour.  On the one hand, we hear J u p i t e r ' s words: by g r e a t deeds / Is what the b r a v e man  "To  must aim a t . "  e n l a r g e h i s fame ( A e n e i d , X, 467-469)  Y e t , on the o t h e r hand, we r e c a l l the e n t i r e N i s u s - E u r y a l u s  episode,  w h i c h o f f e r s a view of honour q u i t e d i f f e r e n t from i t s c o u n t e r p a r t Homeric e p i c . h i s own  in  F i r s t , N i s u s , though he a d m i t s to s e e k i n g g l o r y , q u e s t i o n s  impulses  and h i s  Is i t Or does each For l o n g I've Some n o t a b l e  motives.  God t h a t makes one b u r n t o do b r a v e t h i n g s , o f us make a god o f h i s own f i e r c e p a s s i o n to do them? been i t c h i n g to h u r l m y s e l f i n t o a f i g h t , or v e n t u r e deed; i n a c t i o n and calm do not a p p e a l to me. ( A e n e i d , I X , 184-187)  S e c o n d l y , though the two young men  r e c e i v e g r e a t g i f t s and  p r a i s e s from  10 t h e i r f e l l o w w a r r i o r s , they a r e t o l d by A l e t e s , a man o f "mature judgment", t h a t " t h e f i r s t and f a i r e s t / reward w i l l come from heaven and your own virtue'.' '(Aeneid,  I X , 254-255).  R e g a r d l e s s o f how p a r t i c u l a r r e a d e r s  choose t o i n t e r p r e t the N i s u s - E u r y a l u s  episode, i t i s obvious that  V i r g i l ' s c o n c e p t o f magnanimity, t h e p u r s u i t o f honour, i s ambiguous. Whether t h e poet r e l a t e s the t a l e t o show how youth i s s u b j e c t t o the r u l e o f p a s s i o n , t o show t h a t w i t h o u t Aeneas i n command the e n t i r e army i s i n danger, t o p o r t r a y human w o r t h and d i g n i t y by examples o f v a l o r , or perhaps t o c r i t i c i z e the p u r s u i t o f honour and r e p u t a t i o n , one t h i n g i s sure:  magnanimity has undergone a d e f i n i t e s h i f t i n meaning from 13  Homeric t o V i r g i l i a n e p i c . As A r i s t o t l e ' s s u p e r i o r man h e l d the o p i n i o n o f the w o r l d i n s m a l l esteem and a s p i r e d t o a h i g h e r mode o f b e i n g , C i c e r o ' s magnanimous man, though i t i s n o t made c l e a r whether he t o o a s p i r e d t o a  contemplative  e x i s t e n c e , d i d n o t c o n c e r n h i m s e l f w i t h the p r a i s e s o f o r d i n a r y men. C i c e r o , l i k e A r i s t o t l e , emphasizes the g r e a t man's d i s d a i n f o r e x t e r n a l s , h i s contempt f o r a l l t h i n g s w o r l d l y , and t h e b e s t t e s t o f a man's g r e a t ness i s t h i s a t t i t u d e .  As C i c e r o a r g u e s , "the man who depends on t h e 14  mistaken p l a u d i t s of the ignorant  i s n o t t o be numbered among the g r e a t .  Contemptus mundi i s , t h e n , a n i n t e g r a l p a r t o f the pagan c o n c e p t o f magnanimity. The v i r t u o u s o r g r e a t - s o u l e d to h i g h e r  man was one whose mind a s p i r e d  things.  From the c l a s s i c a l p o i n t o f v i e w , magnanimity was r e g a r d e d a s the mark o f t h e s u p e r i o r man.  The magnanimous man demonstrated h i s  s u p e r i o r n a t u r e i n e s s e n t i a l l y two ways:  f i r s t , he pursued honour and  g l o r y ; s e c o n d l y , he r e j e c t e d the way o f the w o r l d .  But as man's p o s i t i o n  i n the u n i v e r s e was viewed somewhat d i f f e r e n t l y by Homer and by V i r g i l , C h r i s t i a n i t y represented  a r a d i c a l divergence  from b o t h v i e w s .  was t h a t magnanimity took on a new and e n l a r g e d  The r e s u l t  meaning.  The c l a s s i c a l i d e a o f a h o m o c e n t r i c u n i v e r s e was now r e p l a c e d by the C h r i s t i a n concept o f a D e o - c e n t r i c  one. What t h i s meant f o r man was  t h a t l i f e ceased t o be l o o k e d upon as a glimmer o f l i g h t i n an imminent and a l l - e n c o m p a s s i n g  darkness.  R a t h e r , human l i f e was now t o be under-  stood as a m i n i s c u l e p a r t of e t e r n i t y .  How one l i v e d t h a t s h o r t  however, would d i c t a t e the k i n d o f e t e r n a l l i f e he would spend.  life, For  good men e t e r n i t y would be a b l e s s e d s t a t e ; f o r e v i l , a p e r p e t u a l h o r r o r . The  emphasis, t h e r e f o r e , came t o be p l a c e d on r i g h t c o n d u c t :  a man a c t i n o r d e r t o g a i n e t e r n a l h a p p i n e s s ?  how s h o u l d  S e l f - k n o w l e d g e thus came  to e x i s t as the b a s i s o f C h r i s t i a n e t h i c s , and magnanimity, i n i t s meaning of self-knowledge,  became a m a t t e r o f c r u c i a l importance f o r t h e C h r i s t i a n  poet who would a t t e m p t t o p o r t r a y h e r o i c v i r t u e . C.S. L e w i s has p o i n t e d out t h a t the s h i f t from the pagan t o the C h r i s t i a n a p p r e h e n s i o n o f man's p o s i t i o n i n the u n i v e r s e i s accompanied by man's d i s c o v e r y o f the " d i v i d e d w i l l , " h i s r e c o g n i t i o n o f the conf l i c t i n g c l a i m s o f the i n n e r and o u t e r  worlds.  A l l our s e r i o u s i m a g i n a t i v e work, when i t touches on m o r a l s , p a i n t s a c o n f l i c t : a l l p r a c t i c a l m o r a l i s t s s i n g t o b a t t l e o r g i v e h i n t s about the a p p r o p r i a t e s t r a t e g y . Take away the concept of ' t e m p t a t i o n ' and n e a r l y a l l t h a t we say or t h i n k about good and e v i l would v a n i s h i n t o thin a i r . ^  One has o n l y t o c o n s i d e r a few o f the major C h r i s t i a n poems w h i c h a t t e m p t to demonstrate h e r o i c v i r t u e t o r e a l i z e the t r u t h o f L e w i s '  statement.  12  Dante's P u r g a t o r y i s one example.  I n o r d e r to e x p e r i e n c e the  b e a t i f i c v i s i o n , i n o r d e r t o e x p e r i e n c e h e a v e n l y b l i s s , the poet must s c a l e the h i g h mountain.  The p a t h i s rugged and the c l i m b i s a r d u o u s ,  and though most E n g l i s h r e a d e r s a r e tempted t o c o n c l u d e w i t h R u s k i n t h a t the F l o r e n t i n e i s s i m p l y a 'poor mountaineer', Dante i s must be tempted--to g i v e up the s t r u g g l e .  tempted--and  A r i o s t o ' s Orlando F u r i o s o i n  the f o l l o w i n g c e n t u r y i s a n o t h e r case i n p o i n t .  The drama and the con-  f l i c t i n the poem a r e the r e s u l t o f A n g e l i n e ' s t e m p t a t i o n of the C h r i s t i a n knight.  Orlando's madness r e p r e s e n t s h i s f a i l u r e t o r e s i s t t e m p t a t i o n ;  he i s a s l a v e o f p a s s i o n .  S i m i l a r l y , i n Tasso's J e r u s a l e m L i b e r a t a , the  c o n f l i c t of the poem concerns the b a t t l e between r e a s o n and p a s s i o n . The C h r i s t i a n champions a r e ensnared by p a s s i o n and d e s e r t t h e i r c a u s e . And, i n Spenser's F a e r i e Queene, the most i n t e r e s t i n g h e r o e s , i n the same way, a r e r e g u l a r l y f a c e d w i t h making a moral c h o i c e .  The f a c t t h a t  M i l t o n l o o k e d upon S i r Guyon as a model of h e r o i c v i r t u e r e v e a l s h i s own ( M i l t o n ' s ) a b i d i n g c o n c e r n w i t h the theme of t e m p t a t i o n .  Indeed, the  p o e t r y w h i c h a t t e m p t s to o f f e r moral i n s t r u c t i o n and does not p r e s e n t a t e m p t a t i o n m o t i f i s doomed t o f a i l u r e . example.  Cowley's D a v i d e i s i s a prime  D a v i d ' s v i r t u e and h i s f a i t h make him i n v u l n e r a b l e .  When D a v i d ,  s l e e p i n g , i s approached by S a t a n , Cowley a s s u r e s h i s hero "though Thou s l e e p ' s t t h y s e l f , thy God's awake," and t h i s , u n f o r t u n a t e l y , i s the problem.  There i s no a p p a r e n t p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t David w i l l weaken; t h e r e  i s no c o n f l i c t j t M B f r no drama. I have mentioned each of the p r e c e d i n g works to c l a r i f y  the  importance o f the element of c h o i c e i n C h r i s t i a n p o r t r a i t s of the h e r o .  13  In C h r i s t i a n terms s e l f - k n o w l e d g e means u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h a t one c a n be e i t h e r weak or s t r o n g ; one can r e s i s t t e m p t a t i o n or one can succumb. The element of c h o i c e i s c r u c i a l to an u n d e r s t a n d i n g of C h r i s t i a n h e r o i c virtue.  Between M e d i e v a l and R e n a i s s a n c e C h r i s t i a n i t y , however, t h e r e  i s a m a n i f e s t d i f f e r e n c e o f o p i n i o n c o n c e r n i n g the meaning o f magnanimity i n each of the t h r e e m a n i f e s t a t i o n s I have o u t l i n e d .  This i s e s p e c i a l l y  e v i d e n t w i t h r e f e r e n c e to the magnanimous man's sense of h i s own  worth.  I f the E n g l i s h R e n a i s s a n c e can be f a i r l y l o o k e d upon as a r e d i s c o v e r y of man  and h i s p o t e n t i a l i t i e s , then i t i s c o m p a r a t i v e l y s a f e  to c a l l the M i d d l e Ages a time i n w h i c h man's r e l a t i v e importance i n his  u n i v e r s e was  of s m a l l a c c o u n t .  Though i t i s always a dangerous  p r a c t i c e to make g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s r e g a r d i n g c u l t u r a l and l i t e r a r y p e r i o d s , we c a n say t h a t M e d i e v a l C h r i s t i a n i t y r e g a r d e d man than noble.  as more  degenerate  V i r g i l ' s q u e s t i o n to Dante as he and the F l o r e n t i n e  ascend  the mountain o f P u r g a t o r y i s i n d i c a t i v e of the M e d i e v a l a t t i t u d e .  Virgil  asks,  Don't you see That we a r e worms, whose i n s i g n i f i c a n c e L i v e s b u t to form the a n g e l i c b u t t e r f l y That f l i t s to judgement naked of d e f e n c e ? Why do you l e t p r e t e n s i o n soar so h i g h , B e i n g as i t were but l a r v a e - - g r u b s t h a t l a c k The f i n i s h e d form t h a t s h a l l be by and by? ( P u r g a t o r y , X, 123-129)  Man,  to judge from the p r e c e d i n g passage, i s indeed a wretched c r e a t u r e .  S e l f - k n o w l e d g e i n the M e d i e v a l c o n t e x t r e a l l y amounts t o a c c e p t i n g t h a t m o r t a l i t y i s a p a i n f u l case. then can they pursue honour?  Men a r e n e i t h e r d i g n i f i e d nor n o b l e .  How  14 Medieval C h r i s t i a n theologians garding  p r i d e as a m o r t a l  sin.  and poets were unanimous i n r e -  As h u m i l i t y was r e c o g n i z e d  as t h e p r i n c i p a l  C h r i s t i a n v i r t u e , i t s c o n t r a r y would n a t u r a l l y be looked upon as t h e principal vice.  T h e o r e t i c a l l y , i f man were t o be v i r t u o u s , he c o u l d n o t  take pride i n h i s a b i l i t y of h i s v i r t u e .  t o be s o , and he c o u l d n o t a c c e p t r e c o g n i t i o n  To do so would be t o a r r o g a t e honour.  R a t h e r , he must  t r a n s f e r t h e c r e d i t (the honour or g l o r y ) t o h i s God. I n M e d i e v a l C h r i s t i a n i t y t h i s was t h e p r e v a i l i n g a t t i t u d e .  Saint Augustine, f o r  example, h e l d t h a t man, because of Adam's t r a n s g r e s s i o n , was i n h e r e n t l y weak and d e p r a v e d .  Everything  t h a t a man c o u l d and d i d a c c o m p l i s h was  the r e s u l t o f God's g r a c e w o r k i n g i n him. Thus, w i t h o u t God's g r a c e , men were h e l p l e s s and c o r r u p t .  For men a r e s e p a r a t e d from God o n l y by s i n s , from w h i c h we a r e i n t h i s l i f e c l e a n s e d n o t by our own v i r t u e , b u t by t h e d i v i n e compassion; through H i s i n d u l g e n c e , n o t through our own power. F o r whatever v i r t u e we c a l l our own i s i t s e l f bestowed upon us by H i s goodness.16  E a r t h l y g l o r y and e t e r n a l g l o r y , moreover, a r e n o t c o m p a t i b l e .  Augustine  argues:  he who seeks t o p l e a s e h i m s e l f seeks s t i l l t o p l e a s e man. B u t he who, w i t h t r u e p i e t y towards God, whom he l o v e s , b e l i e v e s , and hopes i n , f i x e s h i s a t t e n t i o n more on those t h i n g s on w h i c h he d i s p l e a s e s h i m s e l f , or r a t h e r , n o t h i m s e l f , b u t t h e t r u t h , t r u t h t o a n y t h i n g b u t t o t h e mercy o f Him whom he has f e a r e d t o d i s p l e a s e , g i v i n g thanks f o r what i n h i m i s h e a l e d , and p o u r i n g o u t p r a y e r s f o r the h e a l i n g o f t h a t w h i c h is yet unhealed.^  A u g u s t i n e ' s o p i n i o n c o n c e r n i n g man's p u r s u i t o f honour ( g l o r y ) l i t t l e room f o r human d i g n i t y t o a s s e r t i t s e l f .  leaves  Man was, i n d e e d , a  15  pathetic creature. l i f e was  However, because M e d i e v a l C h r i s t i a n s h e l d t h a t human  a p a i n f u l c o n d i t i o n , a m i s e r a b l e e x i s t e n c e w h i c h had  t o be  endured s o l e l y f o r the purpose o f e n s u r i n g one's a d m i s s i o n i n t o e t e r n a l b l i s s , c o n t e m p l a t i o n became the h i g h e s t human achievement. C h r i s t i a n i t y , i n f a c t , understood  c o n t e m p l a t i o n i n a form not f a r removed  from the meaning A r i s t o t l e had g i v e n i t .  For C h r i s t i a n s , man's l i f e  a s t r u g g l e to a t t a i n the knowledge o f God, the C r e a t o r as pure s p i r i t u a l essence. possessed for  Medieval  was  to be u n i t e d u l t i m a t e l y w i t h  Though b e f o r e the f a l l Adam  the knowledge of good w i t h o u t the knowledge o f e v i l , i t remained  him to p r o g r e s s to the p e r f e c t knowledge of God  (the Good) by  gent a p p l i c a t i o n and by s t r i c t obedience to God's commandment.  dili-  He c o u l d  u l t i m a t e l y become, l i k e the h i g h e r o r d e r s of a n g e l s , a p u r e l y c o n t e m p l a t i v e being.  Adam's s i n , however, had changed a l l of t h i s .  Man  had now  to  overcome h i m s e l f b e f o r e he c o u l d hope t o a t t a i n i n t i m a t e knowledge of he had How  man  to prove h i m s e l f worthy of becoming a w h o l l y c o n t e m p l a t i v e l i v e d t h i s l i f e , o f c o u r s e , was  the c r u c i a l p o i n t .  conduct h i m s e l f p r o p e r l y i n the w o r l d of men t i m e , to a s p i r e to a h i g h e r mode of b e i n g . In  Kingdom was  all  s i m p l y to p r e p a r e  He had  to  was  man  to l i v e ? distinction  Because C h r i s t had c l a i m e d t h a t H i s  a p a i n f u l o b l i g a t i o n — n o t h i n g more.  of God  How  not o f t h i s w o r l d , A u g u s t i n e reasoned  e x i s t e n c e was  being.  and y e t he had, a t the same  the C i t y of God A u g u s t i n e makes a v e r y c l e a r  between the two modes of b e i n g .  God;  that earthly l i f e  was  The whole purpose of one's m o r t a l  f o r heavenly and e t e r n a l l i f e .  The  city  (heaven) i s the r e a l m of pure c o n t e m p l a t i o n , the l o c a t i o n where  the saved  s o u l s can e x p e r i e n c e the d i v i n e p r e s e n c e .  The  earthly c i t y ,  16 on the c o n t r a r y , i s an e v i l e x i s t e n c e which had t o be endured b u t w h i c h c o u l d n o t be embraced' o r e n j o y e d by the t r u e b e l i e v e r . was a s t r u g g l e i n w h i c h men had t o choose whether man o r a c c o r d i n g t o God.  Life, i n fact,  to l i v e according to  The two, we l e a r n , a r e i n no w i s e c o m p a t i b l e .  A c c o r d i n g l y , two c i t i e s have been formed by two l o v e s ; the e a r t h l y by the l o v e o f s e l f , even t o the contempt o f God; the h e a v e n l y by t h e l o v e o f God, even t o the contempt o f s e l f . The f o r m e r , i n a word, g l o r i e s i n i t s e l f , the l a t t e r i n the L o r d . F o r the one seeks g l o r y from men; b u t the g r e a t e s t g l o r y o f the o t h e r i s God, the w i t n e s s of c o n s c i e n c e . The one l i f t s up i t s head i n i t s own g l o r y ; the o t h e r ^ g says t o i t s God, "Thou a r t my g l o r y , and the l i f t e r up o f mine head."  A u g u s t i n e ' s a s c e t i c i s m , h i s s e v e r e and a u s t e r e v i e w o f the human c o n d i t i o n , r e p r e s e n t s the v i e w p o i n t o f M e d i e v a l C h r i s t i a n i t y . are  t o be h e l d i n contempt.  L i f e and the w o r l d  The g r e a t - s o u l e d o r magnanimous man, the  m a r t y r i n S a i n t A u g u s t i n e ' s terms, i s ready and w i l l i n g t o shake o f f the  mortal c o i l .  In Medieval C h r i s t i a n i t y contemplation, therefore,  means the almost t o t a l r e j e c t i o n o f l i f e ;  i t i s o t h e r - w o r l d l y par  excellence. Though i n i t s e s s e n t i a l o u t l i n e s Renaissance  Christianity  accepted Saint Augustine's a t t i t u d e s , i t r e v e a l s , n e v e r t h e l e s s , a quite d i f f e r e n t a p p r e h e n s i o n o f man's p o s i t i o n and h i s r o l e i n the u n i v e r s e . In  the M e d i e v a l c o n t e x t the sense o f human worth and d i g n i t y i s remarkable  by i t s c o m p a r a t i v e absence; i n the Renaissance t h e r e i s a c u r i o u s ambivalence of opinion. The l i t e r a t u r e o f the Renaissance i s s i n g u l a r l y remarkable f o r i t s two c o n t r a s t i n g y e t c o - e x i s t i n g views o f man, h i s d i g n i t y and h i s bestiality.  Man can be d i g n i f i e d and c a n r e f l e c t the image o f h i s C r e a t o r ,  17 or he can be depraved and b e a s t - l i k e .  Douglas Bush has c a l l e d  this  p a r t i c u l a r v i e w o f man t h e " s i m u l t a n e o u s double v i s i o n , " and he i l l u s t r a t e s the p o i n t by a q u o t a t i o n from P i c o d e l l a M i r a n d o l a .  The I t a l i a n  poet p o r t r a y s God a d d r e s s i n g man and t e l l i n g h i m :  Thou s h a l t have power t o d e c l i n e unto the lower o r b r u t e c r e a t u r e s . Thou s h a l t have power t o be r e b o r n unto the h i g h e r , o r d i v i n e , a c c o r d i n g t o t h e sentence o f t h y i n t e l l e c t . ^  Man d i d s i n , however, and d e c l i n e d unto a b r u t e c r e a t u r e .  But, by the  grace o f God, man can r e p e n t h i s s i n f u l c o n d i t i o n and can a t t a i n e t e r n a l bliss.  The t a s k , however, i s n o t an easy one. Even S i d n e y , t h e Renaissance  model o f s p r e z z a t u r a , c a n c o m p l a i n i n h i s A p o l o g i e t h a t s i n c e t h a t f i r s t a c c u r s e d f a l l o f Adam . . . o u r e r e c t e d w i t maketh us know what p e r f e c t i o n i s , and y e t o u r i n f e c t e d w i l l keepeth us from r e a c h i n g unto i t . 2  0  Man's l i f e thus becomes a s t r u g g l e t o be v i r t u o u s , a s t r u g g l e i n which p a s s i o n and r e a s o n contend f o r t h e mastery o f the i n d i v i d u a l ' s  soul.  The i m p o r t a n t p o i n t i s t h a t man c a n be d i g n i f i e d ; he can be a worthy being.  S e l f - k n o w l e d g e thus comes t o mean the i n d i v i d a L ' s awareness t h a t  he c a n be v i r t u o u s and t h e r e f o r e d i g n i f i e d , o r t h a t he can be e v i l and therefore ignoble.  T h i s w i l l be made c l e a r e r by r e f e r e n c e t o A q u i n a s ,  a t h e o l o g i a n whose w r i t i n g b e a r s the stamp o f the Renaissance a t t i t u d e . A q u i n a s ' t r e a t m e n t o f magnanimity, h i s attempt t o ' C h r i s t i a n i z e A r i s t o t l e , l e f t somewhat more room f o r t h e a s s e r t i o n o f human worth 1  and d i g n i t y t h a n had A u g u s t i n e ' s . i t i o n o f magnanimity  Aquinas a c c e p t e d A r i s t o t l e ' s  defin-  as g r e a t n e s s o f mind and made i t c o m p a t i b l e w i t h  18 C h r i s t i a n h u m i l i t y ; he e f f e c t e d a k i n d of compromise between the pagan and C h r i s t i a n a t t i t u d e s .  Aquinas contended t h a t man  c o n t a i n e d i n him  the seeds o f g r e a t n e s s and d i g n i t y (the g i f t o f God), and c o n t a i n e d i n him a l s o the i n h e r e n t weaknesses i m i t y , he a r g u e d , "makes a man  of h i s f a l l e n nature.  But magnan-  deem h i m s e l f worthy o f g r e a t t h i n g s i n 21  c o n s i d e r a t i o n of the g i f t s he h o l d s from God."  The v e r y i m p o r t a n t  d i f f e r e n c e between A u g u s t i n e and Aquinas i n t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e o p i n i o n s c o n c e r n i n g the d i g n i t y o f man and the R e n a i s s a n c e .  i s the d i f f e r e n c e between the M i d d l e Ages  I n A u g u s t i n e ' s v i e w man  i s more depraved than  n o b l e ; i n A q u i n a s ' , he i s , i f not more n o b l e than depraved, a t l e a s t c a p a b l e of a s s e r t i n g h i s human d i g n i t y .  The l a t t e r v i e w i s the one  M i l t o n embraced. Because Aquinas d i d not deny t h a t man was w i t h o u t d i g n i t y , he c o u l d argue t h a t man's p u r s u i t o f honour d i d n o t r u n c o u n t e r t o C h r i s t i a n e t h i c s w i t h i t s emphasis on h u m i l i t y as the g r e a t e s t v i r t u e . the C h r i s t i a n magnanimous man  Because  sought t o be honoured by God, he c o u l d  a c c e p t e a r t h l y honour, the honour of men,  on God's b e h a l f .  As Aquinas  asserted, Magnanimity by i t s v e r y name denotes s t r e t c h i n g f o r t h o f the mind t o g r e a t t h i n g s . Now v i r t u e bears a r e l a t i o n s h i p t o two t h i n g s , f i r s t t o the m a t t e r about which i s the f i e l d o f i t s a c t i v i t y , s e c o n d l y t o i t s proper a c t , which c o n s i s t s i n the r i g h t use o f such m a t t e r . And s i n c e a v i r t u o u s h a b i t i s denominated c h i e f l y from i t s a c t , a man i s s a i d ^ t o be magnanimous c h i e f l y because he i s minded t o do some g r e a t a c t .  Magnanimity thus comes t o mean what we might c a l l or w i l l .  conviction  The magnanimous man w i l l s i t t h a t he s h a l l pursue honour as  19  a s e r v a n t o f h i s God, and the p u r s u i t o f honour thus becomes p e r f e c t l y l e g i t i m a t e f o r the C h r i s t i a n .  Moreover, magnanimity  was a l s o r a d i c a l l y m o d i f i e d by Renaissance  as c o n t e m p l a t i o n  Christianity.  A l t h o u g h the Renaissance a c c e p t e d A u g u s t i n e ' s argument t h a t t h i s l i f e was t o be l i v e d i n a way t h a t would prepare man t o l i v e the o t h e r l i f e , contemptus mundi does n o t s t a n d as the g o v e r n i n g e t h i c o r attitude.  Rather the Renaissance e t h i c t h a t i s most remarkable i s t h a t  men have a b i n d i n g o b l i g a t i o n t o p r o v i d e something f o r t h e i r The E n g l i s h humanist t r a d i t i o n i s , movement. the  fellows.  i n d e e d , p r i m a r i l y an e d u c a t i o n a l  The C h r i s t i a n has an o b l i g a t i o n t o t e a c h o t h e r s , t o show them  path t o r i g h t e o u s n e s s w h i l e on e a r t h .  I n s h o r t , e t h i c s becomes  as much a p a r t o f Renaissance C h r i s t i a n i t y as t h e o l o g y i s .  As Bush  points out, The broad a i m o f Tudor humanism was t r a i n i n g i n v i r t u e and good l e t t e r s ; the p r a c t i c a l aim was t r a i n i n g f o r the a c t i v e C h r i s t i a n l i f e , especially public l i f e . F o r humanism was n o t o n l y r e l i g i o u s , i t was a l s o b o t h a r i s t o c r a t i c and u t i l i t a r i a n . * ^  The good C h r i s t i a n , t h e n , d i d n o t r e j e c t l i f e .  He sought, r a t h e r , t o  make the " c i t y o f God" a t a n g i b l e r e a l i t y on e a r t h . the  Heroic poetry of  Renaissance a t t e m p t e d , t h e r e f o r e , t o s y n c r e t i z e the a c t i v e and the  c o n t e m p l a t i v e hero i n a s i n g l e p e r s o n — a C h r i s t i a n h e r o .  Two examples  w i l l s e r v e t o make my p o i n t . In  Tasso's J e r u s a l e m L i b e r a t a the heroes a r e engaged i n a f u r i o u s  combat t o r i d the w o r l d o f the pagan menace. are  Godfrey and h i s k n i g h t s  c o m p e l l e d t o do b a t t l e w i t h the h o s t o f A l a d i n e .  The S u l t a n i s  p r e s e n t e d as e v i l i n c a r n a t e whereas Godfrey i s d i v i n e l y  inspired.  20 Though Tasso makes i t c l e a r t h a t the w o r l d o f the s p i r i t i s the r e a l and more i m p o r t a n t one, h i s poem concerns the a c t i v i t i e s of men, r e l a t e s t h e i r s t r u g g l e t o make God's kingdom p r e v a i l on e a r t h . prophecy r e v e a l s  and Hugo's  this.  E r e many y e a r s s h a l l r u n , Amid the s a i n t s i n b l i s s here s h a l t thou r e i g n ; But f i r s t g r e a t wars must by t h y hand be done, Much b l o o d be shed, and many Pagans s l a i n , The H o l y c i t y by a s s a u l t be won, The l a n d s e t f r e e from s e r v i l e yoke a g a i n Wherein thou s h a l t a C h r i s t i a n empire frame And a f t e r thee s h a l l B a l d w i n r u l e the same. (XIV, 57-64) The c o n t e m p l a t i v e a s p e c t o f b e i n g i s , we must assume, t o be u n d e r s t o o d from the m o t i v e s on w h i c h Godfrey and h i s l e g i o n s a c t . more concerned w i t h the h e a v e n l y c i t y we may i s demonstrable by how  That they a r e  be s u r e , but t h e i r w o r t h  t h e y conduct themselves i n the e a r t h l y  one.  C o n t e m p l a t i o n , to judge from Tasso's poem, i s not the end the hero pursues on e a r t h .  He a s p i r e s , r a t h e r , t o make God's w i l l p r e v a i l on  e a r t h , t o make the w o r l d o f men a r e f l e c t i o n o f God's kingdom.  Though  a t the end of Tasso's poem Godfrey and h i s k n i g h t s remove t h e i r armor and g a t h e r i n the temple t o p r a y , t h e i r v i r t u e i s p r i m a r i l y e x e r c i s e d i n the w o r l d o f  men.  Spenser's P r i n c e A r t h u r , s i m i l a r l y , though he r e p r e s e n t s magnan i m i t y and has been c o n s i d e r e d as the l i n k which t i e s the t w e l v e m o r a l 24 v i r t u e s t o God,  and though he i s i n p u r s u i t o f g l o r y , i s a man whose  b u s i n e s s i t i s t o do good deeds on e a r t h . any t r a c e o f the contemptus mundi a t t i t u d e .  H i s c a r e e r does not r e v e a l F o r Spenser, we may  assume  21 t h a t c o n t e m p l a t i o n means c o n t i n u i n g w i t h the q u e s t , and m a i n t a i n i n g a f i r m r e s o l u t i o n not  t o wander from the  h o l d i n g to one's f a i t h and  s t r u g g l i n g , by a c c o m p l i s h i n g good t h i n g s ,  make o n e s e l f worthy i n the eyes of Contemplation d i d not, other-worldliness. and  paths of r i g h t e o u s n e s s ; i t means  God.  f o r the  poets o f the R e n a i s s a n c e , mean  I t meant, r a t h e r , a s p i r i n g to the knowledge o f  a t t e m p t i n g to obey h i s w i l l .  to  God  I t meant, moreover, t r y i n g t o make  God's w i l l known t o o t h e r s ; i t meant b e i n g a " t r u e , w a y f a r i n g C h r i s t i a n . " Though magnanimity i s f a i r l y c a l l e d "the most H e l l e n i c  of  the  25 moral v i r t u e s , "  i t had  by C h r i s t i a n poets and  a l s o , as I have demonstrated, been a c c e p t e d  by a t l e a s t one  C h r i s t i a n Church, as a l e g i t i m a t e  of the major d i v i n e s  Christian virtue.  I t i s not,  u n r e a s o n a b l e t o c o n s i d e r g r e a t n e s s of mind as the b a s i s concept of h e r o i c I n De of the v i r t u e s not,  of  of  the therefore,  Milton's  man.  D o c t r i n a C h r i s t i a n a M i l t o n c l a s s i f i e d magnanimity as 26 "more p e c u l i a r l y a p p r o p r i a t e to a h i g h s t a t i o n .  t h e n , f o r a l l men  t o be magnanimous.  i m i t y M i l t o n c o u p l e d a n o t h e r , w h i c h he " t h i n k i n g humbly o f o u r s e l v e s and 27 where o c c a s i o n r e q u i r e s  it."  one It is  But w i t h the v i r t u e of magnan-  c a l l e d "lowliness  abstaining  of mind":  from self-commendation e x c e p t  Magnanimity, though i n A r i s t o t l e ' s terms  i t means j u s t i f i a b l e p r i d e , i s , f o r the C h r i s t i a n M i l t o n , a companion to h u m i l i t y . He thus d e f i n e s h i s terms. Magnanimity i s shown when i n the s e e k i n g or a v o i d i n g , the a c c e p t a n c e or r e f u s a l of r i c h e s , advantages, or h o n o r s , we are a c t u a t e d by a r e g a r d no  to our  own  d i g n i t y r i g h t l y understood. °  22 C h r i s t i a n h u m i l i t y , then, does not preclude a sense of worth or d i g n i t y . The c r u c i a l point i n Milton's d e f i n i t i o n of greatness of mind i s the phrase " r i g h t l y understood", f o r the emphasis i s placed on self-examination and self-knowledge.  Indeed, M i l t o n ' s heroes are, without exception, portrayed  as engaged i n a struggle to know themselves.  Before they can aspire to  the pursuit of honour and before they can aspire to a knowledge of higher things (contemplation), they must know t h e m s e l v e s — t h e i r strengths and t h e i r weaknesses.  For M i l t o n the S o c r a t i c nosce te ipsum i s the f i r s t  step i n the process of becoming magnanimous. Self-knowledge, as understood by C h r i s t i a n poets and philosophers of the Renaissance, meant, as I have i n d i c a t e d e a r l i e r , that man could be e i t h e r d i g n i f i e d or depraved.  With the growth of puritanism i n the  seventeenth century, however, human d i g n i t y took on a new and enlarged meaning.  Burton 0. Kurth has demonstrated that the C h r i s t i a n hero's  career was conceived by poets of the seventeenth century as representing a small part of the cosmic drama, a scene i n the u n i v e r s a l c o n f l i c t 29 between good and e v i l .  Because the i n d i v i d u a l man's l i f e had u n i v e r s a l  s i g n i f i c a n c e , h i s d i g n i t y was g r e a t l y increased. Men could now see themselves as a c t i v e p a r t i c i p a n t s i n God's b a t t l e against Satan.  They,  by conducting themselves v i r t u o u s l y and by defeating e v i l i n themselves, could be, as i t were, s o l d i e r s i n God'a army.  Self-knowledge, then,  implies a r e c o g n i t i o n of d i g n i t y and of duty.  Men can be f o r or against  God, and t h e i r l i v e s thus take on tremendous s i g n i f i c a n c e and importance. To be d i g n i f i e d i n God's eyes they must be a c t i v e l y v i r t u o u s ; they must struggle to overcome e v i l as s o l d i e r s of God.  M i l t o n ' s emphasis on  23 "a r e g a r d to our own d i g n i t y r i g h t l y u n d e r s t o o d " (my i t a l i c s ) ,  cannot,  I t h i n k , be o v e r s t r e s s e d i n d e a l i n g w i t h h i s concept o f h e r o i c man. magnanimity, a c c o r d i n g t o M i l t o n , i s not f o r a l l men.  But  I t i s the v i r t u e ,  r a t h e r , which i s u s u a l l y m a n i f e s t i n , and more " p e c u l i a r l y a p p r o p r i a t e " t o persons of a h i g h s t a t i o n . who  Men  of h i g h s t a t i o n are of c o u r s e  those  are c a l l e d upon t o make d e c i s i o n s a f f e c t i n g the l i v e s o f o t h e r  To a c t as b e f i t t i n g t h e i r p o s i t i o n they must be magnanimous. magnanimous man  men.  Milton's  i s a person of s u p e r i o r n a t u r e ; he stands above the rank  and f i l e o f humanity.  And M i l t o n ' s s u p e r i o r man,  l i k e A q u i n a s ' , i s one  who  i s "minded t o do some g r e a t a c t ; " he i s thus o b l i g a t e d t o a s s e r t h i s  own  sense o f w o r t h . M i l t o n , though he a c c e p t s A u g u s t i n e ' s argument t h a t w i t h o u t God's  grace man  i s h e l p l e s s , u n d e r s t o o d Heavenly  Grace as i m p l y i n g a  God's mercy, h i s g r a c e , had made i t p o s s i b l e f o r f a l l e n man  covenant:  to be  r e g e n e r a t e d ; but the f i n a l c h o i c e whether t o be r e g e n e r a t e d o r t o r e m a i n depraved  i s man's.  Regarding the p u r s u i t of honour, M i l t o n ' s v i e w i s  t h a t the v i r t u o u s man s e r v i c e o f God.  A man  can pursue honour i f i t i s the r i g h t honour:  the  can have s a t i s f a c t i o n i n what he can a c c o m p l i s h  because he i s an a c t i v e worker on God's b e h a l f .  Indeed, man  can a c h i e v e  what M i l t o n c a l l s " i m p e r f e c t g l o r i f i c a t i o n " w h i l e he remains on e a r t h .  IMPERFECT GLORIFICATION i s t h a t s t a t e w h e r e i n , b e i n g JUSTIFIED AND ADOPTED BY GOD THE FATHER, WE ARE FILLED WITH A CONSCIOUSNESS OF PRESENT GRACE AND EXCELLENCE, AS WELL AS WITH AN EXPECTATION OF FUTURE GLORY INSOMUCH THAT OUR BLESSEDNESS IS IN A MANNER ALREADY BEGUN.  Man,  by b e l i e v i n g i n God, and by s t r u g g l i n g t o serve God, can a c h i e v e  honour and g l o r y .  The s u p e r i o r man,  minded to do some g r e a t a c t , l i v e s  24  his  l i f e i n the p u r s u i t o f t h a t g o a l , and h i s p u r s u i t o b l i g e s him t o be  actively virtuous.  F o r M i l t o n , man can pursue honour i f the honour he  pursues redounds t o God.  Man's f a i t h i n s t i l l s  i n him the c o n v i c t i o n  t h a t he i s worthy o r d i g n i f i e d ; he i s worthy t o be a s e r v a n t  o f God.  The  honour man p u r s u e s , i n f a c t , i s the h i g h e s t honour; i t i s t o be g l o r i f i e d o r honoured by God. for  On e a r t h , however, the honour remains  imperfect,  i t i s o n l y i n e t e r n i t y ( i n heaven) t h a t p e r f e c t g l o r y i s a t t a i n a b l e .  But a l l men can share the k i n d o f honour bestowed on A b d i e l when the a n g e l r e s i s t s Satan's t e m p t a t i o n . his  When God p r a i s e s t h e f a i t h f u l cherub f o r  s t r e n g t h , we l e a r n t h a t  To stand approv'd i n s i g h t o f God, though Worlds Judg'd thee p e r v e r s e (PL V I . 36-37), is  tantamount t o the h i g h e s t honour and g l o r y . W h a t  i s more, the same  k i n d o f honour, t h e same k i n d o f r e c o g n i t i o n o f w o r t h , c a n be possessed by man.  H i s c o n s c i e n c e and h i s r e a s o n i n f o r m him t h a t he, t o o , c a n be  a good and f a i t h f u l s e r v a n t , and, f o r M i l t o n , t h i s i s the h i g h e s t honour. How w e l l man u n d e r s t a n d s h i s duty and how w e l l he u n d e r t a k e s God's s e r v i c e are the measure o f h i s magnanimity as I have d e f i n e d the term i n i t s second meaning.  We may now t u r n t o the u l t i m a t e end the M i l t o n i c hero  a s p i r e s t o , magnanimity as  contemplation.  I t i s h a r d l y n e c e s s a r y t o p o i n t o u t t h a t contemptus mundi  should  not e n t e r i n t o any s e r i o u s d i s c u s s i o n o f M i l t o n ' s concept o f h e r o i c man.  Michael's  make t h i s c l e a r .  words t o Adam on the l a t t e r ' s e x p u l s i o n from The A r c h a n g e l t e l l s Adam:  paradise  25 Nor l o v e t h y L i f e , n o r h a t e ; b u t what thou l i v ' s t L i v e w e l l , how l o n g o r s h o r t p e r m i t t o Heav'n. (PL X I . 553-554)  Human l i f e ,  t o be s u r e , i s a p r o v i n g ground.  But i t i s n o t an u n p l e a s a n t  necessity.  I n M i l t o n ' s v i e w c o n t e m p l a t i o n , the knowledge o f God, was  p o s s i b l e f o r men w h i l e they remained on e a r t h . g l o r i f i e d , though i m p e r f e c t l y , i n t h i s l i f e , an i m p e r f e c t knowledge o f God. redemptive.mission.  J u s t as man c o u l d be  s o , t o o , c o u l d he a c q u i r e  T h i s , i n d e e d , was the meaning o f C h r i s t ' s  I f men a c c e p t e d Jesus as the Son o f God, i f they  had f a i t h , they possessed a n i m p e r f e c t knowledge o f God. f a c t , p a r t i a l l y contemplative beings.  They were, i n  They were n o t , however, e i t h e r  e s s e n t i a l l y or purely contemplative beings. M e r r i t t Y. Hughes has c o n c l u d e d t h a t M i l t o n  c o n c e i v e d the h e r o i c c h a r a c t e r as c o n t e m p l a t i v e , i . e . as p o s s e s s i n g an e n l i g h t e n m e n t which was i n t e l l e c t u a l i n consequence o f b e i n g r a t i o n a l l y e t h i c a l and (thanks t o a touch o f the emotion which Matthew A r n o l d s a i d t u r n s e t h i c s i n t o r e l i g i o n ) r e l i g i o u s . A t bottom, the c o n c e p t i o n remained t h a t o f t h e v i r t u e which the Roman C a t h o l i c Church has l o n g r e g a r d e d as the b e g i n n i n g o f s a n c t i t y , and proof o f which i s t h e f i r s t s t e p i n t h e process o f c a n o n i z a t i o n .  M i l t o n ' s h e r o j however, ±s a Renaissance man.  H i s career represents, i f  I , t o o , may borrow a phrase from A r n o l d , a m i s s i o n " t o make r e a s o n and the w i l l o f God p r e v a i l . "  I n s h o r t , M i l t o n ' s hero does n o t r e j e c t the  w o r l d ; he i s , r a t h e r , an a c t i v e worker i n t h e campaign t o r a i s e Eden i n the w i l d e r n e s s . From t h e p r e c e d i n g d i s c u s s i o n i t i s obvious t h a t M i l t o n ' s grounds for  c l a i m i n g h i s heroes a r e more h e r o i c t h a n any o f t h e w o r t h i e s i n  c l a s s i c a l e p i c o r M e d i e v a l romance a r e n o t e n t i r e l y  indefensible.  26 Magnanimity, t h e measure o f M i l t o n ' s h e r o i c man, was, as M i l t o n it,  the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c t r a i t o f a v e r i t a b l e s u p e r - h e r o .  man d i s c o v e r e d dignified.  conceived  The magnanimous  t h a t he was worthy t o be a s o l d i e r o f God and was  thereby  He knew t h a t he c o u l d be honoured by h i s God f o r h i s f a i t h f u l  s e r v i c e , and, equipped w i t h f a i t h , the i m p e r f e c t knowledge o f God, he c o u l d a s p i r e t o l i v e on a plane o f e x i s t e n c e h i g h e r  than the p u r e l y  physical. M i l t o n ' s t r u l y h e r o i c man must be magnanimous, f o r magnanimity, as M i l t o n contended i n the De D o c t r i n a , " i s the s p i r i t by which e v e r y t r u e C h r i s t i a n ought t o be guided i n t h e e s t i m a t e s u p e r i o r man must r e c o g n i z e h i s own w o r t h . g l o r y o f God.  The  He must a c t i v e l y pursue the  T h i s i s M i l t o n ' s p a t t e r n f o r h e r o i c v i r t u e , and h i s h e r o i c  man must s a t i s f y each o f these r e q u i r e m e n t s . a simple  of himself.  one f o r any man.  The t a s k , however, i s n o t  I t r e q u i r e s , i n d e e d , a p e r f e c t man.  Milton's  p e r f e c t h e r o , as I s h a l l attempt t o prove, i s the p e r f e c t man h i m s e l f ; i t i s Jesus C h r i s t .  I n M i l t o n ' s t h r e e l o n g poems, i n f a c t , i t can be  seen t h a t the o n l y p e r f e c t h e r o u n t i l the coming o f C h r i s t c o u l d be the Son h i m s e l f .  I t was, i n d e e d ,  a f t e r the advent o f C h r i s t .  p o s s i b l e f o r men t o be p e r f e c t heroes o n l y  FOOTNOTES:  CHAPTER I  M i l t o n and the Renaissance Hero ( O x f o r d :  The C l a r e n d o n P r e s s , 1967).  2 A r i s t o t l e , The E t h i c s o f A r i s t o t l e The "Nicomacheau E t h i c s " Transl a t e d , t r a n s . J.A.K. Thomson (Hammondsworth: Penguin Books, 1959), p. 122. 3 Spenser s " L e t t e r t o R a l e i g h as quoted i n Edmund Spenser S e l e c t e d P o e t r y , ed. Leo Kirschbaum (New Y o r k : H o l t , R i n e h a r t and W i n s t o n , I n c . , 1961), p. 4. 4  pp.  137-60.  5 M a u r i c e B. McNamee, Honor and the E p i c Hero A Study of the S h i f t i n g Concept o f Magnanimity i n P h i l o s o p h y and E p i c P o e t r y (New Y o r k : H o l t , R i n e h a r t and W i n s t o n , I n c . , 1960), pp. 162 ff,; Frank Kermode, " M i l t o n ' s Hero," RES. n.s. IV (1953), 317-330. "The C h r i s t o f P a r a d i s e Regained and the Renaissance H e r o i c T r a d i t i o n " i n Ten P e r s p e c t i v e s on M i l t o n (New Haven: Y a l e U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1965), pp. 35-62. ^I use the term " c l a s s i c a l " here w i t h r e f e r e n c e t o both the a n c i e n t Greek and Roman c u l t u r e s . 8 E t h i c s , p. 121. 9 I b i d . , p. 307. A r i s t o t l e ' s d i s c u s s i o n of c o n t e m p l a t i o n ( E t h i c s , X) i s p r o b a b l y the a s p e c t o f h i s p h i l o s o p h y t h a t most c l o s e l y resembles P l a t o ' s thought the heavy emphasis the l a t t e r p l a c e d on man's s t r u g g l e t o a t t a i n knowledge o f the Good (the i d e a l form) i s r e a l l y not f a r removed from A r i s t o t l e ' s concept of c o n t e m p l a t i o n - Because P l a t o d i d not s p e c i f i c a l l y d i s c u s s magnanimity i n e i t h e r the R e p u b l i c or i n the Symposium, I have not r e f e r r e d t o him i n my d i s c u s s i o n of c o n t e m p l a t i o n . 11  ... C i c e r o on M o r a l O b l i g a t i o n A New T r a n s l a t i o n o f C i c e r o ' s 'De O f f i c i i s " , t r a n s . John Higginbotham ( B e r k e l e y : U n i v e r s i t y o f C a l i f o r n i a P r e s s , 1967), p. 60. McNamee, Honor and the E p i c Hero, p. 49.  28  The d i f f e r e n t meanings magnanimity h e l d f o r Greeks and Romans are f u r t h e r demonstrable by comparison o f A r i s t o t l e w i t h C i c e r o . The Roman p l a c e d new emphasis on the moral v i r t u e s i n h e r e n t i n a c t i o n s r a t h e r t h a n , l i k e A r i s t o t l e , assuming t h a t t h e s u p e r i o r man was i n c a p a b l e o f d o i n g a n y t h i n g t h a t was n o t good. C i c e r o argues t h a t courage w h i c h m a n i f e s t s i t s e l f i n dangers and c r i s e s i s n o t d e s e r v i n g of c r e d i t " u n l e s s i t i s a l l i e d t o j u s t i c e and f i g h t s f o r common cause r a t h e r than i t s own a d v a n t a g e . " See: De O f f i c i i s , p. 61. 14 De O f f i c i i s ,  p. 62.  ^ T h e A l l e g o r y o f Love A Study i n M e d i e v a l T r a d i t i o n (New York: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1958), p. 58. 16 "The C i t y o f God" by S a i n t A u g u s t i n e , t r a n s . Marcus Dodds (New The Modern L i b r a r y , 1950), p. 327.  York: 1 7  I b i d . , p. 174. I b i d . , p. 477.  19 of  The Renaissance and E n g l i s h Humanism ( T o r o n t o : Toronto P r e s s , 1965), p. 96.  The U n i v e r s i t y  20 "An A p o l o g i e f o r P o e t r i e " i n E n g l i s h L i t e r a r y C r i t i c i s m ; The R e n a i s s a n c e , ed. O.B. H a r d i s o n , J r . (New Y o r k : A p p l e t o n - C e n t u r y C r o f t s , 1963), p. 105. 21 The "Summa T h e o l o g i e a " o f Thomas A q u i n a s , t r a n s . F a t h e r s o f the E n g l i s h Dominican P r o v i n c e , V o l . X I I (London: Burns Oates and Washbourne L t d . , 1935), p. 256. 22 I b i d . , p. 250. 23 The Renaissance and E n g l i s h Humanism, p. 78. 24 H.S.V. J o n e s , "The F a e r i e Queene and M e d i e v a l A r i s t o t e l i a n Tradi t i o n , " SEGP, XXV (1926), 293. 25 H.S.V. J o n e s , "Magnanimity i n Spenser's Legend o f H o l i n e s s , " SP, XXIX ( 1 9 3 2 ) , 200.  29 26  The works o f John M i l t o n , ed. F r a n k A l l e n P a t t e r s o n and o t h e r s , t r a n s . C h a r l e s R. Sumner, V o l . X V I I (New Y o r k : Columbia U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1933), p. 235. Subsequent r e f e r e n c e s t o M i l t o n ' s pVtrSe w i l l be t o Works, f o l l o w e d by volume and page r e f e r e n c e s . 27 I b i d . , pp. 235-7. 28 I b i d . , p. 241. 29 M i l t o n and C h r i s t i a n Heroism B i b l i c a l E p i c Themes i n SeventeenthC e n t u r y England (Hamden, C o n n e c t i c u t : Archon Books, 1966), pp. 108 f f . 30 Works, X V I , pp.  65-7.  31 Q u o t a t i o n s from M i l t o n ' s p o e t r y a r e taken f r o m : John M i l t o n Complete Poems and M a j o r P r o s e , ed. M e r r i t t Y. Hughes (New Y o r k : The Odyssey P r e s s , 1957). A l l f u r t h e r r e f e r e n c e s t o the t e x t s o f the poems w i l l be documented i n t e r n a l l y . 32 The C h r i s t of P a r a d i s e Regained and the Renaissance H e r o i c T r a d i t i o n " , p. 54. Works, X V I I , p. 245.  CHAPTER I I INNOCENCE: FUGITIVE AND CLOISTERED HEROISM . . . the Master work, the end Of a l l y e t done; a C r e a t u r e who n o t prone And B r u t e as o t h e r c r e a t u r e s , b u t endu'd With S a n c t i t y o f Reason, m i g h t e r e c t H i s S t a t u r e , and u p r i g h t w i t h F r o n t serene Govern the r e s t , s e l f - k n o w i n g , and from thence Magnanimous, t o c o r r e s p o n d w i t h Heav'n, But g r a t e f u l t o acknowledge whence h i s good Descends, t h i t h e r w i t h h e a r t and v o i c e and eyes D i r e c t e d i n D e v o t i o n , t o adore And w o r s h i p God Supreme, who made him c h i e f Of a l l h i s works. (PL. V I I . 505-516)  Most r e a d e r s o f P a r a d i s e L o s t a r e i n c l i n e d t o a c c e p t Douglas Bush's o p i n i o n c o n c e r n i n g the f i r s t  parents:  a r t i f i c i a l b e i n g s i n an a r t i f i c i a l w o r l d . " s t a t e o f innocence  i s n o t comprehensible  "Adam and Eve a r e a t f i r s t Though i t i s t r u e t h a t a  t o most o f u s , and p r o b a b l y n o t  a t t r a c t i v e t o many o t h e r s , t h e r e i s another  problem which the s y m p a t h e t i c  r e a d e r o f the f i r s t e i g h t books o f M i l t o n ' s e p i c must acknowledge: poet's attempt  a  t o r e p r e s e n t a s t a t e o f b e i n g w i l l i n v a r i a b l y be l e s s  s u c c e s s f u l than t h e same poet's attempt  t o r e p r e s e n t a s t a t e o f becoming.  One has o n l y t o t h i n k o f Dante's l o n g poem t o see the t r u t h o f t h i s . P a r a d i s e i n the D i v i n e Comedy does n o t have the same power o f a t t r a c t i n g o r i n v o l v i n g the r e a d e r as e i t h e r H e l l o r P u r g a t o r y .  The  p r i n c i p a l r e a s o n f o r t h i s i s t h a t the t h i r d book o f the Comedy r e p r e s e n t s a c o n d i t i o n o f pure b e i n g . and no movement he c a n j o i n . his  There i s no p r o g r e s s i o n the r e a d e r c a n f o l l o w Because the r e a d e r has a l r e a d y a r r i v e d a t  d e s t i n a t i o n when he begins the t h i r d book, i t remains f o r him o n l y  to e x p e r i e n c e a sense o f f u l f i l m e n t .  That i s , because t h e r e i s no c o n f l i c t  i n P a r a d i s e , t h e r e a d e r i s n o t c a l l e d upon t o pledge a l l e g i a n c e o r g i v e s u p p o r t t o any p a r t y ; he does n o t have, as i t were, t o choose s i d e s .  The  unfortunate r e s u l t i s that the reader f i n d s h i m s e l f standing a t a c o n s i d e r a b l e d i s t a n c e from t h e e m o t i o n a l c e n t e r o f t h e poem.  Indeed, a s i t u a t i o n  which m a n i f e s t s no c o n f l i c t i s one w i t h which t h e r e a d e r cannot  identify  or a s s o c i a t e , and t h e r e a d e r o f Dante's P a r a d i s e thus remains s t a n d i n g by t h e w a y s i d e .  M i l t o n , when he s e t out t o p o r t r a y the s t a t e o f i n n o c e n c e ,  faced a s i m i l a r  problem.  Eden was "the b l i s s f u l S e a t , " and M i l t o n had, t h e r e f o r e , t o d e s c r i b e innocence i n such a way t h a t h i s r e a d e r s c o u l d i m m e d i a t e l y r e c o g n i z e man's f i r s t c o n d i t i o n as b e i n g both b e a u t i f u l and m e a n i n g f u l . I f man's d i s o b e d i e n c e were t o be c o r r e c t l y u n d e r s t o o d as t h e source o f " a l l o u r woe," t h e n Eden had t o be an i d e a l , almost p e r f e c t c o n d i t i o n . M i l t o n ' s genius i n f o r m e d him, however, t h a t an i d e a l s t a t e ( b e i n g ) was not i n t r i n s i c a l l y i n t e r e s t i n g , t h a t a s t a t e h a p p i n e s s which was w h o l l y 9  secure and d i d n o t r e q u i r e t h e a c t i v e e x e r c i s e o f w i l l f o r i t s maintenance, was  poetically vapid.  M i l t o n t h e r e f o r e chose t o d e f i n e innocence as a  s t a t e o f b e i n g and becoming. Our i n t r o d u c t i o n t o Adam t e l l s us t h a t he i s formed f o r " v a l o r " and f o r " c o n t e m p l a t i o n " (IV. 297).  S i g n i f i c a n t l y , M i l t o n d i d not accept  S a i n t A u g u s t i n e ' s argument t h a t Adam was c r e a t e d by God as a w h o l l y contemplative being.  A u g u s t i n e ' s v i e w , as Thomas Merton i n h i s i n t r o -  d u c t i o n t o The C i t y o f God p o i n t s o u t , was t h a t :  32 God c r e a t e d Adam as a pure c o n t e m p l a t i v e . M a t e r i a l c r e a t i o n was s u b j e c t t o Adam's r e a s o n , and t h e s o u l o f Adam was p e r f e c t l y s u b j e c t e d to God. U n i t e d t o God i n a v e r y h i g h degree o f v i s i o n and l o v e , Adam would have t r a n s m i t t e d t o a l l mankind h i s own p e r f e c t i o n , h i s own l i b e r t y , h i s own peace i n t h e v i s i o n o f God. I n Adam a l l men were t o be, as i t were, "one c o n t e m p l a t i v e " p e r f e c t l y u n i t e d t o one a n o t h e r i n t h e i r one v i s i o n and l o v e o f t h e One T r u t h . ^  That M i l t o n chose, r a t h e r , t o p o r t r a y Adam as b o t h an a c t i v e and a contemplative being i s i n d i c a t i v e of Milton's embraced the s t r u g g l e t o do and t o know.  f i r m b e l i e f t h a t innocence  Adam and Eve thus have c e r t a i n  d u t i e s t o p e r f o r m i n a d d i t i o n t o t h e k e e p i n g o f God's commandment. Not The  a c c i d e n t a l l y t h e f i r s t p a r e n t s a r e drawn by M i l t o n as l a b o r e r s .  f a c t t h a t t h e y must tend t h e garden i s m e a n i n g f u l i n an a c t u a l and  a s y m b o l i c sense.  Paradise  cannot be h e l d w i t h o u t l a b o r , and innocence  and h a p p i n e s s r e q u i r e a n a c t i v e a s s e r t i o n o f the w i l l .  Thus, when Adam  v i e w s t h e n o n - p u r p o s e f u l a c t i v i t y o f t h e o t h e r c r e a t u r e s which i n h a b i t Eden, he i s i n f o r m e d o f h i s own d i g n i t y and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y as man. explains  He  the s i t u a t i o n t o E v e . Man h a t h h i s d a i l y work o f body o r mind Appointed, which declares h i s D i g n i t y , And t h e r e g a r d o f Heav'n on a l l h i s ways; W h i l e o t h e r a n i m a l s u n a c t i v e range, And o f t h e i r doings God takes no a c c o u n t . (IV. 618-622)  Adam i s , and must be, an a c t i v e  being.  M i l t o n a l s o makes i t p a t e n t l y c l e a r t h a t Adam and Eve's i n n o c e n t c o n d i t i o n i s n o t the summum bonaum f o r man.  Adam and Eve a r e i n f o r m e d  of a h i g h e r , more s p i r i t u a l form o f e x i s t e n c e , and a r e t o l d t h a t w i l l be t h e reward f o r a v i r t u o u s l i f e .  this  Thus, i n answer t o Adam's  33 q u e s t i o n r e g a r d i n g the d i e t o f the a n g e l s , Raphael admits t h a t l i k e men,  r e q u i r e n o u r i s h m e n t , and  angels,  suggests to-Adam and h i s w i f e  . . . time may come when men W i t h A n g e l s may p a r t i c i p a t e , and f i n d No i n c o n v e n i e n t D i e t , nor too l i g h t T a r e ; And from these c o r p o r a l n u t r i m e n t s perhapa_^ y ^ Improv'd by t r a c t of t i m e , and wing'd ascend ail E t h e r e a l , as wee, or may a t c h o i c e Here o r i n Heav'nly P a r a d i s e d w e l l ; I f ye be found o b e d i e n t , and r e t a i n Unalterably f i r m h i s love e n t i r e Whose progeny you a r e . (V. 493-503) Adam and Eve have a g r e a t e r good t o pursue, a l i f e  fa  that:  ;<, sp.V;* €  a-i la i t  superior to t h e i r  p a r a d i s a l s t a t e of innocence. M i l t o n ' s g e n i u s e n a b l e d him t o c r e a t e a s t a t e of innocence t h a t was  not beyond the comprehension o f h i s r e a d e r s , and one  n i z a b l y b e a u t i f u l and m e a n i n g f u l . innocence an i n t e r m e d i a t e caused him o t h e r  recog-  However, Milton's s o l u t i o n , to make  s t a t e , a c o n d i t i o n of b e i n g and  becoming,  problems.  M i l t o n had  t o show t h a t something r i c h and m e a n i n g f u l had  l o s t by Adam's t r a n s g r e s s i o n . catastrophe.  t h a t was  The  f a l l had  been  t o be r e c o g n i z a b l e as a  But M i l t o n ' s C h r i s t i a n f a i t h h e l d t h a t the f a l l  great  was,  p a r a d o x i c a l l y , a f o r t u n a t e e v e n t , an e v i l phenomenon which g e n e r a t e d a g r e a t e r good. and  l e s s p e r f e c t t h a n the new  Christ. who,  M i l t o n had,  t h e n , t o show t h a t innocence was human c o n d i t i o n h e r a l d e d  Innocent Adam, as a r e s u l t , had  t h e o r e t i c a l l y , had  whose c a r e e r was  by the advent of  t o be an a d m i r a b l e f i g u r e , one  the c a p a c i t y f o r h e r o i s m .  had, a t the same t i m e , to be a man  l e s s happy  But i n n o c e n t Adam  whose e x i s t e n c e was  l e s s happy, and  p o t e n t i a l l y l e s s h e r o i c than f a l l e n man's.  In short,  34  though M i l t o n d e l i b e r a t e l y d e f i n e s Adam's i n n o c e n t c o n d i t i o n as a b e a u t i f u l y e t i m p e r f e c t one,  though, o s t e n s i b l y , he p r o v i d e s i n n o c e n t Adam w i t h  the o p p o r t u n i t y to f u l f i l h i m s e l f and t o r e a l i z e h i s h i g h e s t human potent i a l i t i e s , i n n o c e n t Adam i s not--and cannot b e — t h e i d e a l h e r o i c man c o n c e i v e d by M i l t o n .  I s h a l l a t t e m p t to show t h a t Adam's innocence i n  f a c t p r e c l u d e s h i s b e i n g what I have c a l l e d a p e r f e c t M i l t o n i c to show t h a t innocence i s , i n d e e d , a f u g i t i v e and c l o i s t e r e d The  hero,  heroism.  p a t t e r n o f h e r o i c magnanimity I have o u t l i n e d i n the f i r s t  c h a p t e r o f t h i s essay i n v o l v e s t h r e e d i s t i n c t e l e m e n t s : the p u r s u i t o f honour and g l o r y , and c o n t e m p l a t i o n . man  as  must f i r s t c o r r e c t l y u n d e r s t a n d  M i l t o n ' s magnanimous  h i m s e l f ; he must be aware o f h i s  humanity, h i s s t r e n g t h s and h i s weaknesses. Adam comes t o know h i m s e l f we must now l e a r n of h i s own  self-knowledge,  own  To the process by which  turn.  How  does i n n o c e n t Adam  d i g n i t y and w o r t h , and of what does he deem h i m s e l f  worthy? By n a t u r e Adam i s an i n q u i s i t i v e b e i n g . p o s i t i o n t o q u e s t i o n and t o seek t o know. a s e n t i e n t being, i t i s only a matter question.  He wants to know who  He has a n a t u r a l d i s -  Thus, when he wakens t o become  o f minutes u n t i l he begins  he i s , where he i s , and how  to  he came t o e x i s t .  . . . who I was, o r where, o r from what c a u s e , [XJ knew n o t ; t o speak I t r i ' d , and f o r t h w i t h spake, My Tongue obey'd arid r e a d i l y c o u l d name Whate'er I saw. Thou Sun, s a i d I , f a i r L i g h t , And thou e n l i g h t ' n ' d E a r t h , so f r e s h and gay, Ye H i l l s and D a l e s , ye R i v e r s , Woods, and P l a i n s , And ye t h a t l i v e and move, f a i r C r e a t u r e s , t e l l , T e l l , i f ye saw, how came I t h u s , how h e r e ? ( V I I I . 270-278)  35 Adam's e x u l t a t i o n i n h i s own v i t a l i t y and h i s d e l i g h t i n the beauty which surrounds him ( V I I I . 259-269) soon, however, g i v e p l a c e t o pensive-r ness ( V I I I . 283-287). He i s b a f f l e d by the m y s t e r y o f h i s e x i s t e n c e . But i n a d d i t i o n t o h i s n a t u r a l c u r i o s i t y ^ A d a m ,  we d i s c o v e r , has an i n n a t e  c a p a c i t y to reason. Adam knows i n t u i t i v e l y t h a t he e x i s t s and t h a t he i s happy, and he c o n c l u d e s from t h i s t h a t he must, t h e r e f o r e , have been c r e a t e d by a b e n e v o l e n t power f a r g r e a t e r than h i m s e l f .  . . . how came I t h u s , how h e r e ? Not o f m y s e l f ; by some great-Maker t h e n , I n goodness and i n power preeminent; T e l l me, how may I know him, how a d o r e , From whom I have t h a t thus I move and l i v e , And f e e l t h a t I am h a p p i e r t h a n I know. ( V I I I . 278-283) Adam's r e c o g n i t i o n o f the f a c t t h a t he owes h i s b e i n g t o a g r e a t e r power i s the r e s u l t o f a r e a s o n i n g  process.  Whether the r e a s o n i n g i s  s i m p l e o r complex, Adam's " p r o o f " o f God's e x i s t e n c e i s s u b s t a n t i a l l y 3 the same as the one M i l t o n put f o r w a r d i t i s e s s e n t i a l l y the same ' p r o o f o r by L e i b n i t z . being—before him.  i n De D o c t r i n a C h r i s t i a n a ,  and  as t h a t o f f e r e d by e i t h e r D e s c a r t e s  We s e e , t h e n , t h a t i n n o c e n t Adam i s a d i s t i n c t i v e l y human  he i s i n f o r m e d o f h i s own h u m a n i t y — b e f o r e God speaks t o  Thus f a r , Adam's knowledge i s the r e s u l t o f the a c t i v e e x j r e r c i s e  of h i s w i l l t o know and h i s power t o r e a s o n .  And, i n d e e d , by f a r the  g r e a t e r p a r t o f what Adam l e a r n s i s the r e s u l t o f h i s own  activity.  When God f i r s t v i s i t s Adam, he g i v e s o n l y a modicum o f i n f o r m a t i o n . God t e l l s Adam h i s (Adam's) name, t h a t he i s man, t h a t the garden i s  36 the g i f t o f empire over which Adam alone s h a l l r u l e , t h a t the f r u i t o f the t r e e o f knowledge i s f o r b i d d e n on p a i n o f d e a t h , and t h a t Adam i s s u p e r i o r t o a l l o t h e r c r e a t u r e s which i n h a b i t e a r t h ( V I I I . 319-341). T h i s knowledge i s r e v e a l e d t o Adam w i t h o u t any r e q u e s t on h i s p a r t . E v e r y t h i n g e l s e t h a t Adam comes t o know, however, i s a r e s u l t o f h i s 4 own  propensity to question, h i s a b i l i t y A f t e r naming a l l t h e animals  t o r e a s o n , o r h i s own e x p e r i e n c e .  t h a t populate  t h e e a r t h and r e m a r k i n g  t h a t a l l a r e p a i r e d , Adam a s k s h i s C r e a t o r why, as the s u p e r i o r b e i n g i n God's c r e a t i o n , he alone s h o u l d be w i t h o u t a mate. God has t o l d h i m ^ t h a t he i s a h i g h e r b e i n g .  Adam knows, f o r  But he reasons f o r h i m s e l f  t h a t he c a n f i n d no f i t companion f o r h i m s e l f , t h a t t h e h i g h e r  faculties  he possesses s e p a r a t e h i m from t h e r e s t o f c r e a t i o n ( V I I I . 381-389). He r e a l i z e s , moreover, t h a t he i s n o t s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t ; he r e q u i r e s a companion, a r a t i o n a l b e i n g l i k e h i m s e l f ( V I I I . 389-397).  Knowing t h i s  much, Adam has r e c o g n i z e d h i s own w o r t h and h i s l i m i t a t i o n s . stands  He under-  t h a t he i s a b e i n g s u p e r i o r t o t h e o t h e r c r e a t u r e s i n Eden. Y e t ,  a t t h e same t i m e , he r e c o g n i z e s e n t i r e l y s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t God. does n o t r e q u i r e a companion  t h a t he i s n o t as p o w e r f u l  o r worthy as t h e  Thus, when God suggests t h a t because He  asset feiaafc  Adam s h o u l d n o t then r e q u i r e one  ( V I I I . 403-411), Adam r e p l i e s : Thou i n t h y s e l f a r t p e r f e c t , and i n thee Is no d e f i c i e n c e found; n o t so i s Man, But i n degree, t h e cause o f h i s d e s i r e By c o n v e r s a t i o n w i t h h i s l i k e to. h e l p , Or s o l a c e h i s d e f e c t s . No need t h a t thou Shouldst propagate, already i n f i n i t e ; And through a l l numbers a b s o l u t e , though One; But Man by number i s t o m a n i f e s t H i s s i n g l e i m p e r f e c t i o n , and beget L i k e o f h i s l i k e , h i s Image m u l t i p l i ' d ,  37 In u n i t y d e f e c t i v e , which r e q u i r e s C o l l a t e r a l l o v e , and d e a r e s t a m i t y . Thou i n t h y s e c r e c y a l t h o u g h a l o n e , Best w i t h t h y s e l f accompanied, s e e k ' s t not S o c i a l communication, y e t so p l e a s ' d , Canst r a i s e thy C r e a t u r e to what h i g h t h thou w i l t Of Union or Communion, d e i f i ' d ; I by c o n v e r s i n g cannot these e r e c t From prone, nor i n th«ir ways complacence f i n d . ( V I I I . 415-433)  Knowing t h a t God  c r e a t e d the w o r l d and man,  t h a t he i s not God's peer.  for himself  Adam's sense of w o r t h i s thus accompanied  by an awareness o f h i s own weakness. i s t h a t God  Adam reasons  What i s of s p e c i a l importance  p r a i s e s Adam f o r h i s q u e s t i o n i n g s p i r i t and r e a s o n i n g  ( V I I I . 437-444).  here ability  Adam's w o r t h i s f i r s t t e s t e d , then acknowledged by h i s  Creator. S h o r t l y a f t e r waking from h i s dream i n which he had  witnessed  God's c r e a t i o n of Eve, Adam f i r s t e x p e r i e n c e s the power of p a s s i o n ( V I I I . 530-559).  Though he understands  t h a t Eve i s not h i s m e n t a l e q u a l ,  t h a t he i s the s u p e r i o r b e i n g ( V I I I . 540-542), Adam a l s o r e c o g n i z e s h i s vulnerability.  As he  admits,  . . . so a b s o l u t e she seems And i n h e r s e l f complete, so w e l l to know Her own, t h a t what she w i l l s t o do o r say, Seems w i s e s t , v i r t u o u s e s t , d i s c r e e t e s t , b e s t ; A l l hi-gher knowledge i n h e r presence f a l l s Degraded, Wisdom i n d i s c o u r s e w i t h her Loses d i s c o u n t ' n a n c ' t , and l i k e f o l l y shows; A u t h o r i t y and Reason on her w a i t , As one i n t e n d e d f i r s t , not a f t e r made Occasionally . . . . ( V I I I . 547-556)  Eve's charms and graces a r e , Adam d i s c o v e r s , p o t e n t i a l l y more p o w e r f u l than h i s r e a s o n and h i s knowledge o f p e r s o n a l s u p e r i o r i t y .  A g a i n Adam  38 has r e c o g n i z e d h i s own w o r t h and h i s l i m i t a t i o n s — f r o m p e r s o n a l e x p e r i e n c e . He has n o t been warned t h a t p a s s i o n i s a p o w e r f u l f o r c e w i t h which the s u p e r i o r man must l e a r n t o contend.  R a t h e r , he d i s c o v e r s i t f o r h i m s e l f .  When Satan r e c o n n o i t e r s Eden i n an e f f o r t t o e v a l u a t e the d i f f i c u l t i e s he w i l l encounter i n t r y i n g . t o c o r r u p t Adam and Eve, we a r e i n t r o d u c e d t o an Adam who i s n o t y e t equipped w i t h any f u r t h e r measure of d i v i n e i n s t r u c t i o n .  Adam i s s u b s t a n t i a l l y the same f i g u r e now as he  was a t the time o f Eve's c r e a t i o n — e x c e p t t h a t he has had more e x p e r i e n c e and more time t o use h i s r e a s o n . j o y t o be a l i v e .  Adam and Eve, as t h e A d v e r s a r y w i t n e s s e s ,  R e c o g n i z i n g t h a t t h e i r "one easy p r o h i b i t i o n " i s a  s m a l l p r i c e t o pay f o r the h a p p i n e s s they e n j o y , Adam reasons t h a t the God who f r e e l y gave them t h e i r b l i s s must be good and l i b e r a l .  As Adam  explains t o Eve,  . . . needs must t h e Power That made u s , and f o r us t h i s ample World Be i n f i n i t e l y good, and o f h i s good As l i b e r a l and f r e e as i n f i n i t e , That r a i S ' d us from the d u s t and p l a c ' t us here I n a l l t h i s h a p p i n e s s , who a t h i s hand Have n o t h i n g m e r i t e d , n o r can perform Aught whereof hee h a t h need . . . . (IV. 412-419) Once more Adam m a n i f e s t s h i s c a p a c i t y t o r e a s o n . thinking being.  He i s an a c t i v e ,  We a l s o d i s c o v e r t h a t Adam and Eve a r e aware o f t h e i r  own human d i g n i t y . Eve has l e a r n e d by e x p e r i e n c e t h a t Adam i s h e r s u p e r i o r ( I V . 4454 4 7 ) , and y e t she had i n t u i t i v e l y r e c o g n i z e d t h a t she was a worthy mate f o r him.  Adam i s aware t h a t man, a l o n e o f a l l c r e a t e d b e i n g s , has d i g n i t y  39 (IV. 618-622). for  Endowed w i t h r e a s o n ,  and t h e r e f o r e w i t h a l a r g e r c a p a c i t y  enjoyment, man, as Adam r e c o g n i z e s , has d i g n i t y i n t h e eyes o f h i s  Creator.  T h e o r e t i c a l l y , he c a n be magnanimous " t o c o r r e s p o n d w i t h  Heav'n" ( V I I . 5 1 0 ) . When Raphael makes h i s v i s i t t o Eden i t i s s i g n i f i c a n t Adam goes o u t t o meet h i m (V. 350-360). dignified. angel.  "as f r i e n d w i t h f r i e n d . " man.  Adam's manner i s n a t u r a l and  He i s n o t "aw'd", b u t he r e c o g n i z e s  Adam i s c o n s c i o u s  that  o f h i s own w o r t h and,  the s u p e r i o r i t y o f t h e thus, t a l k s to the angel  I t i s Adam who i n v i t e s the a n g e l  t o dine  with  I t i s Adam who d e s i r e s t o know what passes i n heaven and how t h e  w o r l d was c r e a t e d .  I t i s Adam who i n q u i r e s c o n c e r n i n g  the p l a n e t s , and Adam who o f f e r s t o t e l l creation.  the motions o f  the a n g e l o f h i s (Adam's) own  I n s h o r t , e v e r y t h i n g t h a t Adam l e a r n s from God's messenger  i s g i v e n i n answer t o Adam's q u e s t i o n s . t o draw Adam t o d i s c o u r s e  To be s u r e , God had t o l d Raphael  (V. 233-234), b u t t h e f a c t remains t h a t M i l t o n  makes i t e x p r e s s l y c l e a r t h a t Adam's a c q u i s i t i o n o f knowledge i s t h e r e s u l t o f h i s own. d e s i r e t o l e a r n and t o know. m a t i o n Raphael g i v e s t o Adam c o n c e r n i n g  Indeed, o f a l l t h e i n f o r -  the u n i v e r s e and the h i s t o r y o f  the b e i n g s w h i c h i n h a b i t i t , t h e most i m p o r t a n t  knowledge Adam a c q u i r e s  i s t h a t which i n f o r m s him o f h i m s e l f , o f h i s ' own s t r e n g t h s and weaknesses. Raphael's account o f t h e war i n Heaven and h i s r e l a t i o n o f God's c r e a t i o n o f t h e w o r l d a r e d i r e c t e d t o t h i s purpose.  From Raphael's  account o f t h e b a t t l e i n heaven Adam l e a r n s t h a t he, l i k e A b d i e l , c a n " s t a n d approv'd i n s i g h t o f God," o r , l i k e S a t a n , he can be c o n s i g n e d t o m i s e r y and damnation.  From t h e s t o r y o f c r e a t i o n Adam l e a r n s t h a t he  40 i s t h e "Master work", t h a t , though v a s t l y i n f e r i o r t o God, he i s d i g n i f i e d and w o r t h y — i f he remains o b e d i e n t .  These a r e the most i m p o r t a n t  elements  of Raphael's t e a c h i n g , and i f Adam has l e a r n e d h i s l e s s o n s p r o p e r l y , he w i l l have a r e g a r d illustration will  t o h i s "own d i g n i t y r i g h t l y u n d e r s t o o d . "  One f i n a l  serve t o make, my p o i n t .  When Adam t e l l s  Raphael o f h i s v u l n e r a b i l i t y t o Eve's charms,  the a n g e l reminds him t h a t he must n o t l o s e s i g h t o f h i s own s u p e r i o r i t y . Adam f e a r s t h a t t h e r e i s a f l a w i n h i s c h a r a c t e r , t h a t he i s n o t made p e r f e c t as he has been t o l d , because h i s wisdom and h i s s u p e r i o r are powerless b e f o r e Eve's d e l i g h t f u l g i f t s  (VIII. 547-556).  gifts  Raphael  t e l l s him:  .... . Accuse n o t N a t u r e , she h a t h done h e r p a r t ; Do thou b u t t h i n e , and be n o t d i f f i d e n t Of wisdom, she d e s e r t s thee n o t , i f thou D i s m i s s n o t h e r , when most thou n e e d ' s t h e r n i g h , By a t t r i b u t i n g overmuch t o t h i n g s L e s s e x c e l l e n t , as thou t h y s e l f p e r c e i v ' s t . F o r what a d m i r ' s t thou, what t r a n s p o r t s thee s o , An o u t s i d e ? f a i r no doubt, and worthy w e l l Thy c h e r i s h i n g , ' t h y h o n o r i n g and t h y l o v e , Not t h y s u b j e c t i o n : weigh w i t h h e r t h y s e l f ; Then v a l u e : O f t - t i m e s n o t h i n g p r o f i t s more Than s e l f - e s t e e m , grounded on j u s t and r i g h t W e l l manag'd; o f t h a t s k i l l t h e more thou know'st, The more she w i l l acknowledge thee h e r Head, And t o r e a l i t i e s y i e l d a l l h e r shows. (VIII. 561-575). There c a n be no doubt t h a t i f Adam u n d e r s t a n d s and a c c e p t s what Raphael t e l l s h i m h e r e he w i l l have a c q u i r e d and worthy b e i n g . and he s i n s .  the knowledge t h a t he i s a d i g n i f i e d  Adam, however, does n o t l e a r n h i s l e s s o n p r o p e r l y  F a i l i n g t o be " a c t u a t e d by a r e g a r d " t o h i s own " d i g n i t y  r i g h t l y u n d e r s t o o d , " Adam l o s e s h i s i n n o c e n c e .  He f a i l s  t o be magnanimous  41  and cannot, t h e n , be a bona f i d e h e r o .  The q u e s t i o n we must a s k , however,  i s whether Adam, i f he had n o t s i n n e d , c o u l d have been a p e r f e c t M i l t o n i c hero.  Adam, M i l t o n makes i t v e r y c l e a r , s h o u l d have possessed a sense  of w o r t h .  But what, i f a n y t h i n g , c o u l d Adam deem h i m s e l f worthy o f ?  M i l t o n ' s t h e o l o g y embraces the v i e w t h a t God c r e a t e d the w o r l d to augment H i s own g l o r y .  I n De D o c t r i n a M i l t o n  argued:  CREATION i s t h a t a c t whereby GOD THE FATHER PRODUCED EVERY THING THAT EXISTS BY HIS WORD AND SPIRIT, t h a t i s , BY HIS WILL, FOR THE MANIFESTATION OF THE GLORY OF HIS POWER AND GOODNESS. 5  Indeed, the C h r i s t i a n d o c t r i n e i t s e l f , as M i l t o n p o i n t e d o u t , was "the d i v i n e r e v e l a t i o n c o n c e r n i n g the n a t u r e and w o r s h i p o f the d e i t y f o r the 6 promotion o f the g l o r y o f God, and the s a l v a t i o n o f mankind." the same v i e w i s i m p l i c i t throughout P a r a d i s e L o s t .  Moreover,  When, f o r example,  Raphael t e l l s Adam how God had made the w o r l d and man, the a n g e l e x p l a i n s , too,  how the h e a v e n l y h o s t r e a c t e d t o the C r e a t o r ' s accomplishment.  angelic choir  The  sings: . And Sons o f men, whom C r e a t e d i n h i s Image, And w o r s h i p him . ...  . . T h r i c e happy men, God h a t h thus a d v a n c ' t , there to dwell . ( V I I . 625-628)  And Adam l e a r n s t h a t the w o r s h i p o f God i s man's p r i n c i p a l d u t y .  But  the i m p o r t a n t p o i n t here i s the a c t u a l meaning M i l t o n a s s i g n e d t o w o r s h i p . I n De D o c t r i n a C h r i s t i a n a M i l t o n d e f i n e d w o r s h i p as "the l o v e of God."^  To l o v e God, i t i s o b v i o u s , means t o g l o r i f y God.  Indeed,  God c r e a t e d man i n H i s own image and gave him the power t o r e a s o n so t h a t man might u n d e r s t a n d the d i v i n e goodness and thus w i l l i n g l y  praise  42  and honour t h e d i v i n e b e n e f i c e n c e . a being  Man was t o be the "Master work,"  "endu'd/ w i t h S a n c t i t y o f Reason" ( V I I . 507-508).  Adam l e a r n s  t h a t God, a f t e r t h e r e v o l t i n heaven, c r e a t e d man as a proof t h a t was  powerless,  the a n g e l s  t o prove t h a t He c o u l d produce good from e v i l .  evil  Adam h e a r s  s i n g t o God,  . . . Who seeks To l e s s e n t h e e , a g a i n s t h i s purpose s e r v e s To m a n i f e s t t h e more t h y m i g h t : h i s e v i l Thou u s e s t , and from thence c r e a t ' s t more good. ( V I I . 613-616) Adam l e a r n s , t h e n , t h a t he has been c r e a t e d t o augment h i s g l o r y , and t o prove t h e impotence o f e v i l .  I n man's " h a p p i e s t l i f e " he  g l o r i f i e s h i s God b y . h i s w i l l i n g o b e d i e n c e . capable  Creator's  By p r o v i n g t h a t he i s  o f r e s i s t i n g and r e j e c t i n g any t e m p t a t i o n  t o wander from t h e path  t h a t has been shown him, he honours and g l o r i f i e s h i s C r e a t o r .  But c a n  an Adam who i s i g n o r a n t o f e v i l , who has been warned o n l y o f i t s e x i s t e n c e , p o s s i b l y have a n a c t i v e r o l e t o p l a y ? his  Can i n n o c e n t Adam be aware t h a t  s t r e n g t h , h i s r e j e c t i o n o f e v i l , w i l l augment God's g l o r y ?  The answer,  I t h i n k , i s t h a t he cannot. Adam i s aware t h a t h i s obedience w i l l ensure t h e maintenance o f his  own h a p p i n e s s ,  his  innocence p r e c l u d e s h i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g  prevent  and the h a p p i n e s s o f h i s w i f e and h i s progeny.  the e x i s t e n c e o f e v i l .  But  t h a t i t i s i n h i s power t o  Though Adam knows t h a t h i s s t r e n g t h w i l l  cause Raphael and the o t h e r a n g e l s  g r e a t j o y , he does n o t comprehend  t h a t he c a n a c t i v e l y pursue God's g l o r y .  I n s h o r t , Adam's  ignorance  o f e v i l makes h i s v i r t u e m e a n i n g f u l o n l y t o h i m s e l f and h i s progeny.  43 For example, o f t h e t r e e o f knowledge, God had warned h i m : The day thou e a t ' s t t h e r e o f , my s o l e command T r a n s g r e s t , i n e v i t a b l y thou s h a l t d i e ; From t h a t day m o r t a l , and t h i s happy S t a t e S h a l t l o s e , e x p e l l ' d from hence i n t o a W o r l d Of woe and sorrow. ( V I I I . 329-333)  God d i d n o t t e l l h i m , however, t h a t i f (Adam; d i d n o t e a t , h i s a c t i o n would augment the C r e a t o r ' s g l o r y .  Adam does n o t , i n f a c t ,  recognize  t h a t he c a n honour o r g l o r i f y God.  T h i s can be made c l e a r e r by a few  illustrations. A b d i e l ' s r e j e c t i o n o f S a t a n i s o s t e n s i b l y the b e s t model o f v i r t u e Adam i s i n f o r m e d  of.  The'angel's r e f u s a l t o "swerve from T r u t h " m e r i t s  God's a p p r o v a l , and t h i s , i n d e e d , i s the h i g h e s t honor o r g l o r y . Adam i s n o t aware t h a t he c a n pursue t h e same honor.  But  Raphael's f i n a l  w a r n i n g t o Adam does n o t i m p l y t h a t God w i l l be honored by Adam's conquest o f e v i l .  The a n g e l admonishes:  Be s t r o n g , l i v e happy, and l o v e , b u t f i r s t o f a l l Him whom t o l o v e i s t o obey, and keep H i s g r e a t command; take heed l e s t P a s s i o n sway Thy Judgment t o do aught, which e l s e f r e e W i l l Would n o t admit; t h i n e and o f a l l t h y Sons The weal o r woe i n thee i s p l a c ' t ; beware. I i n thy persevering s h a l l r e j o i c e , And a l l the B l e s t : s t a n d f a s t ; t o s t a n d o r f a l l Free i n t h i n e own A r b i t r e m e n t i t l i e s . P e r f e t w i t h i n , no outward a i d r e q u i r e ; And a l l t e m p t a t i o n t o t r a n s g r e s s r e p e l . ( V I I I . 633-643)  That Adam's r e j e c t i o n o f e v i l w i l l p l e a s e God i s made c l e a r , b u t t h a t he can t h e r e b y honour o r g l o r i f y God i s n o t e x p l a i n e d o r e x p r e s s e d .  Innocent  man, u n l i k e h i s C h r i s t i a n c o u n t e r p a r t , i s n o t aware t h a t he c a n be a  44 s o l d i e r i n God's army, a combatant i n t h e u n i v e r s a l s t r u g g l e a g a i n s t evil.  Innocent Adam knows o n l y t h a t he can be happy o r m i s e r a b l e and  t h a t the choice i s h i s .  One f u r t h e r example w i l l serve t o make my p o i n t .  When Adam asks Raphael f o r i n f o r m a t i o n c o n c e r n i n g t h e v i s i b l e u n i v e r s e , the angel hastens to man.  t o e x p l a i n t h a t c e r t a i n knowledge i s f o r b i d d e n  Adam, i n d e e d , i s made v e r y much aware o f t h e f a c t t h a t t h e r e 8  e x i s t s a g r e a t g u l f between Heaven and e a r t h .  While i t i s t r u e t h a t  Adam and Eve a r e i n p e r p e t u a l communion w i t h Heaven, and w h i l e i t i s t r u e t h a t Heaven and e a r t h a r e n o t g r e a t l y d i s s i m i l a r , t h e f a c t r e m a i n s : i n n o c e n t man's l o t on e a r t h i s t o l i v e i n happy i g n o r a n c e o f what he cannot i m m e d i a t e l y  p e r c e i v e o r comprehend.  Raphael thus t e l l s Adam:  S o l i c i t n o t thy.; thoughts w i t h m a t t e r s h i d , Leave them t o God above, h i m serve and f e a r ; Of o t h e r c r e a t u r e s , a s him p l e a s e s b e s t , Wherever p l a c ' t , l e t him d i s p o s e : j o y thou In what he g i v e s t o t h e e , t h i s P a r a d i s e And t h y f a i r E v e : Heav'n i s f o r thee t o o h i g h To know what passes t h e r e : be l o w l y w i s e : Think o n l y what concerns thee and t h y b e i n g ; Dream n o t o f o t h e r W o r l d s , what C r e a t u r e s t h e r e L i v e , i n what s t a t e , c o n d i t i o n o r degree, Contented t h a t thus f a r hath been r e v e a l ' d Not o f E a r t h o n l y b u t o f h i g h e s t Heav'n. ( V I I I . 167-78)  D e s p i t e the f a c t t h a t Raphael does spend a c o n s i d e r a b l e amount o f time d i s c u s s i n g "what passes t h e r e , " Adam i s i n f o r m e d bliss.  t h a t ignorance  i s indeed  Though Adam l e a r n s t h a t t h e g u l f may be b r i d g e d a t some l a t e r  t i m e , and t h a t t h i s i s man's normal c o u r s e , the problem r e m a i n s :  Adam's  a p p e t i t e f o r knowledge has been whetted by Raphael and p a r t i a l l y  satisfied,  but Adam i s then t o l d he s h o u l d n o t have hunger.  What i s even more  45 important  h e r e , however, i s t h a t Adam's innocence p r e c l u d e s  o f honour o r g l o r y . circumscribed  That i s , Adam's l i f e b e f o r e  his pursuit  the f a l l i s r i g i d l y  t o i m p l y t h a t he cannot have an a c t i v e r o l e to p l a y i n the  cosmic b a t t l e a g a i n s t e v i l , t h a t war w h i c h , i f waged s t r e n u o u s l y , makes the human s o l d i e r an a c t i v e worker on God's b e h a l f .  Adam does not know--  he has not been t o l d - - t h a t he can be an a c t i v e p a r t i c i p a n t i n the u n i v e r s a l s t r u g g l e , a human hero whose l i f e i s d e d i c a t e d and t o the augmentation of God's g l o r y .  devoted  Adam knows o n l y t h a t he can  merit  God's a p p r o v a l , and man's r o l e , h i s c o n t r i b u t i o n , thus becomes p a t e n t l y negligible.  Innocence means t h a t Adam cannot pursue honour or g l o r y  i n the manner of the t r u e w a y f a r i n g  Christian.  when e v i l e x i s t s i n the w o r l d t h a t man  Indeed, i t i s o n l y  can be t r u l y magnanimous, can  be  a s o l d i e r i n God's army, can be p e r s o n a l l y committed t o the d e s t r u c t i o n of  evil. The  g u l f t h a t e x i s t s between heaven and e a r t h w h i l e man  i n a s t a t e of innocence i s , t h e n , too wide.  I t s prodigious  lives  s i z e i s even  more a p p a r e n t , however, when we examine the magnanimous^man s 1  contemplative  faculty. Contemptus mundi i s a l i e n t o the s t a t e of i n n o c e n c e .  Paradise  i s a near p e r f e c t e x i s t e n c e , and Adam and Eve have been i n s t r u c t e d t o e n j o y t h e i r l i f e i n the garden.  Thus i t i s t h a t Adam can t e l l h i s mate:  "For not t o irksome t o i l , but t o d e l i g h t / He made u s , and d e l i g h t t o Reason j o i n ' d " ( I X . 242-243). o f sensuous p l e a s u r e . sensuous e x p e r i e n c e .  Indeed, the garden of Eden i s a w o r l d  D e l i g h t f u l l y e v o c a t i v e , i t i s a c e l e b r a t i o n of A s c e t i c i s m and a u s t e r i t y have no p l a c e i n the  world  46 of innocence,  and c o n t e m p l a t i o n ,  t h e r e f o r e , takes on a meaning v e r y  d i f f e r e n t from t h a t h e l d by e i t h e r A r i s t o t l e o r A u g u s t i n e . q u e s t i o n whether c o n t e m p l a t i o n of e v i l  But we must  i s , i n f a c t , p o s s i b l e before the e x i s t e n c e  i n the world. When Raphael t e l l s Adam and Eve o f God's c r e a t i o n o f man, God  i s p o r t r a y e d as e x p l a i n i n g how He w i l l f r u s t r a t e Satan's attempts t o make e v i l v i c t o r i o u s , how He w i l l c r e a t e another w o r l d .  God  . . . i n a moment w i l l c r e a t e A n o t h e r W o r l d , o u t o f one man a Race Of men innumerable, t h e r e t o d w e l l , Not h e r e , t i l l by degrees o f m e r i t r a i s ' d They open t o themselves a t l e n g t h t h e way Up h i t h e r , under l o n g obedience t r i ' d , And E a r t h be chang'-d t o Heav'n, and Heav'n t o E a r t h , One Kingdom, J o y and U n i o n w i t h o u t end. ( V I I . 154-61) This i s the d i v i n e p l a n .  I t i s a statement o f t h e process by w h i c h man  can a t t a i n t h e i n t i m a t e knowledge o f God and c a n be u n i t e d w i t h Him. The i m p o r t a n t  p o i n t f o r o u r d i s c u s s i o n here i s t h a t man can a c h i e v e  b l e s s e d state, o n l y by p r o v i n g h i m s e l f worthy. does t h i s .  this  We must c o n s i d e r how man  What a r e the ''degrees o f m e r i t " by which man c a n be r a i s e d ?  Is i t p o s s i b l e f o r man's i n n o c e n t l i f e  t o be i n any way c o n t e m p l a t i v e , as  the term i s d e f i n e d i n o u r f i r s t c h a p t e r ?  Most i m p o r t a n t l y , does man's  innocence n o t p r e c l u d e c o n t e m p l a t i o n as i t p r e c l u d e s h i s p u r s u i t o f honour and g l o r y ? I have p o i n t e d o u t e a r l i e r t h a t Raphael e x p l a i n s t o Adam and Eve how they may " a t l a s t t u r n a l l t o s p i r i t , " and how they a r e guaranteed t h i s reward i f they r e m a i n o b e d i e n t what remains f o r man t o do.  (V. 493-503).  To Raphael he s a y s :  Adam's answer r e v e a l s  47 0 favorable S p i r i t , p r o p i t i o u s guest, W e l l h a s t thou t a u g h t thej) way t h a t m i g h t d i r e c t Our knowledge, and the s c a l e o f N a t u r e s e t From c e n t r e t o c i r c u m f e r e n c e , whereon In contemplation of created things By s t e p s we may ascend t o God. (V. 507-512)  The  c r u c i a l p o i n t here i s t h a t man i s t o c o n c e r n h i m s e l f o n l y w i t h  "created"  t h i n g s , w i t h t h a t which God has p l a c e d b e f o r e him. H i s l i f e , t h e n , i s o f t h i s world.  He i s n o t t o a s p i r e t o h i g h e r t h i n g s , b u t , r a t h e r , t o a c c e p t  by f a i t h a l o n e t h a t he may ascend t o heaven--without p e r s o n a l l y c o m m i t t i n g h i m s e l f t o t h a t end.  P a r a d i s e does n o t a l l o w f o r the i n d i v i d u a l ' s t r a n s -  cendence o f the p h y s i c a l w o r l d .  I t i s t r u e t h a t t h i s i s promised t o Adam  and Eve, b u t t h e i r d u t y i s m e r e l y t o l i v e t h e i r l i f e on e a r t h t o the f u l l e s t , t o be t h a n k f u l and o b e d i e n t , a n y t h i n g above and beyond p a r a d i s e .  and n o t t o c o n c e r n themselves w i t h Their innocent  existence i s , i n f a c t ,  s e v e r e l y r e s t r i c t e d t o the t a n g i b l e w o r l d o f the senses. T h i s i s made e m p h a t i c a l l y c l e a r when Raphael t e l l s Adam t h a t , though i t i s good f o r man " t o a s k o r s e a r c h , " man must.accept t h a t God's d w e l l i n g - p l a c e i s f a r beyond human comprehension, and man would do b e t t e r to concentrate  e n t i r e l y on h i s own w o r l d .  God t o remove h i s ways from human sense, P l a c ' d Heav'n from E a r t h so f a r , t h a t e a r t h l y s i g h t , I f i t presume, might e r r i n t h i n g s t o o h i g h , And no advantage g a i n . ( V I I I . 119-122)  I t i s made p a t e n t l y o b v i o u s here t h a t beyond obedience t o God's man's i n n o c e n t  life,  much room f o r  contemplation.  will,  though i t i s a process o f becoming, does n o t l e a v e  Adam l e a r n s from Raphael a l e s s o n t h a t sounds v e r y much l i k e the  48 philosophy  expressed i n E c c l e s i a s t e s ;  "For i n much wisdom i s much g r i e f :  and he t h a t i n c r e a s e t h knowledge i n c r e a s e t h s o r r o w " ( I . 18).  Adam l e a r n s  how  . . . apt the Mind o r Fancy i s to rove Uncheckt, and of h e r r o v i n g i s no end; T i l l warn'dj or by e x p e r i e n c e t a u g h t , she l e a r n That not to know a t l a r g e of t h i n g s remote From use, obscure and s u b t l e , but to know That w h i c h b e f o r e us l i e s i n d a i l y l i f e , I s the prime Wisdom; what i s more, i s fume, Or e m p t i n e s s , o r fond i m p e r t i n e n c e , And r e n d e r s us i n t h i n g s t h a t most c o n c e r n U n p r a c t i c ' d , u n p r e p a r ' d , and s t i l l t o seek. ( V I I I . 188-197) In f a c t , then, contemplation state of innocence. t o become: God."  The  "obey God  o f the d i v i n e i s an i m p o s s i b i l i t y i n the  The A r i s t o t e l i a n concept of s o p h i a has been and  p r a i s e H i s goodness; and do not seek to know  o n l y s u g g e s t i o n of something more than i n n o c e n t  thus made p u r p o s e f u l l y vague.  but  they are not t o a s p i r e a c t i v e l y t o t h a t  i n Eden, w i t h r e f e r e n c e consciousness;  existence i s  Adam and Eve are t o be i n t i m a t e l y u n i t e d O M  w i t h God,  sublimated  to contemplation,  •Oil  Life  eereSi^swi.  becomes a s t a t e of semi-  i t i s s t r i n g e n t l y p r e s c r i b e d and c i r c u m s c r i b e d .  h a r d l y need p o i n t out here t h a t t h i s i d e a was  One  not a t t r a c t i v e o r  acceptable  to M i l t o n . Adam, i n the s t a t e o f i n n o c e n c e , i s p o r t r a y e d as an a c t i v e b e i n g whose s e l f - k n o w l e d g e g i v e s him a sense of w o r t h and d i g n i t y .  However,  he cannot a c t i v e l y pursue honour or g l o r y i n a c o n t e x t of meaning beyond Eden.  Moreover, he cannot a c t i v e l y a s p i r e t o knowledge of the d i v i n e .  With reference  to p r e - l a p s a r i a n man,  t h e n , magnanimity or h e r o i c v i r t u e  49  i s only p a r t l y possible.  Adam c o u l d possess a sense o f w o r t h and d i g n i t y ;  he c o u l d n o t a c t i v e l y pursue honour o r g l o r y , and he c o u l d n o t a c t i v e l y a s p i r e t o i n t i m a t e knowledge o f t h e d i v i n e . M i l t o n p o r t r a y e d Adam i n such a way t h a t he ( M i l t o n ) c o u l d have the b e s t o f b o t h w o r l d s ; The  t h e w o r l d o f b e i n g and the w o r l d o f becoming.  poet demonstrated t h a t Eden o r innocence was a b l i s s f u l  condition,  but one t h a t r e q u i r e d a c t i v e c o n t r i b u t i o n s from human b e i n g s t o c o n t i n u e and  t o remain b l i s s f u l .  Because the s t a t e o f innocence r e q u i r e d a c t i v e  v i r t u e on t h e p a r t o f i t s i n h a b i t a n t s , i t i s p o e t i c a l l y s u c c e s s f u l , and  i n n o c e n t Adam emerges as a n a d m i r a b l e f i g u r e .  f a i t h , h i s b e l i e f t h a t t h e new d i s p e n s a t i o n  But M i l t o n ' s C h r i s t i a n  s i g n a l l e d by C h r i s t was a  b e t t e r c o n d i t i o n f o r man than i n n o c e n c e , r e q u i r e d t h a t he show the l i m i t a t i o n s o f innocence.  One way i n which M i l t o n demonstrated t h e i n f e r i o r i t y  of man's f i r s t c o n d i t i o n was t o show t h a t i n n o c e n t Adam d i d n o t have the same p o t e n t i a l f o r h e r o i s m as he had a f t e r he had s i n n e d . was,  Innocence  i n d e e d , a f u g i t i v e and c l o i s t e r e d h e r o i s m ; Adam, even had he n o t  s i n n e d , c o u l d n o t be M i l t o n ' s p e r f e c t h e r o .  FOOTNOTES: 1  CHAPTER I I  The  Renaissance and E n g l i s h Humanism, p.  The  C i t y of God,  120.  2 p.  xii.  3 Works, XIV,  p.  27.  4  The p o s s i b l e e x c e p t i o n t o t h i s i s Adam s a p p a r e n t l y i n t u i t i v e knowledge of the h i e r a r c h y o f the senses which he e x p l a i n s to Eve f o l l o w i n g her dream (V. 100-119). T h i s knowledge, i t may be argued, i s not u n l i k e Adam's i n n a t e c a p a c i t y f o r speech. For the r e s t , however, Adam's a c q u i s i t i o n of knowledge i s the r e s u l t of h i s own a c t i o n s . 5  W o r k s , XV,  p.  5.  6 I b i d . , XIV, 7  I b i d . , p.  p.  17.  21.  8 I t might be argued here t h a t the r e l a t i o n s h i p between Heaven and e a r t h was never more i n t i m a t e than i t was w h i l e man l i v e d i n i n n o c e n c e . The answer to t h i s o b j e c t i o n i s c o n t a i n e d i n the v e r y n a t u r e of M i l t o n ' s Christian faith. God's Kingdom i s w i t h i n e v e r y man. The b e l i e v i n g C h r i s t i a n , M i l t o n f o r example, i s equipped w i t h knowledge of God's grand d e s i g n . Moreover, accompanied and g u i d e d by the H o l y S p i r i t , he i s more i n t i m a t e l y r e l a t e d t o God than i n n o c e n t man was. Thus, Adam, though he b i t t e r l y c o m p l a i n s of the c e s s a t i o n of communion w i t h Heaven o c c a s i o n e d by h i s t r a n s g r e s s i o n ( I X . 1080-1090), i s , when he l e a r n s o f the new d i s pensation, happier. He possesses w i t h i n h i m s e l f a " p a r a d i s e , h a p p i e r far."  CHAPTER I I I FROM SIN TO GRACE: THE PATH TO HEROIC MAGNANIMITY  . . . we know n o t o n l y e v i l , b u t we know good o n l y by means o f e v i l . F o r i t i s by e v i l t h a t v i r t u e i s c h i e f l y e x e r c i s e d , and s h i n e s w i t h greater brightness. De D o c t r i n a C h r i s t i a n a  I n J e w i s h and i n C h r i s t i a n w r i t i n g s t h e f a l l o f man has always been t r e a t e d as a t e r r i b l e c a t a s t r o p h e .  I n De D o c t r i n a C h r i s t i a n a , f o r  example, M i l t o n argued t h a t t h e o r i g i n a l s i n o f Adam and Eve c o n t a i n e d w i t h i n i t s e l f a whole complex o f s i n s :  t h e f i r s t p a r e n t s had d i s t r u s t e d  the d i v i n e v e r a c i t y ; they had been g u i l t y o f u n b e l i e f , i n g r a t i t u d e , d i s o b e d i e n c e , and g l u t t o n y ; Eve had n o t shown a "proper r e g a r d " t o Adam; 1 and Adam had been g u i l t y o f " e x c e s s i v e u x o r i o u s n e s s " .  Similarly, i n  P a r a d i s e L o s t , M i l t o n does n o t a l l o w us t o f o r g e t t h e g r a v i t y o f Adam and Eve's o f f e n c e , and i n i n t r o d u c i n g the p a i n f u l s u b j e c t he  complains:  ... I now must change Those notes t o T r a g i c ; f o u l d i s t r u s t , and breach D i s l o y a l on the p a r t o f Man, r e v o l t , And d i s o b e d i e n c e : On t h e p a r t o f Heav'n Now a l i e n a t e d , d i s t a n c e and d i s t a s t e , Anger and j u s t rebuke, and judgment g i v ' n , That brought i n t o t h i s World a w o r l d o f woe, S i n and h e r shadow Death, and M i s e r y Death's H a r b i n g e r . ... ( I X . 5-13) Because M i l t o n u n d e r s t o o d the f a l l as the source o f " a l l our woe," he had  t o d e s c r i b e t h e i n c i d e n t as p r o f o u n d l y moving and t r a g i c .  t h i s M i l t o n had admirable  I n doing  s u c c e s s , b u t no s e r i o u s s t u d e n t o f M i l t o n can  o r w i l l deny t h a t t h e l a s t t h r e e books o f P a r a d i s e L o s t ,  considered  52  together with Paradise  Regained and Samson A g o n i s t e s ,  are M i l t o n ' s honest  attempt t o demonstrate t h a t the f a l l o f man was r e a l l y a f o r t u n a t e e v e n t . P a r a d o x i c a l l y , the f a l l o f man was f o r t u n a t e , f o r from t h a t e v i l God was a b l e t o produce a g r e a t e r good than t h a t which had been l o s t .  It  s h o u l d be p o i n t e d out h e r e , however, t h a t M i l t o n cannot be g i v e n c r e d i t f o r e i t h e r o r i g i n a l i t y or b r i l l i a n c e o f thought i n h i s treatment o f man's f i r s t transgression. one  As A r t h u r 0. L o v e j o y has demonstrated, more than  C h r i s t i a n w r i t e r b e f o r e M i l t o n had embraced and advocated a s i m i l a r  opinion.  A paradox which had / been embraced by Ambrose, Leo the Great, Gregory the G r e a t , F r a n c i s de S a l e s , and Du B a r t a s ; had f o r a t l e a s t t e n c e n t u r i e s had a p l a c e i n many m i s s a l s , and had f i n a l l y been o f f i c i a l l y adopted by the Roman Church, was, o b v i o u s l y , s u f f i c i e n t l y o r t h o d o x ; and i t had been put more s h a r p l y and b o l d l y by a t l e a s t two o f the Doctors o f the Church, by t h e composer o f the E x u l t e t , by the F r e n c h m y s t i c , and by the a u t h o r o f La Semaine, than by M i l t o n . * ^  R e g a r d l e s s o f the a c c e p t a b i l i t y o r o r t h o d o x y o f the o p i n i o n , however, the i m p o r t a n t  p o i n t f o r our d i s c u s s i o n here i s t h a t the d o c t r i n e o f t h e  " f o r t u n a t e f a l l " i s an i n t e g r a l p a r t o f M i l t o n ' s concept o f h e r o i c man. Man's new s t a t e , h i s l o s t innocence and h i s awareness o f e v i l ,  provided  M i l t o n w i t h much more scope f o r the d e l i n e a t i o n o f h e r o i c v i r t u e than had man's i n n o c e n c e .  Indeed, f a l l e n man has a g r e a t e r p o t e n t i a l f o r  h e r o i s m than had man i n the s t a t e o f i n n o c e n c e . \  By p e r m i t t i n g p a s s i o n t o o v e r t h r o w h i s r e a s o n , Adam became aware of h i s own freedom o f w i l l .  As B a s i l W i l l e y p o i n t s o u t ,  Adam, though f r e e b e f o r e h i s f a l l , had n o t the f u l l s p i r i t u a l l i b e r t y w h i c h c o n s i s t s i n the v o l u n t a r y s u b m i s s i o n o f a r a t i o n a l b e i n g t o the law o f r e a s o n . W i t h the e x c e p t i o n o f h i s one v u l n e r a b l e p o i n t , h i s  53  p a r a d o x i c a l c a p a c i t y t o l o s e h i s freedom, he was r e a l l y G o d - c o n s t r a i n e d , not i n the manner o f a r e s p o n s i b l e moral b e i n g , b u t i n the manner o f the a n i m a l s and the r e s t o f n a t u r e . He c o u l d n o t b u t w i l l what was r i g h t u n t i l , h a v i n g d i s o b e y e d , he had become capable o f s i n . Only a b e i n g c a p a b l e o f s i n c o u l d know the meaning which M i l t o n r e a l l y a t t a c h e d t o the n o t i o n o f s p i r i t u a l freedom; thus the F a l l was l o g i c a l l y a n e c e s s a r y stage i n the e v o l u t i o n o f man. I t may be s a i d t h a t Adam and Eve were c a p a b l e o f m o r a l c h o i c e , and hence o f s i n , b e f o r e they a t e the f r u i t , o t h e r w i s e they c o u l d n o t have chosen t o d i s o b e y God's e x p r e s s command; and M i l t o n , i n h i s endeavour t o make h i s e p i c n a r r a t i v e humanly c o n v i n c i n g , c e r t a i n l y has t o a t t r i b u t e t o them some o f the f r a i l t i e s o f f a l l e n humanity i n o r d e r t o make t h e i r b e h a v i o u r p l a u s i b l e . But t h i s l i m i t e d freedom o f c h o i c e , and i t s a r b i t r a r y c o n n e c t i o n w i t h an i n e x p l i c a b l e /"taboo, d i d n o t c o n s t i t u t e the f u l l " l i b e r t y " o f M i l t o n ' s own r i p e s t thought. A man must know good and e v i l much more i n t i m a t e l y t h a n p r e l a p s a r i a n Adam c o u l d b e f o r e he can submit w i t h h i s whole b e i n g t o the c o n t r o l o f t h a t d i v i n e l a w i n whose s e r v i c e i s p e r f e c t freedom."^  I n h i s i n n o c e n c e , t h e n , Adam had an i n n a t e o r i n t u i t i v e knowledge o f r i g h t reason.  A f t e r the f a l l , however, he had t o s t r u g g l e t o know r i g h t  r e a s o n and t o make i t p r e v a i l i n h i s conduct.  The p r i n c i p a l  difficulty  f a c i n g M i l t o n i n P a r a d i s e L o s t was t o s y n c r e t i z e h i s r e l i g i o u s c o n v i c t i o n w i t h h i s humanism.  M i l t o n ' s r e l i g i o n d i c t a t e d t h a t something w o n d e r f u l  had been l o s t when Adam took h i s f i r s t b i t e o f the f r u i t .  But h i s  humanity answered t h a t the v e r y j o y o f l i f e was i n the s t r u g g l e t o " r e g a i n the b l i s s f u l s e a t . "  Man's awareness o f b o t h good and e v i l and awareness  of h i s human p o t e n t i a l t o embrace and o b t a i n e i t h e r , and man's c o n s c i o u s l y reasoned s t r u g g l e t o pursue the good (the g l o r y o f God), d e s p i t e the d i f f i c u l t i e s en r o u t e , a r e , f o r M i l t o n , tantamount t o h e r o i c .  Itis in  the s t r u g g l e i t s e l f t h a t M i l t o n as a human b e i n g found man's c a p a c i t y for  h e r o i s m , and on t h i s premise M i l t o n ' s concept o f h e r o i c man i s  u l t i m a t e l y based. I t has been p o i n t e d out i n an e a r l i e r c h a p t e r  o f t h i s essay  t h a t Man's s t a t e o f innocence d i d n o t a l l o w f o r r e a l h e r o i s m , f o r magnanimity.  54  Because Heaven and e a r t h were d i s t i n c t l y s e p a r a t e , man c o u l d n o t u n d e r s t a n d or r e a l i z e h i s h e r o i c p o t e n t i a l .  Adam, t h u s , c o u l d n o t see t h a t he c o u l d  be a s o l d i e r i n the cosmic s t r u g g l e a g a i n s t e v i l .  He c o u l d n o t v i s u a l i z e  h i m s e l f as a s o l d i e r i n God's army whose c a r e e r o f w i l l i n g s e r v i c e t o God c o u l d augment God's g l o r y and honour.  Moreover, the g r e a t g u l f t h a t  e x i s t e d between heaven and e a r t h d i d n o t p e r m i t o f man's of the d i v i n e .  contemplation  Innocence was earth-bound and f l i g h t was n o t f o r man.  The knowledge o f e v i l Adam gained  by e a t i n g the f o r b i d d e n f r u i t , by  d i s o b e y i n g God, r a d i c a l l y a l t e r e d a l l o f t h i s .  Adam's new c o n d i t i o n ,  what we may f a i r l y c a l l the human c o n d i t i o n , p r e s e n t e d and more c h a l l e n g i n g o p p o r t u n i t i e s .  He now f a c e d a c h a l l e n g e  would t a x him t o the l i m i t o f what man can endure. now exceed h i s g r a s p — y e t now become a h e r o :  him w i t h new which  Adam's r e a c h  c o u l d s t i l l m e r i t God's a p p r o v a l .  could  Adam c o u l d  magnanimous man.  Adam and Eve's l o s s of innocence i s accompanied by a g a i n o f knowledge.  They know:  . .. ." ( I X . 1071). their condition i s .  "Both Good and E v i l , Good l o s t and E v i l Got.  What t h i s means i s t h a t they d i s c o v e r how w r e t c h e d C a r n a l l u s t i s the f i r s t m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f t h e i r  a l t e r e d s t a t e , and from t h i s they a c q u i r e a knowledge o f t h e i r own d e p r a v i t y and b e s t i a l i t y , what W i l l e y c a l l s " s e x u a l What i s more i m p o r t a n t ,  self-consciousness."^  however, i s t h a t they f e e l shame.  t h a t he has n o t a c t e d as b e f i t s a s u p e r i o r b e i n g  Adam r e c o g n i z e s  (man), t h a t he h a s ,  i n f a c t , debased h i s own human d i g n i t y by a l l o w i n g p a s s i o n t o o v e r r u l e h i s reason.  He i s ashamed t h a t he i s man.  B e r e f t o f any sense o f w o r t h ,  he w i s h e s t h a t he might never be seen by a n g e l s ' eyes a g a i n . thus  counsels:  To Eve he  55 But l e t us now, as i n bad p l i g h t , d e v i s e What b e s t may f o r the p r e s e n t serve to h i d e The P a r t s o f each from o t h e r , t h a t seem most To shame o b n o x i o u s , and u n s e e m l i e s t seen, Some Tree whose broad smooth l e a v e s t o g e t h e r sew'd And g i r d e d on our l o i n s , may c o v e r round Those m i d d l e p a r t s , t h a t t h i s new comer, Shame, There s i t n o t , and r e p r o a c h us as u n c l e a n . (IX. 1091-98) T h i s sense o f shame, however, i s the n e c e s s a r y f i r s t s t e p i n Adam's r e g e n e r a t i o n , f o r w i t h o u t i t he cannot possess any sense o f h i s w o r t h and d i g n i t y .  own  He w i l l remain w i t h o u t any v e s t i g e of s e l f - r e s p e c t .  P a r a d o x i c a l l y , an a d m i s s i o n of h i s own weakness i s mandatory i n o r d e r for  M i l t o n ' s s u p e r i o r man  t o be s t r o n g .  He must know he can be, o r has  been weak. • How man  i s r e g e n e r a t e d , how he r e g a i n s h i s l o s t sense of  w o r t h , i s our f i r s t  concern.  M i l t o n ' s God, we know, had d e c l a r e d He would be m e r c i f u l t o c e r t a i n men.  Man s h a l l not q u i t e be l o s t , but sav'd who w i l l , Y e t not of w i l l i n him, but grace i n me F r e e l y v o u t s a f ' t ; once more I w i l l renew His l a p s e d powers, though f o r f e i t and e n t h r a l l ' d By s i n to f o u l e x o r b i t a n t d e s i r e s ; Upheld by me, y e t once more he s h a l l s t a n d On even ground a g a i n s t h i s m o r t a l f o e , By me u p h e l d , t h a t he may know how f r a i l His f a l l ' n c o n d i t i o n i s , and t o me owe A l l h i s d e l i v e r a n c e , and t o none but me. ( I I I . 173-82) T h e o l o g i c a l l y M i l t o n a c c e p t e d t h i s d o c t r i n e of g r a c e .  But i n one  i m p o r t a n t p o i n t he d i f f e r e d from the A u g u s t i n i a n d o c t r i n e .  Milton  c o u l d not w h o l l y a c c e p t a d o c t r i n e which p l a c e d so l i t t l e emphasis on the human b e i n g ' s own c o n t r i b u t i o n t o s a l v a t i o n .  To judge from God's  56 speech above, w i t h i t s m a n i f e s t  contemptus homo a t t i t u d e , i t i s r a t h e r  o b v i o u s t h a t man's r o l e (and i m p l i c i t l y h i s d i g n i t y ) i s of minor s i g n i ficance.  M i l t o n ' s v i e w of man,  of that aspect  however, r e p r e s e n t s a d e f i n i t e  rejection  of the d o c t r i n e of grace w h i c h i m p l i e d t h a t man's  contribution i s insignificant.  own  M i l t o n , i t i s f a i r t o say, l o o k e d upon  man's r e g e n e r a t i o n as an a c t o f d i v i n e grace w o r k i n g i n man d e f i n i t e e x e r c i s e o f the human w i l l . r e g e n e r a t i o n p o s s i b l e ; but God  and as a  God's mercy and H i s Grace made  d i d not make i t happen.  This w i l l  made c l e a r e r by r e f e r e n c e t o De D o c t r i n a C h r i s t i a n a and P a r a d i s e  be Lost.  I n De D o c t r i n a C h r i s t i a n a M i l t o n d i s c u s s e d a t c o n s i d e r a b l e how man  c o u l d be r e s t o r e d .  By God's grace a c t i n g i n him and by  e x e r c i s e o f the d i v i n e mercy, man than the one w h i c h he had l o s t .  can possess a p a r a d i s e Man  the  "happier f a r "  can a t t a i n a h a p p i e r , e t e r n a l l i f e .  God's grace i s what makes t h i s p o s s i b l e , and He g i v e s i t f r e e l y . i s , man  length  does not have t o prove h i m s e l f worthy of g r a c e .  That  T h i s much i s  given. THE RESTORATION OF MAN IS the a c t whereby man, b e i n g d e l i v e r e d from s i n and death by God the F a t h e r t h r o u g h J e s u s C h r i s t , i s r a i s e d t o a f a r more e x c e l l e n t s t a t e o f grace and g l o r y than t h a t from which he had fallen. 5  I n the process The  a r e c o n t a i n e d redemption and  redemption of man  renovation.  i s C h r i s t ' s w i l l i n g payment f o r the debt  o f man's s i n . F o r God so l o v e d the w o r l d , t h a t he gave h i s o n l y b e g o t t e n Son, t h a t whosoever b e l i e v e t h i n him s h o u l d not p e r i s h , but have e v e r l a s t i n g life. F o r God sent not h i s Son i n t o the w o r l d to condemn the w o r l d ; but t h a t the w o r l d through him m i g h t be saved. (John I I I , 16-17)  57  C h r i s t w i l l i n g l y became as man and w i l l i n g l y d i e d so t h a t o t h e r men m i g h t live.  H i s m i n i s t r y o f redemption i n c l u d e d , f i r s t , h i s h u m i l i a t i o n a t  the hands o f men, then h i s e x a l t a t i o n a t the hands o f God.  I t was a  f r e e g i f t by the grace o f God and, hence, unearned by man.  Man's reno-  v a t i o n i s " t h a t change whereby HE WHO WAS BEFORE UNDER THE CURSE, AND 6 OBNOXIOUS TO THE DIVINE WRATH, IS BROUGHT INTO A STATE OF GRACE."  By  t h i s p r o c e s s , man i s i n v i t e d t o know the way t h a t God c a n be p r o p i t i a t e d and w o r s h i p p e d .  In short, renovation  i s the g i f t o f God by which man  might be saved from d e a t h , the curse t h a t f o l l o w e d h i s s i n f u l  disobedience.  But God, i n f a c t , makes i t p o s s i b l e f o r man .to save h i m s e l f .  H i s grace  and h i s mercy a l l o w men t o r e p e n t , b u t repentence i s t h e i r own f r e e a c t . Indeed, many a r e c a l l e d b u t few a r e chosen, f o r man's w i l l i s f r e e . He must choose i n o r d e r t o be chosen.  Thus, what God's r e s t o r a t i o n and  r e n o v a t i o n o f man means i s t h a t God w i l l g i v e men the o p p o r t u n i t y t o be d i g n i f i e d and s t r o n g , t o be worthy.  Theologically, this interpretation  o f grace i s perhaps s u b j e c t t o some d i s p u t e . is entirely  F o r M i l t o n , however, i t  acceptable.  M i l t o n ' s a t t i t u d e i s t h a t God's grace makes r e g e n e r a t i o n o r r e n o v a t i o n p o s s i b l e , b u t t h a t the f i n a l c h o i c e whether t o be remains w i t h man.  I t i s the i n t e n t o f s p i r i t u a l r e n o v a t i o n , M i l t o n  a r g u e s , t o r e s t o r e , "more c o m p l e t e l y r e a s o n and f r e e w i l l . and The  regenerated  than b e f o r e " , the n a t u r a l f a c u l t i e s :  But i t i s a l s o " t o c r e a t e a f r e s h the i n w a r d man  7 i n f u s e new and s u p e r n a t u r a l f a c u l t i e s i n t o the mind o f the r e n o v a t e d . " 'new' i n w a r d man has been r e g e n e r a t e d .  REGENERATION IS THAT CHANGE OPERATED BY THE WORD AND THE SPIRIT, WHEREBY THE OLD MAN BEING DESTROYED, THE INWARD MAN IS REGENERATED BY  58 GOD AFTER HIS OWN IMAGE, IN and w i l l " ( M i l t o n ' s n o t e ) 7 , CREATURE, AND THE WHOLE MAN THE SERVICE OF GOD, AND THE  ALL THE FACULTIES OF HIS MIND ^ ' u n d e r s t a n d i n g INSOMUCH THAT HE BECOMES AS IT WERE A NEW IS SANCTIFIED BOTH IN BODY AND SOUL, FOR PERFORMANCE OF GOOD WORKS. 8  The e f f e c t s of t h i s r e g e n e r a t i o n are two:  repentance and  faith.  REPENTANCE . . . . IS THE GIFT OF GOD, WHEREBY THE REGENERATE MAN PERCEIVING WITH SORROW THAT HE HAS OFFENDED GOD BY SIN, DETESTS AND AVOIDS I T , HUMBLY TURNING TO GOD THROUGH A SENSE OF THE DIVINE MERCY, AND HEARTILY STRIVING TO FOLLOW RIGHTEOUSNESS. 9  For f a i t h ,  M i l t o n accepts  hoped f o r .  the P a u l i n e d e f i n i t i o n :  the substance o f t h i n g s  I t i s a f i r m b e l i e f t h a t what has been promised w i l l  be.  B a s i n g judgment e n t i r e l y on the m a t e r i a l quoted above, i t might seem t h a t M i l t o n , l i k e A u g u s t i n e , minimal.  But M i l t o n ' s own  regarded man's c o n t r i b u t i o n as  emphasis on the s o u l ' s freedom of  cannot, I am s u r e , be i g n o r e d or o v e r s t r e s s e d .  Eve.  i t i s made e m p h a t i c a l l y  it.  God w i l l not  But he w i l l l e a v e i t t o them t o choose.  because of God's " p r e v e n i e n t  "harden"  Adam and  g r a c e " w o r k i n g i n them, beg  But God's words, and here M i l t o n S t r i c t l y  Lost,  Mercy w i l l be shown to Adam and  They w i l l have the o p p o r t u n i t y t o accept  their hearts.  choice  Thus, i n P a r a d i s e  d e s p i t e M i l t o n ' s emphasis on God's v o l u n t a r y g i f t , c l e a r t h a t grace i s a k i n d of covenant.  painfully  Eve,  f o r mercy.  f o l l o w e d G e n e s i s , r e v e a l the  n a t u r e of f r e e w i l l and the n e c e s s i t y f o r c h o i c e .  To the Son,  God  says:  He sorrows now, r e p e n t s and prays c o n t r i t e . My motions i n him; l o n g e r than they move, H i s h e a r t I know; how v a r i a b l e and v a i n Self-left. ( X I . 90-93) Regardless,  t h e n , of whether or not we agree w i t h God's concept of j u s t i c e  59  and mercy, i t i s c e r t a i n l y o b v i o u s t h a t Adam and Eve have f r e e w i l l , they a r e f r e e t o a c c e p t o r r e j e c t God's o f f e r o f mercy. p l a c e a guard around t h e t r e e o f l i f e ,  that  I f God must  then Adam and Eve a r e f r e e t o  s i t down t o a n o t h e r m e a l , and t h a t , i n t h e same way as i f Robert F r o s t had  t a k e n t h e o t h e r r o a d , would have made a l l t h e d i f f e r e n c e .  grace, i n s h o r t , i s the beginning happiness i s contingent  o f man's r e g e n e r a t i o n .  on man's a c t i v i t y .  God's  Eternal  The u l t i m a t e c h o i c e  rests  w i t h man. I have quoted a t some l e n g t h from M i l t o n ' s De D o c t r i n a C h r i s t i a n a i n o r d e r t o make c l e a r what I t h i n k i s the c r u c i a l p o i n t i n man's r e g e n eration.  Man, by t h e grace o f God, c a n r e g a i n h i s d i g n i t y .  so, t h e r e must be an a c t i v e e x e r t i o n o f t h e human w i l l . t h r e e books o f P a r a d i s e L o s t r e p r e s e n t  But t o do  Milton's  last  t h e poet's attempt t o r e f a s h i o n  Adam as a d i g n i f i e d and worthy b e i n g , as a magnanimous man. In the concluding C.S.  pages o f h i s well-known essay on P a r a d i s e  Lost,  Lewis p o i n t s o u t t h a t "the r e a l q u e s t i o n a t i s s u e " i s "whether man  should or should not continue  t o be 'a n o b l e a n i m a l ,  s p l e n d i d i n ashes  10 and  pompous i n t h e g r a v e ' . "  i n s i s t s upon i t .  Lewis contends he s h o u l d and M i l t o n  Adam's e d u c a t i o n a f t e r t h e f a l l i s , t h u s , a p r o c e s s  by which he becomes more n o b l e . I have s a i d t h a t Adam's contempt f o r h i s own humanity i s the f i r s t step i n h i s regeneration. he. c a n be s t r o n g .  He must be aware o f h i s f r a i l t y  before  Though t o u t comprendre does n o t n e c e s s a r i l y mean  t o u t pardoner, knowledge i s power i n M i l t o n ' s v i e w o f man.  Man under-  stands h i s n o b i l i t y by comprehending h i s p o t e n t i a l i t y f o r b e s t i a l i t y .  60 S h o r t l y a f t e r c l o t h i n g themselves i n the v a i n hope t h a t t h e y can h i d e t h e i r shame, Adam and Eve become more and more aware o f t h e wretchedness o f t h e i r own c o n d i t i o n .  They l e a r n t h a t r e a s o n , the image  o f t h e d i v i n e i n them,.is now t h e source o f t h e i r g r e a t e s t p a i n r a t h e r than t h e source o f g r e a t e s t p l e a s u r e i t had f o r m e r l y been.  That i s ,  they a r e aware o f what t h e y have been and what t h e y a r e now, and t h e i r m i s e r y i s compounded by the comparison.  This i s a t o r t u r e , f o r , l i k e  S a t a n , t h e y d i s c o v e r t h a t t h e y cannot e r a s e from t h e i r minds t h e memory o f t h e i r former g r a n d e u r . is  The mind becomes a p r i s o n from w h i c h no escape  possible.  Thus f e n c ' t , and as they t h o u g h t , t h i r shame i n p a r t Cover'd, b u t n o t a t r e s t o r ease o f Mind, They s a t them down t o weep, n o r o n l y Tears Rain'd a t t h p i r E y e s , b u t h i g h Winds worse w i t h i n Began t o r i s e , h i g h P a s s i o n s , Anger, H a t e , M i s t r u s t , S u s p i c i o n , D i s c o r d , and shook sore T h i r inward S t a t e o f Mind, cg/m Region once And f u l l o f Peace, now t o s s ' t and t u r b u l e n t . . . . ( I X . 1119-27) Shamed by h i s own absence o f d i g n i t y , Adam b e g i n s t o reprimand Eve f o r h e r weakness, f o r h e r f o o l i s h n e s s i n i n v i t i n g d i s a s t e r .  Though Adam  i s h a r d l y n o b l e i n a t t a c k i n g h i s w i f e , he has l e a r n e d something.  He  knows t h a t t h e w i s e l y v i r t u o u s man does n o t seek t e m p t a t i o n . He does 11 not d e l i b e r a t e l y seek t o put h i s f a i t h t o t h e t e s t . When Eve argues i n h e r defence t h a t Adam s h o u l d n o t have p e r m i t t e d her t o l e a v e h i m , Adam i s f o r c e d t o t r y t o j u s t i f y h i s own conduct. Because Adam cannot, and because he i s t o o ashamed t o a c c e p t h i s g u i l t , he f o o l i s h l y u p b r a i d s Eve and a l l women.  But Adam had l e a r n e d from  61 Raphael t h a t i t i s r i g h t " t o subdue / By f o r c e who r e a s o n f o r t h i r Law r e f u s e " ( V I . 39-40).  He, t h e r e f o r e , d i d n o t execute h i s duty.  As  Eve's s u p e r i o r , he was o b l i g a t e d t o c o n s t r a i n h e r i f she would n o t be persuaded.  Adam o n l y b e g i n s t o r e a l i z e t h a t the c h i e f g u i l t i s h i s :  ". . . perhaps / I a l s o e r r e d i n overmuch a d m i r i n g " is s t i l l  ( I X . 1177-78).  t o o depraved and ashamed t o a c c e p t t h e blame.  He  Paradoxically,  however, t h i s must mean t h a t Adam r e t a i n s some sense o f w o r t h and d i g n i t y w h i c h , i r o n i c a l l y , he no l o n g e r p o s s e s s e s .  Adam, i n facfe, i s t o o proud  t o acknowledge h i s own d e p r a v i t y , t o a c c e p t h i s f a l l e n c o n d i t i o n , and, as M i l t o n p o i n t e d o u t i n De D o c t r i n a C h r i s t i a n a , " c o n v i c t i o n o f s i n " 12 i s t h e f i r s t s t e p i n the p r o c e s s o f r e p e n t a n c e . When C h r i s t descends from Heaven t o judge Adam and Eve, are t o o ashamed t o f a c e Him and attempt t o h i d e themselves.  they  Adam,  whose i n t u i t i v e sense o f d i g n i t y had g i v e n h i m t h e courage t o q u e s t i o n who had made him, was  and w h i c h had e n a b l e d him t o a s k h i s c r e a t o r why i t  t h a t man s h o u l d be a s o l i t a r y b e i n g , i s now p r e s e n t e d t o us as a  c o w e r i n g , f r i g h t e n e d , and p a t h e t i c a l l y f r a i l c r e a t u r e .  He can no l o n g e r  f r e e l y say what he f e e l s o r t h i n k s , and c a n no l o n g e r f r e e l y q u e s t i o n . R a t h e r , he must weigh h i s words c a r e f u l l y and must a n a l y z e h i s speech. Spontaneity  of utterance  and s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e have d i s a p p e a r e d .  Thus,  when q u e s t i o n e d by t h e Son, Adam cannot answer c a n d i d l y o r i n g e n u o u s l y . He r e p l i e s c a r e f u l l y and w i t h l o n g h e s i t a t i o n f o r f e a r o f o f f e n d i n g . His behaviour i s , i n f a c t , despicable.  He a t t e m p t s t o extenuate h i s own  g u i l t by e m p h a s i z i n g t h a t he c o u l d n o t r e a s o n a b l y have e x p e c t e d t h a t a c r e a t u r e as f a i r as Eve c o u l d be c a p a b l e o f d e c e i t .  62  T h i s Woman whom thou mad'st to be my h e l p . And g a v ' s t me as thy p e r f e t g i f t , so good, So f i t , so a c c e p t a b l e , so D i v i n e , That from her hand I c o u l d suspect no i l l , And what she d i d , whatever i n i t s e l f , Her d o i n g seem'd to j u s t i f y the deed; She gave me o f the T r e e , and I d i d e a t . (X.  137-143)  Adam's response h e r e stamps him as a coward. more, he i s a l i a r , f o r Adam was God.  We  not d e c e i v e d .  c o u l d admire Adam i f he a d m i t t e d  t o l i v e w i t h o u t Eve,  and  i s pathetic.  He w i l f u l l y d i s o b e y e d  t h a t he had not been w i l l i n g  he i s d e s p i c a b l e .  c o r r e c t l y c h a s t i z e s Adam, t h e n , f o r a b r o g a t i n g h i s manhood. c r i t i c i z e d f o r not c o r r e c t l y understanding  r e a l nature The  Son  h i s own  Indeed, C h r i s t ' s i n d i c t m e n t  of Adam's s i n :  he has  her  But when he a t t e m p t s t o l e s s e n the  s i n by i m p l y i n g i g n o r a n c e ,  want of magnanimity.  What i s  t h a t he would r a t h e r d i e than be w i t h o u t  (his r e a l reason f o r disobeying). g r a v i t y of h i s own  He  The  Son  Adam i s  dignity, for his of Adam r e v e a l s  the  f a i l e d t o r e c o g n i z e h i s w o r t h as  man.  says:  WasJ? shee t h y God, t h a t h e r thou d i d s t obey Before h i s v o i c e , o r was shee made t h y g u i d e , S u p e r i o r , or but e q u a l , t h a t t o h e r Thou d i d s t r e s i g n t h y Manhood, and the P l a c e Wherein God s e t thee above h e r made o f t h e e , And f o r thee, whose p e r f e c t i o n f a r e x c e l l ' d Hers i n a l l r e a l d i g n i t y : Adorn'd She was i n d e e d , and l o v e l y t o a t t r a c t Thy l o v e , not thy S u b j e c t i o n , and her G i f t s Were such as under Government w e l l seem'd, Unseemly t o bear r u l e , which was t h y p a r t And p e r s o n , h a d s t thou known t h y s e l f a r i g h t . (X.  145-156)  S i m i l a r l y , when C h r i s t passes judgment on Adam, we  discover that  the  emphasis i s once more p l a c e d upon man's a b r o g a t i o n  of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y .  63  Because thou h a s t heark'n'd t o the v o i c e o f t h y W i f e , And e a t e n o f t h e t r e e c o n c e r n i n g which I charg'd t h e e , s a y i n g : Thou s h a l t n o t e a t t h e r e o f , Curs'd i s t h e ground f o r t h y sake . . . . (X. 198-201) As a C h r i s t i a n , M i l t o n had t o embrace t h e d o c t r i n e t h a t Adam was " f o n d l y overcome w i t h Female charm."  I t i s o b v i o u s , however, t h a t Adam's s i n  r e s u l t e d from h i s f a i l u r e t o r e c o g n i z e h i s own s u p e r i o r i t y . not--when he s h o u l d have been--magnanimous. wholly without d i g n i t y .  Adam was  He i s now, as a r e s u l t ,  Adam must r e a l i z e t h i s b e f o r e he c a n be r e g e n -  e r a t e d as a worthy and d i g n i f i e d b e i n g , as magnanimous man. With t h e coming o f S i n and Death, t h e p a r a d i s a l a s p e c t o f Eden i s t r a n s f o r m e d t o a Hobbesian " s t a t e o f n a t u r e " .  Adam d i s c o v e r s t h a t  the c o n c o r d and harmony o f p r e l a p s a r i a n Eden have g i v e n p l a c e t o a l i f e t h a t i s , i n d e e d , " s o l i t a r y , poor, n a s t y , b r u t i s h and s h o r t . "  Adam sees how  Beast now w i t h Beast gan war, and Fowl w i t h F o w l , And F i s h w i t h F i s h ; t o graze t h e Herb a l l l e a v i n g , Devour'd each o t h e r ; n o r s t o o d much i n awe Of Man, b u t f l e d him, o r w i t h count'nance g r i m G l a r ' d on h i m p a s s i n g . . . . (X. 710-14)  He s e e s , t h e n , t h a t he i s no l o n g e r the "Master work" o f c r e a t i o n .  He  i s no l o n g e r r e c o g n i z e d by t h e b r u t e c r e a t u r e s as t h e s u p e r i o r b e i n g , and he must r e a l i z e t h a t he i s , i n f a c t , no b e t t e r than t h e y , t h a t he i s , i n d e e d , worse.  Adam's " c o n v i c t i o n o f s i n " must be accompanied by  awareness o f h i s own d e p r a v i t y . makes t h i s  Adam's p r o t r a c t e d c o m p l a i n t (X. 720-844)  clear.  Adam's c a p a c i t y t o r e a s o n becomes h i s bane.  H i s reason  informs  him t h a t t h e g u i l t i s h i s a l o n e , b u t i n f o r m s h i m , t o o , t h a t he i s a  64 generator  o f e v i l and m i s e r y .  g e n e r a t i o n s y e t unborn.  He  H i s s i n w i l l be the source o f m i s e r y  i s a cancer.  for  The o n l y escape Adam can com-  prehend i s d e a t h , and he welcomes i t s approach.  But h i s r e a s o n a l s o  robs him o f t h i s hope.  . . . Y e t one doubt Pursues me s t i l l , l e s t a l l I cannot d i e , L e s t t h a t pure b r e a t h o f L i f e , the S p i r i t o f Man Which God i n s p i r ' d , cannot t o g e t h e r p e r i s h W i t h t h i s c o r p o r e a l C l o d ; t h e n i n the Grave, Or i n some o t h e r d i s m a l p l a c e , who knows But I s h a l l d i e a l i v i n g Death? (X. 782-88) He  f o n d l y hopes t h a t God's w r a t h might be spent on him a l o n e , but knows  t h a t he i s too f r a i l t o bear t h a t burden even i f shared w i t h Eve.  His  r e a s o n l e a d s him i n t o a l a b y r i n t h of d e s p a i r from which no escape i s possible. man  And  c o n s c i e n c e , which unbeknown t o Adam i s God's g i f t whereby  m i g h t be h e l p e d  t o r e g a i n "the b l i s s f u l s e a t " , becomes Adam's w o r s t  enemy.  0 C o n s c i e n c e , i n t o what Abyss of f e a r s And h o r r o r s h a s t t h o u d r i v ' n me; out o f which 1 f i n d no way, from deep t o deeper p l u n g ' d l (X. 842-44)  But Adam i s not y e t f u l l y ' c o n v i c t e d ' o f h i s own  sin.  He s t i l l  blames  13 Eve  f o r h i s miserable condition. Adam's l o n g harangue a g a i n s t woman seems to have b l i n d e d most  readers as h i s .  t o the f a c t t h a t he f o r g i v e s Eve and a c c e p t s Her a d m i s s i o n  had d e c l a r e d  the c h i e f g u i l t  o f g u i l t moves Adam t o p i t y and t o n o b i l i t y .  (X. 930-36) t h a t she would w i l l i n g l y a c c e p t  the g u i l t  Eve and  the punishment, and her a l t r u i s m moves Adam t o a s s e r t t h a t he would do  65  the same.  But Adam knows t h a t n e i t h e r of them can atone f o r man's d i s -  obedience by t h e i r own  voluntary s a c r i f i c e .  t a s k remains f o r the "one speculate concerning  g r e a t e r Man",  and  They do not know t h a t t h a t they can, t h e r e f o r e , o n l y  what remains t o be done by man.  however, c o n t a i n an a d m i s s i o n of p e r s o n a l g u i l t .  He  Adam's words, tells  Eve:  ... I f Prayers C o u l d a l t e r h i g h Decrees, I to t h a t p l a c e Would speed b e f o r e t h e e , and be l o u d e r h e a r d , That on my head a l l might be v i s i t e d , Thy f r a i l t y and i n f i r m e r Sex f o r g i v ' n To me committed and by me expos'd. (my i t a l i c s ) But r i s e , l e t us no more c o n t e n d , nor blame Each o t h e r , blam'd enough e l s e w h e r e , but s t r i v e I n o f f i c e s of Love, how we may l i g h t ' n Each o t h e r ' s burden i n our share of woe. . . . (x.  952-961)  The v e r y f a c t t h a t Adam does not devote much sound and b r e a t h t o h i s own mea  c u l p a makes h i s a d m i s s i o n more b e l i e v a b l e .  g u i l t and new  proceeds t o r e a s o n how  condition.  he and Eve may  He  s i m p l y admits  adapt themselves to t h e i r  Adam's r e p e n t a n c e and h i s r e g e n e r a t i o n have begun.  I n De D o c t r i n a C h r i s t i a n a M i l t o n l i s t e d f i v e s t e p s i n the of repentance:  " c o n v i c t i o n of s i n , c o n t r i t i o n , confession, ,.  from e v i l , and c o n v e r s i o n  Adam has  towards r e g e n e r a t i o n by f o r g i v i n g Eve  to be r e b u i l t .  t a k e n the f i r s t  and a d m i t t i n g h i s own  i s equally d i f f i c u l t .  must a c c e p t and acknowledge h i s own  departure  1 4  t o good.  C o n t r i t i o n i s the second s t e p and  That i s , Adam  d e p r a v i t y ; he must be b r o k e n i n o r d e r  C o n v i c t i o n d i f f e r s from c o n t r i t i o n i n t h a t the  he admit he i s p o w e r l e s s t o atone f o r t h a t g u i l t w i t h o u t The  c o n t r i t e man  step  guilt.  r e q u i r e s t h a t the s i n n e r a c c e p t h i s g u i l t , whereas the l a t t e r  d i v i n e mercy.  process  former requires  the a i d of  must admit t h a t he i s too weak and  66 i n s i g n i f i c a n t t o be c a p a b l e o f a t o n i n g f o r h i s s i n w i t h o u t  God's h e l p  (grace). To t h e problem o f how they s h o u l d conduct themselves i n the f a c e of God's c u r s e , Eve proposes two s o l u t i o n s ;  sexual abstinence  and s u i c i d e .  Adam commends h e r f o r the apparent s u p e r i o r i t y o f mind h e r contempt for  l i f e and p l e a s u r e m a n i f e s t s .  But he c o r r e c t l y reasons t h a t h e r  thoughts a r e t h e p r o d u c t o f h e r own "anguish and r e g r e t / F o r l o s s o f l i f e and p l e a s u r e o v e r l o v ' d " (X. 1018-19). God  i s t o o w i s e t o a l l o w them t o escape t h e doom He has p r e s c r i b e d f o r  them. for  Moreover, he reasons t h a t  Adam then remembers t h a t t h e c u r s e a l s o e n t a i l e d man's o p p o r t u n i t y  revenge a g a i n s t S a t a n , and c o n c l u d e s t h a t t h i s sweet revenge would  not be p o s s i b l e i f he and Eve d i d n o t reproduce t h e i r s p e c i e s .  But t h e  problem w i t h b o t h Adam's and Eve's r e a s o n i n g here i s t h a t they a r e t h i n k i n g of Godtas t h e i r enemy.  He i s t h e i r a d v e r s a r y  Adam and Eve have n o t y e t c o n s i d e r e d  r a t h e r than t h e i r  s u b m i s s i o n t o t h e w i l l o f God as  t h e i r s a l v a t i o n , and i t i s o n l y when Adam b e g i n s t o r e a s o n "Rancor and p r i d e , i m p a t i e n c e  benefactor.  without  and d e s p i t e " t h a t r e a l repentance and  regeneration are possible. Adam and Eve's f i n a l r e s o l u t i o n t o pray f o r d i v i n e mercy i s t h e culmination of a long reasoning  p r o c e s s (X. 1046-1096).  e x e r c i s e o f h i s own r e a s o n , Adam comes t o know t h a t ;  Through t h e  God i s t o o p o w e r f u l  f o r man t o f r u s t r a t e H i s grand d e s i g n ; God showed p i t y and compassion i n j u d g i n g man, and must, t h e r e f o r e , be b e n e v o l e n t and m e r c i f u l ; the curse i t s e l f i s not completely  sans j o i e , f o r the p a i n s o f c h i l d b i r t h  are recompensed by t h e j o y s o f parenthood, and l a b o r i s n o t i n i t s e l f despicable.  Knowing t h i s much, Adam c o r r e c t l y reasons t h a t i f God c a n  67  be, and i s compassionate  w i t h o u t human b e i n g s ' e n t r e a t i e s , then he must  s u r e l y be even more m e r c i f u l when e a r n e s t l y a p p e a l e d moreover, t h a t w i t h o u t God's grace man i s p o w e r l e s s .  t o . Adam r e c o g n i z e s , He thus a s k s :  What b e t t e r can we do, than t o the p l a c e R e p a i r i n g where he judg'd u s , p r o s t r a t e f a l l B e f o r e him r e v e r e n t , and t h e r e c o n f e s s Humbly our f a u l t s , and pardon beg, w i t h t e a r s W a t e r i n g the ground, and w i t h our s i g h s the A i r F r e q u e n t i n g , s e n t from h e a r t s c o n t r i t e , i n s i g n Of sorrow u n f e i g n ' d , and h u m i l i a t i o n meek. (X. 1086-1093)  The answer o f c o u r s e i s t h a t t h e r e i s n o t h i n g b e t t e r t o do. s t a n d i n g and a c c e p t i n g t h a t he depends on t h e mercy o f a God, Adam i s c o n t r i t e .  By under-  compassionate  C o n f e s s i o n i s the n e x t s t e p and an e a s i e r one.  I t i s the v i s i b l e m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f repentance as i t were, o f c o n v i c t i o n . j . a n d c o n t r i t i o n .  and r e g e n e r a t i o n , the p r o o f ,  Aware o f t h e i r g u i l t and  aware t h a t they a r e powerless w i t h o u t God's g r a c e , Adam and Eve can f r e e l y confess.  The f i n a l s t e p i n repentance  i s more d i f f i c u l t , and Adam and  Eve's " d e p a r t u r e from e v i l and c o n v e r s i o n t o good" r e q u i r e s M i c h a e l ' s visit  to earth. Though Adam and Eve have now become c o n v i n c e d o f t h e i r g u i l t ,  have been c o n t r i t e , and have c o n f e s s e d t h e i r s i n , they have not y e t l e a r n e d t h a t s t i l l more i s r e q u i r e d o f man. t h a t " t o s t a n d approv'd  i n s i g h t of God" r e q u i r e s more than p a s s i v e  s u b m i s s i o n t o the w i l l o f God. job  They have n o t y e t l e a r n e d  They must l e a r n , and i t i s M i c h a e l ' s  t o t e a c h them, t h a t f a i t h f u l s e r v i c e t o God demands human a c t i v i t y .  Man must do a l l t h a t l i e s i n h i s power t o augment t h e g l o r y o f God. must be an a c t i v e and e n e r g e t i c worker on God's b e h a l f .  Departure  He from  68 e v i l and c o n v e r s i o n t o good a r e n o t a s i m p l e m a t t e r o f p a s s i v e obedience. On t h e c o n t r a r y , they e n t a i l — i n d e e d d e m a n d — w i l l f u l and a c t i v e on the p a r t o f man.  service  Whatever t h e o p p o s i t i o n might be, and r e g a r d l e s s  o f t h e d i f f i c u l t i e s t o be f a c e d , man has a p o s i t i v e duty t o c o n t i n u e the struggle.  Adam and Eve must l e a r n t h a t t h e path i s n o t e a s i l y f o l l o w e d ,  t h a t the r o a d l e a d i n g t o God i s h a r d t o w a l k and w i l l demand a l l s t r e n g t h and power o f w i l l .  their  The good i s n o t t o be a t t a i n e d w i t h o u t  arduous and p a i n f u l l a b o r , and M i c h a e l ' s m i s s i o n i s t o make t h i s v i v i d l y c l e a r t o Adam and Eve.  I t i s f o r t h i s reason thatxthe Archangel's  announcement t h a t Eden must be v a c a t e d i s made so p a i n f u l .  Adam and Eve  cannot, i n f a c t , pursue t h e good w i t h o u t s u f f e r i n g ; i t i s n o t an easy or a p a i n l e s s quest.  T h i s i s demonstrated  even b e f o r e Adam and Eve  are informed of t h e i r e x p u l s i o n . When God announces Adam and Eve's banishment, they have l o s t t h e i r happiness disobedience.  he p o i n t s o u t t h a t  ( i n n o c e n c e ) and i m m o r t a l i t y by t h e i r  But He a l s o announces t h a t an escape  from m i s e r y i s  p o s s i b l e f o r Adam and Eve. God w i l l g i v e them m o r t a l p a i n and i m m o r t a l happiness.  F o r man, t h e n ,  . . . Death becomes H i s f i n a l remedy, and a f t e r L i f e T r i ' d i n sharp t r i b u l a t i o n , and r e f i n ' d By F a i t h and f a i t h f u l works, t o second L i f e , Wak't i n the r e n o v a t i o n o f t h e j u s t , Resigns him up w i t h Heav'n and E a r t h renew'd. ( X I . 61-67)  Man's l o t , however, i s n o t w h o l l y p a i n f u l o r m i s e r a b l e , though M i l t o n ' s God has a n awkward h a b i t o f making i t appear so. To judge from God's  69 words, l i f e becomes a p a i n f u l and w h o l l y u n p l e a s a n t  n e c e s s i t y which i s  o f f s e t o n l y by t h e h a p p i n e s s rewarded a t the end o f a v i r t u o u s l i f e . The h a p p i n e s s ,  o f c o u r s e , i s s u f f i c i e n t t o make the p a i n b e a r a b l e .  But  God makes i t c l e a r t h a t human l i f e may be " r e f i n ' d " by f a i t h and f a i t h f u l works, and t h i s i s the b a s i s o f the p a r a d i s e " h a p p i e r f a r " M i c h a e l u l t i m a t e l y promises t o Adam and Eve.  Human l i f e , we may assume, t h e n ,  can be o t h e r than m i s e r a b l e o r p a i n f u l . how t h i s may be a c c o m p l i s h e d .  M i c h a e l ' s t a s k i s t o show Adam  He must show them t h a t human l i f e ,  f r a u g h t w i t h p a i n and s u f f e r i n g , i s w o r t h w h i l e . to Adam t h a t l i f e  though  He must make i t c l e a r  can be a b l e s s i n g o r a c u r s e , t h a t , p r o p e r l y armed  w i t h f a i t h , man's e x i s t e n c e need n o t be w r e t c h e d .  The A r c h a n g e l  must  demonstrate t o Adam how man can v i n d i c a t e h i m s e l f i n t h e eyes o f God and how he c a n e a r n t h e p r a i s e o f God.  From M i c h a e l ' s  the w o r l d and h i s prophecy o f t h e w o r l d ' s  long h i s t o r y o f  f u t u r e , Adam a c q u i r e s , o r  s h o u l d a c q u i r e , a knowledge o f h i m s e l f — o f man.  H i s c a p a c i t y f o r heroism  depends on h i s a b i l i t y t o comprehend M i c h a e l ' s l e s s o n .  He must l e a r n  t h a t i t remains a m a t t e r o f p e r s o n a l c h o i c e whether he i s b e s t i a l o r d i g n i f i e d , depraved o r magnanimous.  Adam must understand  what man's  new d u t i e s and r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s a r e . B e f o r e M i c h a e l ' s r e v e l a t i o n o f God's grand d e s i g n f o r man, Adam i s p r e s e n t e d be f o r g i v e n .  t o us as happy i n the e x p e c t a t i o n t h a t h i s s i n w i l l  He presumes t h a t God w i l l be. m e r c i f u l and t h a t h a p p i n e s s  i s w i t h i n h i s grasp.  Adam's presumption i s c o r r e c t , b u t he e r r s i n  t h i n k i n g t h a t h i s own r e g e n e r a t i o n and h a p p i n e s s a r e imminent.  I n few  words M i c h a e l d e s t r o y s Adam's i l l u s i o n s and hopes o f a n easy v i c t o r y .  70 Adam, Heav'n's h i g h behest no P r e f a c e needs: S u f f i c i e n t t h a t t h y P r a y e r s a r e h e a r d , and Death, Then due by sentence when thou d i d s t t r a n s g r e s s , D e f e a t e d o f h i s s e i z u r e many days G i v ' n thee of Grace, w h e r e i n thou mayst r e p e n t , And one bad a c t w i t h many deeds w e l l done May'st c o v e r : w e l l may then t h y L o r d appeas'd Redeem thee q u i t e from Death's r a p a c i o u s c l a i m ; But l o n g e r i n t h i s P a r a d i s e t o d w e l l P e r m i t s n o t ; to remove thee I am come, And send thee from the Garden f o r t h t o t i l l The ground whence thou wast t a k ' n , f i t t e r S o i l . (XI. 251-62) The e f f e c t t h i s has on Adam and Eve i s s t a g g e r i n g . his  When Adam r e g a i n s  composure, however, he a s k s the A r c h a n g e l what more of m i s e r y  man  must b e a r , and M i c h a e l r e p l i e s t h a t Adam can  . . . good w i t h bad E x p e c t t o h e a r , s u p e r n a l Grace c o n t e n d i n g W i t h s i n f u l n e s s of Men; t h e r e b y t o l e a r n True p a t i e n c e , and t o temper j o y w i t h f e a r And p i o u s sorrow, e q u a l l y i n u r ' d By m o d e r a t i o n e i t h e r s t a t e t o b e a r , P r o s p e r o u s or a d v e r s e : so s h a l t thou l e a d S a f e s t t h y l i f e , and b e s t p r e p a r ' d endure Thy m o r t a l passage when i t comes. ( X I . 358-67)  In  the h i s t o r y of the w o r l d M i c h a e l shows and r e l a t e s t o Adam, m i s e r y  and h o r r o r a r e the scenes w h i c h predominate. by i t s r e l a t i v e absence. old,  The "good" i s most remarkable  Adam w i t n e s s e s murder, the p a i n s o f growing  the h o r r i b l e r e s u l t s o f s e n s u a l p l e a s u r e , carnage, b u t c h e r y , l u s t ,  and d e p r a v i t y .  Man's i n h u m a n i t y t o man  and man's b e s t i a l i t y a r e the  f e a t u r e a t t r a c t i o n s of M i c h a e l ' s g r i m s p e c t a c l e . Adam l e a r n s t h a t f o r v i r t u o u s men t h a t c e r t a i n men  But from a l l t h i s h o r r o r  something more i s p o s s i b l e .  can be a c c e p t e d by God and can p l e a s e God.  t h a t God c a r e s enough f o r i n d i v i d u a l men  He He  learns  discovers  t h a t he w i l l not d e s t r o y a l l  71 men.  Adam l e a r n s , moreover, t h a t some men can be heroes o f God. Michael  r e l a t e s the c a r e e r s o f Enoch and Noah t o show Adam the  path the v i r t u o u s man must f o l l o w .  Both men a r e unshakeable i n t h e i r  f a i t h , and a r e n o t swayed by the o p i n i o n s o f the m u l t i t u d e .  Both men  have the courage o f t h e i r conviction.] they speak o u t a g a i n s t s i n and evil.  Thus, Enoch "spake much o f R i g h t and Wrong, / Of J u s t i c e , o f  R e l i g i o n , Truth and Peace, / and Judgment from above" ( X I . 666-668). H i s was an a c t i v e v i r t u e .  Noah's b e h a v i o r i s a l s o a case i n p o i n t .  Noah viewed the s i n f u l a c t i v i t i e s o f men and he " d e c l a r ' d " h i s d i s l i k e ; he The  " t e s t i f i ' d " a g a i n s t t h e i r ways, and he " p r e a c h ' d " ( X I . 720-724;. i t a l i c s are mine).  The i m p o r t a n t p o i n t i s t h a t b o t h Enoch and Noah  a c t i v e l y f o l l o w t h e l a w o f God, and a c t i v e l y s t r i v e t o d i s s e m i n a t e H i s truth.  Both, t o o , a r e w i l l i n g t o s u f f e r f o r the j u s t cause.  Both v i e w  the b e s t i a l a s p e c t o f man's b e i n g , and both s t r u g g l e t o make r e a s o n r u l e r over p a s s i o n .  From t h i s Adam l e a r n s t h a t the f a i t h f u l s e r v a n t  must be a n a c t i v e b e i n g i n o r d e r  t o be w o r t h y .  p e r i o d o f h i s t o r y man's own r i g h t e o u s n e s s s t r u g g l e t o show o t h e r s  I n the a n t e d i l u v i a n  i s n o t s u f f i c i e n t , f o r he must  the way t o God. Adam l e a r n s from the h i s t o r i e s  of Enoch and Noah t h a t t r u t h ' s s e r v i c e i s never easy. i n d e e d , a r e a p a r t o f t h e hero's c a r e e r . i s n o t f o r a l l men t o be s e r v a n t s most.  He d i s c o v e r s  from M i c h a e l ' s  P a i n and s u f f e r i n g ,  Adam l e a r n s , moreover, t h a t i t  o f God, f o r the t a s k i s too h a r d f o r h i s t o r y o f a n t e d i l u v i a n man t h a t men,  f o r the most p a r t , a r e w r e t c h e d c r e a t u r e s . can be s u p e r i o r b e i n g s — i f they r e c o g n i z e recognize  o f God  But he a l s o l e a r n s t h a t men t h e i r own w o r t h — i f  and r e v e r e n c e t h e image o f the d i v i n e i n themselves.  they Adam  l e a r n s t h a t he c a n be e i t h e r d i g n i f i e d o r b e s t i a l . and i t remains f o r h i m t o choose which he w i l l  He has been b o t h ,  be now.  The magnanimous  man r e c o g n i z e s h i s s u p e r i o r i t y by h i s demonstrated a b i l i t y t o p e r s e v e r e i n t h e cause o f t r u t h .  From the f i r s t p a r t o f M i c h a e l ' s h i s t o r y Adam  d i s c o v e r s man's d u a l i t y o f n a t u r e . e i t h e r man o r b e a s t .  He f i n d s o u t t h a t h e , t o o , can be  He c a n remain wretched o r depraved, o r he c a n  prove h i m s e l f worthy i n God's eyes and i n h i s own.  Raphael had warned  him o f the r e s u l t s man's f a i l u r e t o l i v e by r e a s o n would have. now shows h i m the r e s u l t s .  Michael  H o r r i f i e d by what he s e e s , and shamed by  the knowledge t h a t he i s the f i r s t cause o f t h e m i s e r y and wretchedness he w i t n e s s e s , Adam has p a i n f u l l y a c q u i r e d s e l f - k n o w l e d g e . initial  s t e p i n h i s process o f becoming magnanimous.  T h i s i s the  The second and  t h i r d s t e p s a r e more complex, f o r they r e q u i r e t h a t Adam be aware o f God's grand d e s i g n f o r man. As a C h r i s t i a n poet, M i l t o n was o b l i g a t e d t o make h i s h e r o i c man a C h r i s t i a n .  Though t h i s may sound a l i t t l e  l e a s t s e l f - e v i d e n t , i t i s not.  fatuous here, or a t  The problem, as B u r t o n K u r t h has demon-  s t r a t e d , was t h a t the e x p l o i t s o f t h e O l d Testament f i g u r e s were n o t s a t i s f a c t o r y models f o r the C h r i s t i a n h e r o .  The c a r e e r s o f these men  and women were inadequate because t h e i n d i v i d u a l s d i d n o t know o f God's 15 o v e r a l l d e s i g n , t h e course o f u n i v e r s a l h i s t o r y . magnanimity,  True h e r o i s m o r  as M i l t o n u n d e r s t o o d i t , was n o t , i n f a c t , p o s s i b l e  the coming o f C h r i s t .  until  Because Adam i s i n f o r m e d o f t h e course o f u n i v e r s a l  h i s t o r y , because he l e a r n s o f the cosmic s t r u g g l e between good and e v i l , however, he has the o p p o r t u n i t y t o be a h e r o i c man.  Adam l e a r n s o f C h r i s t '  73 m i n i s t r y , h i s c r u c i f i x i o n , h i s r e s u r r e c t i o n , and h i s second coming, and i s thus equipped w i t h the same i n f o r m a t i o n the C h r i s t i a n hero i s r e q u i r e d to have i n o r d e r  t o be t r u l y h e r o i c .  This w i l l be made c l e a r e r by a  b r i e f e x a m i n a t i o n o f the C h r i s t i a n v i e w o f h i s t o r y . A f t e r Adam and Eve's d i s o b e d i e n c e  man l i v e s i n a s t a t e o f s i n .  H i s c a p a c i t y t o r e a s o n has d i m i n i s h e d and he must s t r u g g l e t o overcome his  passions.  I n De D o c t r i n a C h r i s t i a n a M i l t o n contended t h a t man's s i n 16  had  l e s s e n e d man's power t o determine "the c h i e f good".  c o n d i t i o n demanded t h a t he be on g u a r d , f o r as M i c h a e l  Man's s i n f u l t e l l s Adam,  Since t h y o r i g i n a l lapse, true L i b e r t y I s l o s t , which always w i t h r i g h t Reason d w e l l s Twinn'd, and from h e r h a t h no d i v i d u a l b e i n g : Reason i n man o b s c u r ' d , o r n o t obey'd, Immediately i n o r d i n a t e d e s i r e s And u p s t a r t P a s s i o n s c a t c h the Government From Reason, and t o s e r v i t u d e reduce Man t i l l then f r e e . ( X I I . 83-90) Because o f man's i n h e r e n t d e p r a v i t y , h i s i n a b i l i t y t o r e a s o n r i g h t l y , God  revealed His w i l l  t o men through prophets.  f o l l o w God's l a w as r e v e a l e d , f o r w i t h o u t i n t o s i n f u l behavior.  Men were o b l i g a t e d t o  the law men would soon l a p s e  A man's s e l f - k n o w l e d g e amounted t o r e c o g n i t i o n  of h i s own need f o r the l a w , f o r t h i s was t h e b a r r i e r which prevented him  from d e s c e n d i n g t o a l o w e r , b e s t i a l form o f b e i n g .  Theoretically,  men c o u l d be aware o f t h e i r own d i g n i t y by how w e l l they adhered t o the precepts  o f the law. That i s , men were aware o f t h e i r d i g n i t y by t h e i r  obedience t o God's w i l l as t r a n s m i t t e d by the law. They c o u l d , i n a somewhat r e s t r i c t e d sense, be magnanimous. pursue the honor and g l o r y o f God b e f o r e  T h e o r e t i c a l l y , man c o u l d a l s o t h e coming o f C h r i s t .  His pursuit  74 of g l o r y , however, was d i r e c t e d t o the l e a d e r s h i p o f God's chosen people. That i s , he c o u l d honor o r g l o r i f y God by e n f o r c i n g God's l a w and d i r e c t i n g H i s people i n t h e i r w o r s h i p o f God. are a l s o c i r c u m s c r i b e d  But the p u r s u i t o f honor and g l o r y  w h i l e man i s l i v i n g i n s i n .  The same g u l f  that  e x i s t e d between heaven and e a r t h i n the s t a t e o f innocence i s s t i l l present.  Man's l i f e i s s h a r p l y s e p a r a t e d from God and from heaven, and  the g l o r y he pursues i s e a r t h l y g l o r y (the Kingdom o f I s r a e l ) t h a t w i l l p l e a s e God.  Magnanimity as c o n t e m p l a t i o n i s n o t p o s s i b l e f o r man w h i l e he  lives i n sin. God  He was t o o depraved ( s i n f u l ) t o a s p i r e t o knowledge o f  i n this l i f e .  C o n t e m p l a t i o n , the i n t i m a t e knowledge o f and u n i o n  w i t h God, was the end o f a v i r t u o u s l i f e ,  the reward f o r obedience.  Knowledge o f God was p o s s i b l e f o r o n l y a few men, f o r those e s p e c i a l l y chosen by God t o be H i s p r o p h e t s . contemplation i n t h i s l i f e .  Man's l o t , however, d i d n o t p e r m i t  C h r i s t ' s coming changed a l l o f t h i s .  W i t h the ADVENT the law was r e p l a c e d one  by a new covenant, a " b e t t e r "  i n M i l t o n ' s v i e w , f o r , as M i c h a e l t e l l s Adam, the l a w i s a temporary  measure, and i m p e r f e c t  ( X I I . 300-306).  The new d i s p e n s a t i o n  placed  emphasis on the inward man, and man proved h i s obedience by f a i t h  rather  than by s t r i c t obedience t o the law.  Under the l a w , those who t r u s t e d i n God were j u s t i f i e d by f a i t h i n d e e d , but not w i t h o u t the works o f the law . .... . The g o s p e l , on the c o n t r a r y , j u s t i f i e s by f a i t h w i t h o u t the works o f t h e law. Wherefore, we b e i n g f r e e d from the works o f the l a w , no l o n g e r f o l l o w the l e t t e r , b u t t h e 17  s p i r i t ; d o i n g the works o f f a i t h , n o t o f the law. The  new covenant d i f f e r e d from the o l d a l s o i n p l a c i n g s p e c i a l emphasis  on man's f r e e c h o i c e .  As M i l t o n  explains,  75 Moses imposed the l e t t e r , or e x t e r n a l law, even on those who were not w i l l i n g to r e c e i v e i t ; whereas C h r i s t w r i t e s the i n w a r d law of God by h i s S p i r i t on the h e a r t s of b e l i e v e r s , and l e a d s them as w i l l i n g followers. 1 8  Because of t h i s new  emphasis on freedom of c h o i c e , the a c q u i s i t i o n of  s e l f - k n o w l e d g e becomes s t r e n u o u s . and If  dignified.  of S a t a n . in  More i m p o r t a n t l y , men  they a c c e p t C h r i s t as the Son  s e r v i c e of God; Man  Men  can be e i t h e r depraved or worthy can be e i t h e r f o r or a g a i n s t  of God  i f they deny Him,  they become workers i n the  they become workers i n the  can a t t a i n a sense of w o r t h by h i s a b i l i t y to p e r s e v e r e  knowledge thus t a k e s on a whole new,  and broader meaning.  self-  Man's l i f e  l o n g e r r e s t r i c t e d i n the sense t h a t h i s l i f e i s e n t i r e l y a means  of o b t a i n i n g h i s own the means by which man  s a l v a t i o n or damnation. can g l o r i f y God.  becomes devoted t o the s e r v i c e of God, pursues honor and g l o r y . The  new  t o know God  men  now  had  He  R a t h e r , human l i f e becomes  The v i r t u o u s man's l i f e n a t u r a l l y and  the s u p e r i o r man  actively  i s magnanimous.  d i s p e n s a t i o n C h r i s t o f f e r e d a l s o made i t p o s s i b l e f o r a l l  men  by f a i t h f u l l y a c c e p t i n g J e s u s C h r i s t as the Son.  the p o t e n t i a l f o r c o n t e m p l a t i o n .  c a r e f u l t o p o i n t out t h a t p e r f e c t i o n was n o n e t h e l e s s makes i t c l e a r t h a t men presence w h i l e man  service  the s t r u g g l e a g a i n s t e v i l , and magnanimity i n the c o n t e x t of  i s no  God.  on e a r t h .  Though M i l t o n was  All very  not p o s s i b l e i n t h i s l i f e ,  he  can i m p e r f e c t l y e x p e r i e n c e the d i v i n e  By becoming " i n g r a f t e d " i n C h r i s t , the r e g e n e r a t e  can be r e b o r n i n t o a b e t t e r and h i g h e r k i n d of l i f e , a "newness" of  l i f e w h i c h i s more s p i r i t u a l , more  contemplative.  76 NEWNESS OF LIFE i s that by which we are s a i d to l i v e unto God. . . . The primary functions of the new l i f e are comprehension of s p i r i t u a l things, and love of h o l i n e s s . And as the power of e x e r c i s i n g these functions was weakened and i n a manner destroyed by the s p i r i t u a l death /man's disobedience^, so i s the understanding restored i n great part to i t s p r i m i t i v e clearness, and the w i l l to i t s p r i m i t i v e l i b e r t y , by the new s p i r i t u a l l i f e i n C h r i s t . ^ By becoming "implanted" i n C h r i s t , the b e l i e v e r a t t a i n s some knowledge of God. Indeed, as Jesus t o l d the Pharisees: "the Kingdom of God i s w i t h i n you" (Luke XVII, 21).  But the C h r i s t i a n can know God i n another  way too. The Holy S p i r i t walks w i t h man on earth.  The t h i r d member of  the T r i n i t y serves as man's comforter, and as man's l i n k w i t h the divine being.  When Adam asks Michael how i t i s that men can be strong enough  to s u f f e r persecution f o r truth's sake, the Archangel t e l l s him that God . . . to h i s own a Comforter w i l l send, The promise of the Father, who s h a l l dwell His S p i r i t w i t h i n them, and the Law of F a i t h Working through love, upon t h / i r hearts s h a l l w r i t e , To guide them i n a l l t r u t h , and a l s o arm With s p i r i t u a l Armor, able t o r e s i s t Satan s a s s a u l t s , and quench h i s f i e r y d a r t s , What Man can do against them, not a f r a i d , Though t o the death, against such c r u e l t i e s With inward consolations recompens't, And o f t supported so as s h a l l amaze Thir proudest persecutors. . . . ( X I I . 486-497) 1  What we might choose to c a l l f a i t h i s , f o r the b e l i e v e r , tantamount to a knowledge of God. I f man wholeheartedly accepts C h r i s t , he has a t t a i n e d some knowledge of the d i v i n e , f o r the C h r i s t i a n accepts as t r u t h that: "Blessed are the pure i n h e a r t :  f o r they s h a l l see God" (Matthew V,8). 20 Because Adam i s informed of a l l of t h i s , he can be a hero.  77 Equipped w i t h s e l f - k n o w l e d g e a sense o f w o r t h o r d i g n i t y .  (the n a t u r e o f man), Adam c a n possess  F u r t h e r , knowing t h a t man's l i f e i s a s m a l l  p a r t o f the cosmic o r u n i v e r s a l s t r u g g l e between good and e v i l , Adam c a n pursue the honor o r g l o r y o f God.  And, armed w i t h f a i t h , Adam c a n  a p p a r e n t l y contemplate God, can a c h i e v e a p a r t i a l o r i m p e r f e c t knowledge o f God.  Adam c a n be magnanimous.  Though i t i s t r u e t h a t c e r t a i n chosen  men l i v i n g b e f o r e t h e time o f C h r i s t c o u l d be h e r o i c because i n d i r e c t communication w i t h God, f o r t h e masses o f men r e a l h e r o i s m was an impossibility. men.  C h r i s t i a n i t y o f f e r e d the p o t e n t i a l f o r r e a l h e r o i s m t o a l l  C h r i s t showed men how they c o u l d g l o r i f y God and showed them how  they c o u l d g a i n some knowledge o f God w h i l e they remained on e a r t h . Indeed, Adam's second e d u c a t i o n , h i s p r e p a r a t i o n f o r h e r o i s m , o n l y r e a l l y b e g i n s when M i c h a e l t e l l s him o f C h r i s t ' s m i n i s t r y and e x p l a i n s how the inward  paradise "happier  f a r " might be r e a l i z e d .  When he l e a r n s t h a t C h r i s t ' s m i s s i o n i s t o d e s t r o y e v i l , Adam expects  t o hear o f a m a g n i f i c e n t  p h y s i c a l combat between t h e Son and  Satan.  M i c h a e l i n f o r m s him, however, t h a t the b a t t l e i s n o t t o be h e r o i c  i n any c o n v e n t i o n a l sense o f t h e term.  Adam i s i n t r o d u c e d t o a "more  h e r o i c " c o n t e s t i n w h i c h good overcomes e v i l n o t by s t r e n g t h b u t by weakness.  He l e a r n s t h a t ". . . God h a t h chosen t h e f o o l i s h t h i n g s o f  the w o r l d t o confound the -wise; and God h a t h chosen the weak t h i n g s o f the w o r l d t o confound the m i g h t y " ( I C o r i n t h i a n s I , 2 7 ) .  The C h r i s t i a n  m y s t i q u e w i t h i t s p a r a d o x i c a l emphasis on g r e a t s t r e n g t h i n weakness, i s the l e s s o n Adam must l e a r n . d i v i n e weakness.  C h r i s t w i l l overcome S a t a n i c s t r e n g t h w i t h  He w i l l r e s i s t and r e j e c t s i n and w i l l d i e o n l y t o l i v e  78 again.  H i s a p p a r e n t weakness, h i s p a t i e n t endurance o f p a i n , s u f f e r i n g ,  and d e a t h , becomes h i s g r e a t s t r e n g t h , f o r by r e s i s t i n g s i n and by b e i n g r e s u r r e c t e d , he proves t h a t e v i l ' s g r e a t s t r e n g t h powerless. victory.  ( S i n and Death) i s  O s t e n s i b l e weakness i s r e a l l y g r e a t s t r e n g t h and has t h e f i n a l C h r i s t i s h e r o i c because he v o l u n t a r i l y o f f e r s t o s u f f e r and  to d i e so t h a t he might redeem man and d e s t r o y e v i l .  Man, by f o l l o w i n g  C h r i s t ' s example, can a l s o c o n t r i b u t e t o the d e s t r u c t i o n o f e v i l .  Man  can be f r e e from s i n ("dead t o s i n " ) and can be r e s u r r e c t e d w i t h C h r i s t . The  C h r i s t i a n h e r o ' s d u t y , t h e n , i s t o p a t i e n t l y endure t h e torments o f  e v i l , and t h e r e b y a i d i n the d e s t r u c t i o n o f e v i l .  Adam l e a r n s t h a t he  can be a p a r t o f the u n i v e r s a l c o n f l i c t , t h a t he c a n c o n t r i b u t e t o e v i l ' s destruction.  Knowing t h i s , Adam c a n have a sense o f purpose and a con-  v i c t i o n of h i s own w o r t h .  He c a n devote h i s l i f e t o t h e p u r s u i t o f God's  g l o r y and honor. For t h e C h r i s t i a n , t o f o l l o w C h r i s t i s t o g l o r i f y the F a t h e r ,  ". . . J e s u s s a i d , ( s i c . ) Now i s t h e Son o f man g l o r i f i e d , and God i s g l o r i f i e d i n him. I f God be g l o r i f i e d i n him, God s h a l l a l s o g l o r i f y h i m i n h i m s e l f , and s h a l l s t r a i g h t w a y g l o r i f y him. (John X I I I , 30-31)  Man's a b i l i t y t o p e r s e v e r e i n t h e cause o f r i g h t e o u s n e s s may mean p e r s e c u t i o n ,  pleases  and g l o r i f i e s God.  g l o r i f i e d by any good and v i r t u o u s a c t .  even though t h i s  Indeed, God c a n be  M i l t o n contended t h a t the H o l y  S c r i p t u r e s were w r i t t e n f o r the "promotion o f t h e g l o r y o f God, and the 21 s a l v a t i o n o f mankind." i n "good w o r k s " and s e r v e d  The t r u e w o r s h i p ( l o v e ) o f the d i v i n e c o n s i s t e d t o promote the g l o r y o f God.  79  GOOD WORKS a r e THOSE WHICH WE PERFORM BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD WORKING IN US THROUGH TRUE FAITH, TO THE GLORY OF GOD, THE ASSURED HOPE OF OUR OWN SALVATION, AND THE EDIFICATION OF' OUR NEIGHBOR. 22  For t h e C h r i s t i a n h e r o , t h e n , l i f e i s a b a t t l e a g a i n s t the f o r c e s o f e v i l which, i f fought strenuously As M i c h a e l (XII.  and s u c c e s s f u l l y , s e r v e s t o g l o r i f y God.  t e l l s Adam, "add / Deeds t o t h y knowledge answerable . . . . "  581-582)  We thus l e a r n t h a t Adam has a p o s i t i v e duty t o execute  i n l i f e ; he i s t o be a s e r v a n t o f God w o r k i n g f o r t h e g l o r y o f God. He i s t o be magnanimous. Whether we c a n c o n s i d e r Adam a p o t e n t i a l l y c o n t e m p l a t i v e  being  when he l e a v e s Eden, however, depends on t h e p r e c i s e meaning we a s s i g n to "Providence".  I have s a i d t h a t Adam, because he i s aware o f C h r i s t ' s  r e d e m p t i v e m i s s i o n , and because he i s aware o f God's grand d e s i g n , may have t h e c a p a c i t y f o r knowing God w h i l e he (Adam) y e t remains on e a r t h . M i l t o n p o i n t s o u t i n De D o c t r i n a C h r i s t i a n a , however, t h a t God's c o m f o r t e r 23 was  " s e n t by the Son from the f a t h e r . "  Adam, e x i s t i n g b e f o r e Spirit's aid.  M i l t o n does n o t say whether  C h r i s t ' s coming, had t h e advantage o f t h e H o l y  I t h i n k t h a t M i l t o n would argue he d i d not.  Adam would  n o t , t h e n , have the same c a p a c i t y f o r h e r o i s m t h a t the b e l i e v i n g C h r i s t i a n did.  M i l t o n would a c c e p t t h i s o p i n i o n , I b e l i e v e , because i t would make  C h r i s t ' s advent more m e a n i n g f u l t o men.  That i s , p e r f e c t h e r o i s m i s o n l y  p o s s i b l e w i t h t h e p h y s i c a l a r r i v a l o f C h r i s t , and C h r i s t , t h e r e f o r e , deserves a l l the more thanks and p r a i s e f o r h i s goodness.  Adam has o n l y  c o n s c i e n c e ( r i g h t r e a s o n ) and " P r o v i d e n c e " t o guide him. H i s power t o r e a s o n , because r e g e n e r a t e d , w i l l enable h i m t o d i f f e r e n t i a t e between good and e v i l , b u t whether he has any k i n d o f c o n t a c t w i t h the d i v i n e presence  80  we cannot know f o r c e r t a i n . to the Holy S p i r i t .  P r o v i d e n c e i s the o n l y p o s s i b l e a l t e r n a t i v e  In,De D o c t r i n a C h r i s t i a n a M i l t o n d e f i n e d  providence  as God's government o f the u n i v e r s e , as the d i v i n e p r i n c i p l e making f o r order.  There c a n be no doubt t h a t e v e r y t h i n g i n the w o r l d , by t h e b e a u t y o f i t s o r d e r , and e v i d e n c e o f a d e t e r m i n a t e and b e n e f i c i a l purpose w h i c h pervades i t , t e s t i f i e s t h a t some supreme e f f i c i e n t Power must have p r e - e x i s t e d , by w h i c h the whole was o r d a i n e d f o r a s p e c i f i c end. There c a n a l s o be no'.;doubt t h a t M i l t o n b e l i e v e d Adam l e f t p a r a d i s e t o d w e l l i n a b e n e v o l e n t u n i v e r s e where God p e r m i t t e d e v i l t h a t man c o u l d prove h i s r i g h t e o u s n e s s . could a c t u a l l y experience  t o f l o u r i s h so  But whether p r e - C h r i s t i a n man  the d i v i n e p r e s e n c e , c o u l d a c t u a l l y a c q u i r e  any knowledge o f God, i s a d e b a t a b l e p o i n t and one t h a t my remarks here w i l l not l i k e l y resolve. very l i k e l y for  I w i s h t o p o i n t o u t , however, t h a t Adam was  incapable of contemplation—of  that r e q u i r e d the mediation  of C h r i s t .  complete and p e r f e c t h e r o i s m — R e g a r d l e s s o f whether we  choose t o c a l l Adam a p e r f e c t M i l t o n i c hero or,-not, however, one f a c t i s sure:  Adam i s more h e r o i c a f t e r the f a l l than he was b e f o r e  new l i f e strength.  i t . His  i s a c h a l l e n g e which he knows w i l l demand a l l h i s w i l l and h i s He has a g r e a t e r sense o f w o r t h now because he knows t h a t he  can be a s o l d i e r o f God i n the war a g a i n s t e v i l .  He knows t h a t he has  been, and s t i l l i s weak, b u t knows, t o o , t h a t he c a n be s t r o n g . a new sense o f purpose he c a n be s t r o n g e r than b e f o r e . had b l i s s f u l  l i f e c r e a t e d f o r him;  Indeed, b e f o r e  Armed w i t h  I n p a r a d i s e , Adam  on e a r t h he must c r e a t e h i s own.  t h e f a l l , Adam's w o r l d was b e f o r e him and he owned i t a l l .  Now i t i s f o r him t o choose h i s own " p l a c e o f r e s t . "  Felix  culpa!  FOOTNOTES:  CHAPTER I I I  1 Works, X I V , pp. 181-83. 2 A r t h u r 0. L o v e j o y , " M i l t o n and the Paradox o f the F o r t u n a t e F a l l " i n Essays i n t h e H i s t o r y o f Ideas (New Y o r k : G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1968), pp. 294-95. 3 B a s i l W i l l e y , The S e v e n t e e n t h - C e n t u r y Background Doubleday and Company, I n c . , 1953), pp. 250-51. 4  Ibid.,  5  W o r k s , X I V , p. 251.  (New Y o r k :  p. 255.  6  ?  8  Ibid.,  p. 343.  Ibid., Ibid.  p. 367.  9 I b i d . , p. 379. 10 C.S. L e w i s , A P r e f a c e t o " P a r a d i s e L o s t " (New Y o r k : U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1961), p. 134.  Oxford  ^ I n the second book o f De D o c t r i n a C h r i s t i a n a M i l t o n d i s c u s s e s prudence as one o f t h e d u t i e s owing t o b o t h God and man. B e l o n g i n g t o the u n d e r s t a n d i n g , prudence i s " t h a t v i r t u e by w h i c h we d i s c e r n what i s proper t o be done under t h e v a r i o u s c i r c u m s t a n c e s o f time and p l a c e " (Works, X V I I , p. 3 7 ) . 12 Works, XV, p. 385. 13 E.M.W. T i l l y a r d a r g u e s , and w i t h some j u s t i f i c a t i o n , t h a t Adam's p a s s i o n a t e o u t c r y a g a i n s t women (X. 888-908) " i s o f c o u r s e M i l t o n ' s own v o i c e , unable through t h e urgency o f p e r s o n a l e x p e r i e n c e t o keep s i l e n t . " T h i s o p i n i o n , i t seems t o me, f a i l s t o r e c o g n i z e t h a t Adam i s w h o l l y depraved when he speaks. B e f o r e Adam c a n be r e g e n e r a t e d , b e f o r e he c a n , i n f a c t , become n o b l e , he must acknowledge h i s own g u i l t as the c h i e f one. Adam i s never a l l o w e d t o f o r g e t t h a t i t was h i s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t o manage h i s w i f e . S e e : E.M.W. T i l l y a r d , M i l t o n (London: C h a t t o and Windus, 1956), P. 265.  82  14 ..Works, XV, p. 385. 15 K u r t h , M i l t o n and the Renaissance H e r o i c T r a d i t i o n , pp. 57-79. 16  W o r k s , XV, p.  206.  I b i d . , X V I , p. 151. 18 ... Ibid. 19 ... , I b i d . , p. 5. 1 7  T  T  20 A t the L a s t Supper J e s u s t o l d h i s d i s c i p l e s : "But the C o m f o r t e r , w h i c h i s the H o l y Ghost, whom the F a t h e r w i l l send i n my name, he s h a l l t e a c h you a l l t h i n g s , and b r i n g a l l t h i n g s to your remembrance, whatsoever I have s a i d unto y o u " (John XIV, 2 6 ) . 21 Works, XIV, p. 17. 22 Works, X V I I , p. 5. 24I b i d . , XIV, p. I b i d . , p. 27.  2 3  CHAPTER IV SAMSON:  MAGNANIMITY AGONISTES  For we o u r s e l v e s a r e as g r e a t enemies t o o u r s a l v a t i o n as e i t h e r t h e w o r l d o r t h e d i v e l . F o r o u r u n d e r s t a n d i n g , r e a s o n , w i l l and a f f e c t i o n s , a r e a l t o g e t h e r a g a i n s t u s . Our n a t u r a l wisdom i s an enemy unto u s . Our c o n c u p i s e n c e s and l u s t s do m i n i s t e r s t r e n g t h t o Satan's t e m p t a t i o n s . They a r e a l i n league w i t h S a t a n a g a i n s t u s . They take p a r t w i t h him, i n every t h i n g , a g a i n s t us and o u r s a l v a tion. They f i g h t a l under h i s s t a n d a r d , and r e c e i v e t h e i r pay o f him. This then goeth h a r d on o u r s i d e , t h a t t h e d i v e l l h a t h an inward p a r t y a g a i n s t u s : and we c a r r i e a l w a i e s w i t h i n us our g r e a t e s t enemie, w h i c h i s ever r e a d i e , n i g h t and day, t o b e t r a y us i n t o t h e hands o f Satan; y e t , t o u n b o l t the doore, and l e t h i m i n , t o c u t our t h r o a t s . Here then we see an huge army o f d r e a d f u l l enemies, and a v e r y L e g i o n o f d i v e l s , l y i n g i n ambush, a g a i n s t o u r s o u l e s . A r e n o t we t h e r f o r e poore w r e t c h e s , i n a most p i t t i f u l c a s e , w h i c h a r e thus b e s i e g e d on e v e r y - side? A r t h u r Dent The Plaine-Mans Path-way t o Heaven (1601)  To l o o k a t t h e c a r e e r o f a p r e - C h r i s t i a n man i n the hope o f d i s c o v e r i n g M i l t o n ' s f i n a l statement o f what c o n s t i t u t e s h e r o i c v i r t u e w o u l d seem t o c o n t r a d i c t a l l t h a t has been s a i d i n t h i s essay. o f Samson A g o n i s t e s , however, have a t t e m p t e d , and w i t h  Critics  considerable  s u c c e s s , t o show t h a t Samson, i n t h e f i n a l a n a l y s i s , i s M i l t o n ' s most s u c c e s s f u l r e n d e r i n g o f h e r o i c man.  W r i t i n g i n 1949, F.M. Krouse i n  h i s f u l l - l e n g t h study o f Samson A g o n i s t e s , p o i n t s o u t M i l t o n ' s Samson i s a model o f C h r i s t i a n h e r o i s m and v i r t u e .  M i l t o n , Krouse contends, drew  from a r i c h and v a r i e d l i t e r a r y t r a d i t i o n s u r r o u n d i n g  the b i b l i c a l  Samson,  and made h i s own p r o t a g o n i s t anf. exemplary image o f C h r i s t i a n v i r t u e f o r a l l men t o emulate.  Krouse w r i t e s :  84 The Samson we meet i n M i l t o n ' s p l a y i s a s a i n t , a champion o f God, a g r e a t h e r o , who, through h i s own f a u l t , has f a i l e d i n h i s v o c a t i o n , f a l l e n from v i r t u e and g r a c e , and s o r e l y r e p e n t e d .  Indeed, f o l l o w i n g Krouse's l e a d , more r e c e n t c r i t i c s o f M i l t o n ' s have made a c o n c e r t e d  tragedy  e f f o r t t o demonstrate t h a t the E n g l i s h poet's p l a y  c o u l d w e l l be a c h a p t e r  i n the New Testament.  W r i t i n g i n 1959, A.S.P. Woodhouse p o i n t s o u t t h a t the r e l i g i o n permeating Samson A g o n i s t e s  i s not Hebraic  but d i s t i n c t i v e l y C h r i s t i a n .  i  2  The t e n s i o n i n the poem i s between mans freedom and God's John M. Steadman, by a s t u t e and l e n g t h y r e f e r e n c e s  providence.  t o the t h e o l o g i c a l  w r i t i n g s o f M i l t o n ' s c o n t e m p o r a r i e s and t o M i l t o n ' s own d i s c u s s i o n o f C h r i s t i a n d o c t r i n e , r e v e a l s t h a t M i l t o n ' s Samson, though l i v i n g i n the o l d d i s p e n s a t i o n , can s t i l l be a "hero of f a i t h . "  Samson "conforms t o 3  the l a w o f the s p i r i t i n c o n t r a d i s t i n c t i o n w i t h t h e w r i t t e n l a w . "  The  f a c t t h a t Samson was a N a z a r i t e , a l l the c r i t i c s a g r e e , does n o t i n any way d e t r a c t from h i s p o t e n t i a l i t y f o r C h r i s t i a n h e r o i s m .  Because Samson  i s f a l l e n man whose p a i n f u l s u f f e r i n g does n o t make him d e s p a i r o f the f u l f i l m e n t o f God's promise t o him, he i s a s u i t a b l e model f o r t h e d e l i n e a t i o n of C h r i s t i a n heroism.  Samson conforms t o t h e h e r o i c  pattern  o u t l i n e d by B u r t o n K u r t h . I n t h e C h r i s t i a n v i e w , t h e r e was n o t o n l y the h e r o i s m o f the a c t i v e s t r u g g l e w i t h e v i l f o r c e s , b u t a l s o the h e r o i s m o f s a c r i f i c e and s u b m i s s i o n to t h e w i l l o f God i n o r d e r t h a t g r e a t e r good might be a c h i e v e d , the v i c t o r i o u s s u f f e r i n g o f the m a r t y r s and s a i n t s . F u r t h e r m o r e , the c o n t e s t w i t h e v i l was seen n o t o n l y as a t e s t o f the C h r i s t i a n h e r o ' s n o b i l i t y and s p i r i t u a l s t r e n g t h , but a l s o as the means whereby he might g a i n g r e a t e r wisdom and f a i t h . T r i a l and s u f f e r i n g began t o emerge as the c h i e f measures o f the C h r i s t i a n h e r o , whose v i r t u e and s t e a d f a s t n e s s were thus e x e m p l i f i e d and p r o v e d . ^  85 I t i s no l o n g e r s u b j e c t t o d i s p u t e , t h e n , t o r e g a r d M i l t o n ' s Samson as an exemplar o f C h r i s t i a n h e r o i s m . S a m s o n , though l i v i n g advent o f C h r i s t , c a n , a p p a r e n t l y ,  b e f o r e the  be a p e r f e c t M i l t o n i c h e r o .  A t r i s k o f a p p e a r i n g t o have c o n s t r u c t e d  a k i n d o f " s t r a w man"  argument by o u t l i n i n g the modern c r i t i c a l o p i n i o n c o n c e r n i n g M i l t o n ' s p l a y , I must p o i n t out t h a t I t h i n k the c r i t i c s have i g n o r e d one e x t r e m e l y important element:  M i l t o n ' s t r e a t m e n t o f the N a z a r i t e c l e a r l y shows  t h a t Samson's h e r o i s m i s i m p e r f e c t ,  imperfect  i n the sense t h a t Samson's  c o n t e m p o r a r i e s do n o t c o r r e c t l y u n d e r s t a n d M i l t o n ' s grounds f o r c o n s i d e r i n g Samson a h e r o .  Samson A g o n i s t e s ,  i n f a c t , c o n t a i n s an i m p l i c i t r e j e c t i o n  of Samson's p h y s i c a l h e r o i s m , and the poem thus embraces a s u b t l e b u t n o n e t h e l e s s grand i r o n y . temple i s a s y m b o l i c a c t . destroys  evil.  That i s , Samson's d e s t r u c t i o n o f the P h i l i s t i n e s ' Samson, by p u l l i n g down the p i l l a r s ,  symbolically  But i t i s h i s p h y s i c a l a c t o f d e s t r u c t i o n t h a t h i s f r i e n d s  p r a i s e ; they admire "might" and c a l l i t " h e r o i c v i r t u e . " I n Samson A g o n i s t e s ,  like  Paradise  L o s t , M i l t o n s e t out t o r e v e a l  the i n f e r i o r c o n d i t i o n i n which men l i v e d b e f o r e c a l l t h i s c h a p t e r "Magnanimity A g o n i s t e s "  the time o f C h r i s t .  f o r two r e a s o n s :  first,  I  Samson  i s magnanimous man who l o s e s h i s own sense o f w o r t h and must s t r u g g l e t o r e g a i n i t ; secondly,  the concept o f magnanimity i t s e l f i s on t r i a l i n  M i l t o n ' s p l a y , f o r M i l t o n demonstrates t h a t , u n t i l  C h r i s t ' s advent, true  h e r o i s m , magnanimity, was n e i t h e r u n d e r s t o o d nor r e c o g n i z e d  by men.  Samson, because d i r e c t l y chosen by God and because, we may assume, i n d i r e c t communication w i t h God, can be a bona f i d e C h r i s t i a n h e r o .  But  Samson's c o n t e m p o r a r i e s , not equipped w i t h the same i n t i m a t e knowledge o f  86 God t h a t Samson h a s , cannot comprehend Samson's h e r o i s m . When we f i r s t meet Samson, he i s t h e image o f f a l l e n humanity, the e i k o n o f depraved and s i n f u l man. f i r s t consideration.  The n a t u r e o f h i s s i n demands our  Samson knows t h a t he was b o r n "a p e r s o n s e p a r a t e t o 6  God,  /Design'd f o r g r e a t e x p l o i t s . . . " (31-32).  He knows, moreover,  t h a t h i s g r e a t s t r e n g t h was t h e g i f t o f God, g i v e n so t h a t Samson might g l o r i f y God by d e l i v e r i n g h i s people from t h e i r s l a v e r y , t o t h e P h i l i s t i n e s . B e f o r e h i s s i n , Samson knew, t h e n , t h a t he was a s u p e r i o r man, one whose l i f e was t o be d e d i c a t e d and devoted t o the s e r v i c e o f God. the s u p e r n a t u r a l c i r c u m s t a n c e s  surrounding  h i s b i r t h and because o f h i s  s u p e r n a t u r a l s t r e n g t h , Samson was o b l i g a t e d t o be c o n s c i o u s worth.  L i k e Adam, Samson f o r g o t o r i g n o r e d  r e s p o n s i b i l i t y ; he t h e r e b y r e p u d i a t e d h i s own w o r t h and d i g n i t y .  Indeed, Samson's b i t t e r c o m p l a i n t  i s f o c u s e d on t h i s m a t t e r :  t h a t he has b e t r a y e d h i m s e l f and, i m p l i c i t l y , God's t r u s t . the source God.  o f h i s own  H i s s i n r e s u l t e d from a f a i l u r e on h i s p a r t t o r e c o g n i z e h i s own  w o r t h and d i g n i t y as a s e r v a n t o f God. his  Because o f  he complains He has r e v e a l e d  o f h i s s t r e n g t h t o an i n f e r i o r , an enemy o f h i s people and h i s  Though Samson's f i r s t impulse  i s t o impute the f a u l t t o God (35-42),  he r e a l i z e s t h a t the weakness i s h i s own and u p b r a i d s  himself.  Whom have I t o c o m p l a i n o f b u t m y s e l f ? Who t h i s h i g h g i f t o f s t r e n g t h committed t o me, I n what p a r t l o d g ' d , how e a s i l y b e r e f t me, Under t h e s e a l o f s i l e n c e c o u l d n o t keep, But w e a k l y t o a woman must r e v e a l i t , O'ercome w i t h i m p o r t u n i t y and t e a r s . 0 impotence o f mind, i n body s t r o n g ! (46-52)  Samson's s i n , t h e n , amounts t o h i s f a i l u r e t o a c t as b e f i t s a s u p e r i o r man.  This c a n perhaps be made c l e a r e r by r e f e r e n c e t o De D o c t r i n a C h r i s t i a n a  7  8  where M i l t o n o u t l i n e s the v i c e s opposed t o magnanimity: p r i d e , and  ambitious  p u s i l l a n i m i t y . ^ Does Samson's s i n , i n the same way  spirit,  as Adam's,  r e v e a l t h a t he i s g u i l t y of any or a l l of t h e s e ? M i l t o n contended, by q u o t i n g from S c r i p t u r e , t h a t " f o r men s e a r c h t h e i r own  g l o r y i s not g l o r y " (Proverbs XXV,  be t o have an a m b i t i o u s  spirit.  He  i s not g u i l t y on t h i s a c c o u n t .  g u i l t h e r e , however, i s not w h o l l y a b s e n t .  repeatedly  p r a i s i n g h i s son f o r the l a t t e r ' s  t e m p t i n g Samson t o be a m b i t i o u s , g l o r y of God. in arranging  To do so would  M i l t o n ' s Samson, however, devoted h i s  l i f e to the p u r s u i t o f God's g l o r y . The  27).  to  I t i s Manoa's.  He,  by  'heroic' e x p l o i t s , i s a c t u a l l y  to pursue h i s own  g l o r y r a t h e r than the  F o r example, when Manoa b e l i e v e s he has Samson's r e l e a s e from the m i l l , he  been s u c c e s s f u l  says:  I t s h a l l be my d e l i g h t to tend h i s e y e s , And v i e w him s i t t i n g i n the house e n n o b l ' d W i t h a l l those h i g h e x p l o i t s by him a c h i e v ' d , And on h i s s h o u l d e r s waving down those l o c k s , That of a N a t i o n arm'd the s t r e n g t h c o n t a i n ' d (1490-1494)  ....  Samson's f a t h e r wants to g l o r i f y Samson and, v i c a r i o u s l y , h i m s e l f .  He  thus  c o m p l a i n s a g a i n s t God's j u s t i c e when he sees h i s son's w r e t c h e d c o n d i t i o n .  0 w h e r e f o r e d i d God g r a n t me my r e q u e s t , And as a b l e s s i n g w i t h such pomp adorn'd? Why are h i s g i f t s d e s i r a b l e ; t o tempt Our e a r n e s t P r a y e r s , t h e n , g i v ' n w i t h solemn hand As G r a c e s , draw a S c o r p i o n ' s t a i l b e h i n d ? For t h i s d i d t h ' A n g e l t w i c e descend? f o r t h i s O r d a i n d t h y n u r t u r e h o l y , as of a P l a n t ? S e l e c t and S a c r e d , G l o r i o u s f o r a w h i l e , The m i r a c l e of men: then i n an hour E n s n a r ' d , a s s a u l t e d , overcome, l e d bound Thy Foes' d e r i s i o n , C a p t i v e , Poor, and B l i n d , I n t o a Dungeon t h r u s t , to work w i t h S l a v e s ? (356-367) 1  88 I t m i g h t be argued i n Manoa's defence t h a t he i s a h e a r t b r o k e n o l d man whose l i f e has come c r a s h i n g down around him.  But M i l t o n , b e s i d e s  making  the o l d man blame God i n o r d e r t h a t Samson might be c o m p e l l e d t o r e a s o n t h a t the f a u l t i s n o t God's, makes i t c l e a r , t o o , t h a t the o l d man i s g u i l t y o f an a m b i t i o u s as Samson's f a t h e r .  spirit.  He wants g l o r y f o r Samson and f o r h i m s e l f  O b v i o u s l y Manoa does n o t u n d e r s t a n d the r e a l  nature  o f the s u p e r i o r man's p u r s u i t o f g l o r y . P r i d e , the second v i c e opposed t o magnanimity, i s a s i n of w h i c h both Samson and h i s f a t h e r a r e g u i l t y .  Samson d i f f e r s from h i s f a t h e r  i n t h i s , however, f o r Samson admits h i s g u i l t .  He e x p l a i n s :  . . . a f t e r some proof Of a c t s indeed h e r o i c , f a r beyond The Sons o f Anak, famous now and b l a z ' d , F e a r l e s s o f danger, l i k e a p e t t y God I w a l k ' d about admir'd o f a l l and dreaded On h o s t i l e ground, none d a r i n g my a f f r o n t . (526-531) I n De D o c t r i n a C h r i s t i a n a M i l t o n d e f i n e d p r i d e as "when a man  values  h i m s e l f w i t h o u t m e r i t , o r more h i g h l y than h i s m e r i t s deserve*, o r i s  g e l a t e d by some i n s i g n i f i c a n t c i r c u m s t a n c e . " the p h y s i c a l s t r e n g t h God had g i v e n him.  Samson p r i d e d h i m s e l f i n Samson's own m e r i t l a y i n h i s  adherence t o t h e cause o f t r u t h and the use o f h i s s t r e n g t h i n God's s e r v i c e — n o t i n the a c t s themselves. significance.  The s t r e n g t h , i n f a c t , was o f minor  I t had been t h e g i f t o f God, and Samson, t h e r e f o r e , had  no r i g h t t o p r i d e h i m s e l f on what God's s t r e n g t h c o u l d a c c o m p l i s h .  Samson,  i n d e e d , was e l a t e d by the a c t s t h e m s e l v e s , r a t h e r than by what the a c t s accomplished w i t h reference  t o God's g l o r y .  U n l i k e h i s s o n , Manoa does  not u n d e r s t a n d , as Samson u l t i m a t e l y does, t h a t the h e r o i c a c t s a r e n o t  89 i n themselves h e r o i c , t h a t the g l o r y Samson g a i n s i s h i s o n l y i n t r u s t , and  t h a t the f i n a l  g l o r y must be God's.  The o l d man thus r e f e r s t o h i s  son as "once g l o r i o u s " , "the m i r a c l e o f men".  He reminds Samson o f the  s i n f u l n e s s o f t a k i n g p a r t i n the P h i l i s t i a n c e l e b r a t i o n , p o i n t i n g out t o h i s son t h a t Samson w i l l  t h e r e b y d i s h o n o u r God.  i s as much f o r h i m s e l f as i t i s f o r God.  But Manoa's g r i e f  He c o m p l a i n s :  So Dagon s h a l l be m a g n i f i e d , and God, B e s i d e s whom i s no God, compar'd w i t h I d o l s , D i s g l o r i f i e d , blasphem'd, and had i n s c o r n By t h ' I d o l a t r o u s r o u t a^midst th£ir w i n e / Which t o have come t o pass by means o f t h e e , Samson, o f a l l t h y s u f f e r i n g s t h i n k the h e a v i e s t , Of a l l r e p r o a c h the most w i t h shame t h a t e v e r C o u l d have b e f a l l ' n thee and t h y F a t h e r ' s house. (440-447) Manoa's c o m p l a i n t ,  though he acknowledges t h a t the g r e a t shame w i l l  t o God, a l s o r e v e a l s t h a t he i s g u i l t y o f p r i d e .  That i s , Manoa i s ashamed  as much f o r h i m s e l f and h i s house as he i s f o r God. t h a t he wants g l o r y f o r h i s son's e x p l o i t s .  accrue  H i s shame r e v e a l s  Once more i t i s o b v i o u s t h a t  Manoa does n o t comprehend the r e a l n a t u r e o f the s u p e r i o r man's p u r s u i t of g l o r y . I t i s the t h i r d v i c e opposed t o magnanimity, p u s i l l a n i m i t y , which represents  Samson's g r a v e s t  offence,  i s t h e p r i n c i p a l cause o f h i s s i n . not f o r m a l l y d e f i n e the term.  f o r Samson's f a i l u r e t o be magnanimous I n De D o c t r i n a C h r i s t i a n a M i l t o n does  R a t h e r , he p r o v i d e s  an example.  The example  M i l t o n g i v e s , however, l e a v e s no doubt as t o the p r e c i s e meaning M i l t o n assigned  t o p u s i l l a n i m i t y . He r e f e r s t o the f i r s t book o f Samuel i n  w h i c h the prophet i n f o r m s S a u l t h a t he ( S a u l ) i s t o be the K i n g o f I s r a e l .  90 Though S a u l had a l r e a d y been a n o i n t e d by Samuel and t o l d o f God's w i l l ( I . X, 1 ) , he d i d not admit t o h i s u n c l e what the prophet had r e v e a l e d . S i m i l a r l y , when Samuel announces to the people t h a t a K i n g has been chosen, S a u l i s nowhere t o be  found.  . . . and S a u l the son o f K i s h was t a k e n by l o t . But when they sought him, he c o u l d not be found. So they i n q u i r e d a g a i n o f the LORD, " D i d the man come h i t h e r ? " and the LORD s a i d , "Behold, he has h i d d e n h i m s e l f among the baggage." Then they r a n and f e t c h e d him from t h e r e ; and when he stood among the p e o p l e , he was t a l l e r than any o f the people from h i s s h o u l d e r upward. And Samuel s a i d t o a l l the p e o p l e , "Do you see him whom the LORD has chosen? There i s none l i k e him among a l l the p e o p l e . " And a l l the people shouted, "Long l i v e the k i n g ! " ( I . X , 20-24) S i g n i f i c a n t l y , M i l t o n chose the e p i s o d e of S a u l t o demonstrate what the magnanimous man  had not t o be.  S a u l , l i k e Samson, has g r e a t s t r e n g t h  ( h i s h e i g h t i s s y m b o l i c o f t h i s ) and, even more s i g n i f i c a n t , he proves h i m s e l f a c a p a b l e m i l i t a r y l e a d e r ( I . X I , 11).  The most  p o i n t here i s s u r e l y t h a t S a u l , a c c o r d i n g t o M i l t o n , l a c k s a quality.  important  necessary  He does not r e c o g n i z e h i s own w o r t h , and t h i s , i t i s emphasized,  i s a v i c e , a weakness i n h i s c h a r a c t e r . as:  soon  Pusillanimity i s defined  " l a c k o f courage or f o r t i t u d e ; p e t t i n e s s of s p i r i t ;  timidity."  (OED)  cowardliness,  P h y s i c a l l y , n e i t h e r Samson nor S a u l are cowardly.  As avowed 9  s e r v a n t s o f God,  b o t h men,  But Samson, l i k e S a u l , was N e i t h e r man stood."  was  moreover, are above p e t t i n e s s of S p i r i t . not s u f f i c i e n t l y aware of h i s own  worth.  " a c t u a t e d by a r e g a r d t o h i s own d i g n i t y r i g h t l y under-  Samson had been d i v i n e l y c a l l e d t o be a s e r v a n t o f God and  g l o r i f y God.  to  By f a i l i n g t o r e c o g n i z e h i s own magnanimity, by b e t r a y i n g  h i s s e c r e t (God's s e c r e t ) t o D a l i l a , he had, i n e f f e c t , renounced h i s  own  91 dignity.  Samson's c o n t e s t i s w i t h h i m s e l f , and the drama o f Samson  A g o n i s t e s i s Samson's s t r u g g l e t o be r e g e n e r a t e d as magnanimous man. As I have suggested  i n my d i s c u s s i o n c o n c e r n i n g Adam's r e g e n e r a t i o n ,  s e l f - k n o w l e d g e , l e a d i n g u l t i m a t e l y t o the i n d i v i d u a l ' s sense o f w o r t h , demands, p a r a d o x i c a l l y , t h a t the i n d i v i d u a l acknowledge h i s own weakness. Samson, l i k e Adam, must a c c e p t h i s own human f r a i l t y b e f o r e he c a n be strong.  He must l e a r n the n a t u r e o f h i s own humanity.  "Self-knowledge,"  as one c r i t i c has m a i n t a i n e d , i s  the i n s i g h t i n t o one's own n a t u r e , i t s e s s e n c e , i t s c a p a c i t i e s , i t s weaknesses, and i t s o b l i g a t i o n s . . . / i t p r o v i d e s the f o u n d a t i o n , t h e r e f o r e , both o f i n t e l l e c t u a l h u m i l i t y and o f magnanimity. To perform h i s proper f u n c t i o n and o f f i c e s and t o observe h i s proper end, the r a t i o n a l c r e a t u r e must r e c o g n i z e h i s p e c u l i a r p o s i t i o n i n the s c a l e o f b e i n g and the d i s t i n c t i v e p r o p e r t i e s which d i f f e r e n t i a t e him from o t h e r c r e a t u r e s - - b o t h h i g h e r and lower than h i m s e l f - - a n d from God.-'--' 1  Samson i s n o t a p l a s t e r - s a i n t w i t h o u t seams; he i s a human b e i n g . t h e n , the c a p a c i t y f o r g r e a t n e s s  He h a s ,  ( t h e G o d - l i k e i n him) and an e q u a l  c a p a c i t y f o r d e p r a v i t y (the b r u t e - l i k e ) .  The f i r s t s t e p t o the h e r o i c  s t a t u r e Samson u l t i m a t e l y a t t a i n s i s the s e l f - k n o w l e d g e t h a t , as man, he is f r a i l . weak.  He must l e a r n t h a t even h i s g r e a t p h y s i c a l s t r e n g t h i s a c t u a l l y  M i l t o n makes t h i s p o i n t e x p r e s s l y c l e a r by p r e s e n t i n g Samson, the  s u p e r n a t u r a l l y s t r o n g man, as b l i n d , " e y e l e s s i n Gaza", d r e s s e d i n r a g s and s t u m b l i n g . for  Samson's g r e a t p h y s i c a l s t r e n g t h , i n d e e d , i s made p a t h e t i c ,  he i s p r e s e n t e d t o us as p r o t e s t i n g God's wisdom i n making h i s body  so f r a i l .  He complains . . . why was the s i g h t To such a tender b a l l as th'eye c o n f i n ' d ? And n o t as f e e l i n g through a l l p a r t s d i f f u s ' d , That she might l o o k a t w i l l through e v e r y pore?  (93-97)  92 But Samson's acknowledgement of h i s p h y s i c a l f r a i l t y per se i s o n l y beginning  of h i s s e l f - k n o w l e d g e .  He must l e a r n t h a t p h y s i c a l  the  strength  i s o n l y m e a n i n g f u l i n s o f a r as i t i s commensurate w i t h wisdom, m e n t a l or s p i r i t u a l strength.  He  thus r e a s o n s :  But what i s s t r e n g t h w i t h o u t a double share Of wisdom? V a s t , u n w i e l d l y , burdensome, P r o u d l y s e c u r e , y e t l i a b l e to f a l l By weakest s u b t l e t i e s , not made t o r u l e , But t o subserve where wisdom bears command. (53-57) And,  even more i m p o r t a n t l y , Samson l e a r n s the t r u t h , by p a i n f u l  t h a t God's g i f t of s t r e n g t h d i d not make him  invulnerable.  experience,  Though Samson  i s tempted to blame God when he laments h i s f a l l e n c o n d i t i o n , the t r u t h of h i s observation  i s obvious.  He  argues:  God, when he gave me s t r e n g t h , t o show w i t h a l How s l i g h t the g i f t was, hung i t i n my H a i r . (58-59)  What Samson says here i s t r u e i n t h a t God's g i f t _is s l i g h t . p h y s i c a l s t r e n g t h per se i s h e l p l e s s l y weak.  The  That i s ,  chorus reminds us  the r e a l n a t u r e of God's g i f t when they bemoan Samson's m i s e r a b l e We  of  condition.  l e a r n o f Samson . . . whose s t r e n g t h , w h i l e v i r t u e was h e r mate, M i g h t have subdu'd the E a r t h . . . . (172-173; my i t a l i c s )  The  emphasis, i n s h o r t , i s p l a c e d upon the l i m i t a t i o n s of p h y s i c a l  strength.  I t f o l l o w s , t h e r e f o r e , t h a t Samson's p h y s i c a l s t r e n g t h as i t i s manif e s t e d by h i s d e s t r u c t i o n of the P h i l i s t i n e ' s temple, cannot be the i f i c a t i o n f o r c a l l i n g him a h e r o .  just-  Samson's h e r o i s m , r a t h e r , depends on  93  h i s a b i l i t y t o a c c e p t h i s human f r a i l t y by acknowledging g u i l t i s h i s alone.  t h a t the p r i n c i p a l  He cannot be s t r o n g u n t i l he admits he i s weak.  Though the B i b l i c a l account o f Samson cannot be l o o k e d upon as a k i n d o f 'key' t o Samson A g o n i s t e s , the c o n c l u d i n g e p i s o d e i n Samson's c a r e e r bears c o n s i d e r a t i o n h e r e .  A c c o r d i n g t o Judges, Samson s i n s , i s  b l i n d e d and made c a p t i v e by the P h i l i s t i n e s , and, w h i l e "making s p o r t " f o r them, p u l l s down the p i l l a r s o f t h e i r temple and d e s t r o y s h i m s e l f and h i s enemies.  There i s o n l y one b r i e f s u g g e s t i o n o f Samson's i n n e r  s t r u g g l e i n the B i b l i c a l account.  He p r a y s :  0 L o r d God, remember me, I pray t h e e , and s t r e n g t h e n me, I pray t h e e , o n l y t h i s once, 0 God, t h a t I may be a t once avenged on the P h i l i s t i n e s f o r my two eyes. ( X V I , 28) I n t h i s passage i s c o n t a i n e d the germ o f M i l t o n ' s t r a g e d y , f o r Samson's words suggest t h a t he has l e a r n e d h i s l i m i t a t i o n s as man--he prays t h a t God w i l l g r a n t him the g r e a t s t r e n g t h he once h a d — a n d , f u r t h e r ,  suggest  t h a t Samson perhaps sees h i m s e l f as the i n s t r u m e n t o f God's j u s t i c e . M i l t o n took these two i d e a s and made them the b a s i s o f h i s poem's c o n f l i c t . Samson must r e c o g n i z e t h a t he i s powerless w i t h o u t God's grace and must r e c o g n i z e , t o o , t h a t he m i g h t y e t c o n t r i b u t e i n the cosmic s t r u g g l e a g a i n s t e v i l and t h e r e b y g l o r i f y God. one man's s i n , s u f f e r i n g ,  Samson A g o n i s t e s i s a d r a m a t i c account o f  r e p e n t a n c e , and r e g e n e r a t i o n as magnanimous or  h e r o i c man. Samson, r e f l e c t i n g on h i s own f o l l y and h i s m i s e r a b l e c o n d i t i o n , comes d a n g e r o u s l y c l o s e t o f a l l i n g i n t o d e s p a i r , w h i c h , as M i l t o n p o i n t e d out i n De D o c t r i n a C h r i s t i a n a ,  "takes p l a c e o n l y i n the reprobate..  94 Samson knows t h a t God had chosen him t o be the d e l i v e r e r of h i s p e o p l e , but he cannot a c c e p t t h a t he might s t i l l  succeed i n h i s m i s s i o n .  Promise was t h a t I S h o u l d I s r a e l from P h i l i s t i a n yoke d e l i v e r ; Ask f o r t h i s g r e a t D e l i v e r e r now, and f i n d him E y e l e s s i n Gaza a t the M i l l w i t h s l a v e s , H i m s e l f i n bonds under P h i l i s t i a n yoke; Yet s t a y , l e t me not r a s h l y c a l l i n doubt D i v i n e p r e d i c t i o n ; what i f a l l f o r e t o l d Had been f u l f i l l ' d but through mine own d e f a u l t , Whom have I t o c o m p l a i n of but m y s e l f ? (38-46)  Samson i s too ashamed and too depraved to deem h i m s e l f worthy of God's service.  Though i t i s t r u e t h a t Samson a c q u i t s God o f the blame and  though he does n o t deny t h a t God's w i l l may y e t p r e v a i l (60-62), he cannot see t h a t he might have a p a r t t o p l a y i n God's d i v i n e p l a n . i s w i t h o u t hope.  Samson  He r e m a i n s , as the chorus l a t e r o b s e r v e s ,  As one p a s t hope, abandon'd And by h i m s e l f g i v e n o v e r .... (120-212)  Hope, M i l t o n argued, was  " t h a t by which we a c c e p t w i t h c e r t a i n t y the 12  f u l f i l m e n t o f God's p r o m i s e s . "  That Samson i s plagued by doubt i s  made p a t e n t l y c l e a r by the f a c t t h a t Samson does n o t want t o l i v e . Lamenting h i s b l i n d n e s s , Samson complains t h a t h i s l i v i n g death i s worse than p h y s i c a l d e a t h .  He argues he i s  B u r i e d , y e t n o t exempt By p r i v i l e g e o f death and b u r i a l From w o r s t of o t h e r e v i l s , p a i n s and wrongs, But made hereby obnoxious more To a l l the m i s e r i e s o f l i f e , Among inhuman f o e s . (103-109; my i t a l i c s )  95 By l o o k i n g upon p h y s i c a l death as a " p r i v i l e g e " , Samson r e v e a l s t h a t he i s hopeless. of  H i s inhuman foes a r e h i s own t h o u g h t s , and Samson's sense  shame i s o n l y compounded by h i s c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f what he had been,  was t o have been, and what he i s now.  T h i s i s the f i g u r e we  i n t h e f i r s t one-hundred and more l i n e s o f M i l t o n ' s poem.  encounter  Samson i s  p a t h e t i c , ashamed, and p i t i f u l l y h o p e l e s s , and death i s the o n l y remedy he can c o n c e i v e .  I t i s n o t unfounded s p e c u l a t i o n t o argue here t h a t  Samson might have c a r r i e d on i n t h i s manner i n d e f i n i t e l y - - e v e n u n t i l his  n a t u r a l death.  But he i s n o t a l l o w e d t o do t h i s , f o r , c o m p e l l e d by  the a c t i o n s o f both f r i e n d s and enemies, he i s f o r c e d t o examine h i m s e l f , the n a t u r e o f h i s s i n , and h i s own f a i t h i n God.  Indeed, M i l t o n ' s b e l i e f  13 t h a t " t r i a l l i s by what i s c o n t r a r y " Samson A g o n i s t e s . mentors;  i s e x e m p l i f i e d i n the a c t i o n o f  Samson i s tempted by both h i s c o m f o r t e r s and h i s t o r -  h i s virtue i s tested.  Samson must l e a r n from t h i s , f i r s t , t o  d i f f e r e n t i a t e between good and e v i l , t h e n , t o pursue the good and r e j e c t the e v i l .  By t h i s process Samson c a n r e g a i n a sense o f h i s own w o r t h ;  he can become magnanimous man. The drama o f Samson A g o n i s t e s can be l o o k e d upon as c o n s i s t i n g 14 of  f i v e separate a c t s .  The f i r s t (1-331) concerns Samson and the c h o r u s ,  and r e v e a l s Samson's i n i t i a l s t a t e o f mind.  Samson, as Woodhouse n o t e s ,  feels remorse—not  repentance.  of  He r e c o g n i z e s t h a t he has been weak, b u t h i s p e r s o n a l  injured merit.  Samson's c o m p l a i n t s a r i s e from h i s sense  shame l e a d s him t o a s c r i b e the f a u l t t o God. t h a t he has been f o o l i s h and weak, and a s k s ;  To the chorus he complains  / 96 . . . t e l l me, f r i e n d s , Am I n o t sung and p r o v e r b ' d f o r a f o o l In e v e r y s t r e e t ; do n o t they say, "How w e l l Are come upon h i m h i s d e s e r t s ? " y e t why? Immeasurable s t r e n g t h they might b e h o l d In me, o f wisdom n o t h i n g more than mean; T h i s w i t h the o t h e r s h o u l d , a t l e a s t , have p a i r ' d , These two p r o p o r t i o n ' d i l l drove me t r a n s v e r s e . (202-209)  The chorus c o r r e c t l y reprimands  Samson f o r h i s i m p l i c i t c r i t i c i s m o f God  and i n f o r m s h i m t h a t human f l e s h i s i n h e r e n t l y weak. Tax n o t d i v i n e d i s p o s a l ; w i s e s t Men Have e r r ' d , and by bad Women been d e c e i v ' d ; And s h a l l a g a i n , p r e t e n d they ne'er so w i s e . (210-212) But when Samson's f r i e n d s proceed t o accuse him o f more g u i l t than i s r i g h t f u l l y h i s , he i s i m p e l l e d t o defend h i m s e l f .  In addition to  e x p l a i n i n g t h a t he chose an i n f i d e l f o r h i s w i f e because prompted by d i v i n e i m p u l s e , Samson r e j e c t s the a d v i c e o f h i s supposed f r i e n d s .  They  had i n f o r m e d h i m t h a t f l e s h was f r a i l and t h a t many good men had been d e c e i v e d by women, b u t Samson r e f u s e s t o a c c e p t precedent as grounds f o r extenuating h i s g u i l t .  R a t h e r , he a d m i t s :  . . . o f what now I s u f f e r She ^ D a l i l a J was riot t h e prime cause, b u t I m y s e l f Who v a n q u i s h t w i t h a p e a l o f words (0 Weakness!) Gave up my f o r t o f s i l e n c e t o a Woman. (233-236)  Though the chorus has v i s i t e d Samson i n the b e l i e f t h a t . . . apt words have power t o swaye The tumors o f a t r o u b l ' d mind, And are as balm t o f e s t e r ' d wounds (184-186),  97 t h e i r words o n l y serve t o augment Samson's g r i e f and remorse. f o r c e s Samson t o a c c e p t t h a t the c h i e f g u i l t i s h i s own.  The chorus  His friends'  second o v e r t u r e , however, has a v e r y d i f f e r e n t e f f e c t . When Samson's countrymen^ c o m p l a i n t h a t "Is.rael s t i l l all  serves  with  h i s Sons" (239), Samson argues i n h i s defence t h a t one man's v a l o r  can^not make and keep a n a t i o n f r e e .  What i s more i m p o r t a n t  f o r our  d i s c u s s i o n h e r e , however, i s t h a t Samson's answer r e v e a l s c e r t a i n t r a c e s o f magnanimity.  He admits t h a t he d i d n o t seek t o g a i n a l a r g e f o l l o w i n g ,  t h a t he was n o t a m b i t i o u s . ^  The magnanimous man does n o t , t o r e f e r 17  once a g a i n t o C i c e r o , "depend on the m i s t a k e n p l a u d i t s o f the i g n o r a n t . Samson had been g u i l t y o f p r i d e ; he had indeed  "walk'd about l i k e a  p e t t y God," and had concerned h i m s e l f w i t h the applause o f the m u l t i t u d e . He now admits t h a t the s t r e n g t h was God's g i f t and t h a t he had used i t t o promote God's g l o r y . prevents  Though Samson's sense of i n j u r e d m e r i t  still  him from b e i n g p e n i t e n t , he b e g i n s t o u n d e r s t a n d t h a t he was  w o r t h y , and he thus r e f u s e s t o a c c e p t the g u i l t t h a t i s n o t r i g h t l y h i s . Indeed, when the chorus proceeds t o e x p l a i n Samson's m i s f o r t u n e  by  r e f e r r i n g t o examples from h i s t o r y (277-289), Samson, though he admits t o f a i l u r e i n h i s m i s s i o n , t e l l s h i s countrymen t h a t they a r e o b l i g a t e d t o keep t h e i r f a i t h i n God's promised d e l i v e r a n c e . Of such examples add mee t o the r o l e , Mee e a s i l y indeed mine may n e g l e c t , But God's propos'd d e l i v e r a n c e n o t so. (290-292)  I r o n i c a l l y , Samson a d v i s e s  the chorus as t o what they must d o — w i t h o u t  comprehending t h a t he, t o o , must n o t abandon f a i t h .  I n the f i r s t a c t of  98 M i l t o n ' s drama, t h e n , Samson's shame i s c o u n t e r b a l a n c e d by h i s sense o f injured merit.  He has n o t f u l l y a c c e p t e d t h e g u i l t o r r e p e n t e d , and  he a d v i s e s o t h e r s t o c o n t i n u e the p u r s u i t o f God's g l o r y ( t o m a i n t a i n t h e i r f a i t h ) w h i l e he i s i n extreme danger o f c o m p l e t e l y l o s i n g h i s own. The second a c t (332-709), however, r e p r e s e n t s an even lower p o i n t i n Samson's  wretchedness.  Manoa's impassioned c o m p l a i n t a g a i n s t the m i s e r a b l e c o n d i t i o n i n which he f i n d s h i s son and a g a i n s t the m i s e r y he h i m s e l f f e e l s , moves Samson t o defend God's ways.  He c o r r e c t s h i s f a t h e r ' s e r r o r , and admon-  ishes  Appoint not heavenly d i s p o s i t i o n Father, N o t h i n g o f a l l these e v i l s h a t h b e f a l l ' n me But j u s t l y ; I m y s e l f have brought them on, S o l e a u t h o r I , s o l e cause, i f aught seem v i l e , As v i l e h a t h been my f o l l y , who have p r o f a n ' d The m y s t e r y o f God g i v ' n me under pledge Of vow, and have b e t r a y ' d i t t o a woman, A C a t r a a n i t e , my f a i t h l e s s enemy. T h i s w e l l I knew, n o r was a t a l l s u r p r i s ' d , But warn'd by o f t e x p e r i e n c e ! . . . . (373-382)  By d e f e n d i n g God's j u s t i c e , Samson r e c o g n i z e s t h a t he has been f a i r l y t r e a t e d , and r e c o g n i z e s t h a t the m i s e r y he now s u f f e r s i s n o t as wretched as h i s former weakness had been.  He a d m i t s :  The base degree t o which I now am f a l l ' n , These r a g s , t h i s g r i n d i n g i s n o t y e t so base As was my former s e r v i t u d e . . . . (414-416)  The g r e a t e s t p a i n Samson s u f f e r s i s i n w a r d , the i n d i g n i t y and shame he f e e l s a t h a v i n g been u n t r u e t o h i m s e l f , a t n o t h a v i n g been magnanimous as he s h o u l d have been.  I t i s when Manoa i n f o r m s him o f the shame Samson  99 has brought t o God unbearable.  (433-457), however, t h a t Samson's shame becomes almost  But, by the f o r c e of the o l d man's argument, Samson i s  c o m p e l l e d to a s s e r t h i s own  faith in  God.  T h i s o n l y hope r e l i e v e s me, t h a t the s t r i f e W i t h mee h a t h end; a l l the c o n t e s t i s now Twixt God and Dagon; Dagon h a t h presum'd, Mee o v e r t h r o w n , t o e n t e r l i s t s w i t h God, H i s D e i t y comparing and p r e f e r r i n g Before the God o f Abraham. He, be s u r e , W i l l not c o n n i v e , or l i n g e r thus provok'd, But w i l l a r i s e and h i s g r e a t name a s s e r t .... (460-468) Samson, t h e n , has n o t l o s t h i s f a i t h i n God's power t o combat and evil.  He c a n n o t , however, comprehend t h a t he may  the g r e a t c o n t e s t .  Manoa, though he, u n d e r s t a n d t h a t h i s own the o l d man  be a p a r t i c i p a n t i n  Indeed, i t i s here t h a t the i n f e r i o r human c o n d i t i o n  o f the o l d d i s p e n s a t i o n m a n i f e s t s  and  defeat  itself.  l i k e Samson, acknowledges God's power, does not  son may  y e t be of s e r v i c e t o God  (478-481),  thus s u g g e s t s t h a t Samson might be r e l e a s e d by payments  made to the P h i l i s t i a n l o r d s (481-486). r e a l l y a temptation  What Manoa suggests here i s  put b e f o r e Samson, a t e m p t a t i o n  to g i v e up the s t r u g g l e ,  and must n e c e s s a r i l y be r e j e c t e d .  Indeed, p a s s i v e s u f f e r i n g i s anathema  to M i l t o n ' s concept o f h e r o i c man,  f o r the s u p e r i o r man  gated t o pursue the honour o f God;  he i s , i n A q u i n a s ' words, "minded t o  i s morally o b l i -  18 do some g r e a t a c t . "  And  Samson, though he cannot see h i m s e l f as  an a c t i v e r o l e t o p l a y i n the b a t t l e a g a i n s t e v i l , must not l e a v e field.  To do so would be t o i r r e v o c a b l y renounce h i s own  having the  magnanimity.  But Samson's r e p l y to h i s f a t h e r i s not i n d i c a t i v e o f r e g a i n e d magnanimity,  100 for  i t i s not p r o p e r l y m o t i v a t e d .  self.  To Manoa, he  Samson, i n f a c t , wants to p u n i s h him-  says  Spare t h a t p r o p o s a l , F a t h e r , spare the t r o u b l e Of t h a t s o l i c i t a t i o n ; l e t me h e r e , As I d e s e r v e , pay on my punishment; And e x p i a t e , i f p o s s i b l e , my c r i m e , Shameful g a r r u l i t y . (487-490) 19 Samson, as h i s f a t h e r c o r r e c t l y r e a s o n s , i s " o v e r - ? j u s t . " his  He  tells  son t h a t Samson s h o u l d be r e p e n t a n t , but s h o u l d n o t w i l f u l l y  h i s m i s e r y (502-515).  aggravate  And here Samson i s once more c a l l e d upon t o d i f -  f e r e n t i a t e between good and e v i l .  He must r e p e n t h i s s i n , t o be s u r e ,  but i f he p a s s i v e l y a c c e p t s h i s own m i s e r a b l e c o n d i t i o n , h i s d e c i s i o n w i l l m a n i f e s t h i s d i s t r u s t of God. do t h i s .  Manoa, i n f a c t , here tempts him t o  Samson's r e j e c t i o n o f the course o f i n a c t i o n h i s f a t h e r o u t l i n e s ,  however, i s s t i l l not i n t r i n s i c a l l y good.  R a t h e r , Samson c o m p l a i n s t h a t  l i f e would no l o n g e r be b e a r a b l e because of h i s inward m i s e r y , and because of h i s c o n s c i o u s n e s s of what he had f o r m e r l y been. would be u t t e r l y d e v o i d of meaning and purpose.  H i s l i f e , he  complains,  He a s k s ,  Now b l i n d , d i s h e a r t ' n ' d , sham'd, dishonou'd, q u e l l ' d To what can I be u s e f u l , w h e r e i n serve My N a t i o n , and the work from Heav'n impos'd, But t o s i t i d l e on the household h e a r t h , A burdenous drone . . . ? (563-567) The p a i n f u l t r u t h i s t h a t the s u p e r i o r man  l i v i n g b e f o r e the advent  of  C h r i s t i s not aware t h a t he can make any m e a n i n g f u l c o n t r i b u t i o n except i n terms of a c t i o n .  The  ' i m p e r f e c t f a i t h ' o f the o l d d i s p e n s a t i o n a c t u a l l y  p r e c l u d e s Samson's u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h a t men by s i m p l y r e s i s t i n g and r e j e c t i n g e v i l .  can j u s t i f y t h e i r e x i s t e n c e The o n l y e v i l Samson knows i s  101 Dagon and h i s w o r s h i p p e r s .  U n l e s s he c a n see h i s duty comprised o f  a c t u a l p h y s i c a l s t r u g g l e a g a i n s t Dagon, Samson cannot see h i m s e l f as arhero.  Manoa, i t i s t r u e , had e x t o l l e d p a t i e n c e and f i l i a l  submission  as man's l o t (511), but f o r the t r u l y magnanimous man who pursues honor and g l o r y , s u b m i s s i o n i s h a r d l y tantamount t o h e r o i s m . i n the o l d d i s p e n s a t i o n amounted t o i d o l a t r y . to God's law.  V i r t u e meant obedience  The magnanimous o r h e r o i c man's t a s k i s t o a i d i n the  d e s t r u c t i o n o f e v i l and thereby law  In short, e v i l  t o g l o r i f y God.  ( i d o l a t o r s ) i s the o n l y e v i l he knows.  But the enemy t o the  Samson cannot know t h a t he  can g l o r i f y God by p a t i e n t endurance o f e v i l , and t h a t he can d e s t r o y e v i l by r e j e c t i n g i t i n h i m s e l f . s t r a t e d by p h y s i c a l a c t s .  H i s h e r o i s m must, t h e r e f o r e , be demon-  I t i s f o r t h i s r e a s o n t h a t Samson, i n c a p a b l e  of comprehending how he, b l i n d e d and made c a p t i v e , can b a t t l e Dagon. He i s tempted n a t u r a l l y t o g i v e up the s t r u g g l e . he wants o n l y t o d i e .  L i k e the m y t h i c S i b y l ,  Samson's wretchedness i s made even more h o r r i b l e ,  however, by the f a c t t h a t h i s i m p e r f e c t comprehension of f a i t h him  leads  t o b e l i e v e God has d e s e r t e d him. I was h i s n u r s l i n g once and c h o i c e d e l i g h t , H i s d e s t i n ' d from the womb, Promis'd by Heavenly message t w i c e d e s c e n d i n g . Under h i s s p e c i a l eye Abstemious I grew up and t h r i v ' d amain; He l e d me on t o m i g h t i e s t deeds Above the nerve of m o r t a l arm A g a i n s t t h ' u n c i r c u m c i s ' d , our enemies. But now h a t h c a s t me o f f as n e v e r known . . . . (633-641)  The chorus' response t o Samson's e x p r e s s i o n o f a n g u i s h r e v e a l s the r e a l o f the p a r t i c u l a r d i f f i c u l t y i n which Samson f i n d s h i m s e l f .  They a r g u e :  nature  102 Many a r e the s a y i n g s o f the w i s e I n a n c i e n t and i n modern books e n r o l l ' d , E x t o l l i n g p a t i e n c e as the t r u e s t f o r t i t u d e , And t o the b e a r i n g w e l l o f a l l c a l a m i t i e s , A l l chances i n c i d e n t t o man's f r a i l l i f e Consolatories w r i t W i t h s t u d i e d argument, and much p e r s u a s i o n sought L e n i e n t o f g r i e f and a n x i o u s thought, But w i t h t h ' a f f l i c t e d i n h i s pangs t h i r sound L i t t l e p r e v a i l s , or r a t h e r seems a t u n e , H a r s h , and o f d i s s o n a n t mood from h i s c o m p l a i n t , U n l e s s he f e e l w i t h i n Some source o f c o n s o l a t i o n from above Secret r e f r e s h i n g s , that r e p a i r h i s strength, And f a i n t i n g s p i r i t s u p h o l d . (652-666)  The c r u c i a l p o i n t here i s t h a t Samson cannot possess any source o f consol a t i o n from above w h i c h might enable him t o p a t i e n t l y endure. not know t h a t p a t i e n c e  He does  i n the f a c e o f e v i l g l o r i f i e s God, o r t h a t the  p a t i e n t s u f f e r e r has as much c l a i m t o b e i n g c a l l e d a s o l d i e r i n God's army as has the a c t i v e w a r r i o r .  Samson cannot know t h i s grand  design.  As a r e s u l t , though Samson can have f a i t h i n God's s t r e n g t h and i n h i s mercy, and though he c a n t r u s t i n God's promise t h a t Samson d e l i v e r I s r a e l , he i s n o t e q u i p p e d , because o f h i s i m p e r f e c t t o p a t i e n t l y endure.  should faith,  F o r t h i s r e a s o n death i s h i s o n l y r e a l remedy,  and i t . i s , moreover, the o n l y p o s s i b l e s o l u t i o n t o Samson's problem. It  i s f o r t h i s r e a s o n a l s o t h a t Samson's f a i t h i s renewable o n l y by i t s  exercise i n r e a c t i o n to h o s t i l e forces.  Samson does n o t possess any  knowledge o f God's grand d e s i g n beyond what God has i n f o r m e d him the d e l i v e r a n c e o f I s r a e l .  concerning  The o n l y e v i l Samson r e c o g n i z e s , then, i s i n  the form o f h i s n a t i o n ' s enemies.  Samson's r e g e n e r a t i o n  i s thus accom-  p l i s h e d by h i s r e j e c t i o n o f e v i l i n the persons o f D a l i l a and Harapha. D a l i l a ' s o v e r t u r e s a r e a symbol o f p a s s i o n .  Samson must r e j e c t  103 h e r i n o r d e r t o prove t h a t he i s no l o n g e r s u s c e p t i b l e t o p a s s i o n ' s d o m i n a t i o n , t h a t he i s master o f h i m s e l f .  D a l i l a ' s attempts to extenuate  her own g u i l t a r e met w i t h s c o r n by Samson, and i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o note t h a t i n Samson's d i s m i s s a l o f h e r t h e b e g i n n i n g s o f h i s new-found f a i t h are m a n i f e s t .  Thus, when D a l i l a , begging f o r pardon, p l e a d s i n n a t e  weakness (female c u r i o s i t y ) , and c o n j u g a l l o v e as h e r reasons f o r b e t r a y i n g him (773-818), Samson becomes God's a d v o c a t e :  he i n f o r m s h e r  t h a t weakness c a n never be an excuse i n God's eyes (829-835); he i n s t r u c t s her i n the r e a l meaning o f l o v e (836-840). has become an a c t i v e s e r v a n t o f God.  But he i s f o r c e d t o acknowledge  the t r u t h o f one o f D a l i l a ' s arguments: perhaps even more so.  Samson, perhaps u n w i t t i n g l y ,  he i s as g u i l t y as she i s ,  He a d m i t s :  I t o m y s e l f was f a l s e e r e thou t o me; Such pardon t h e r e f o r e as I g i v e my f o l l y , Take t o t h y w i c k e d deed . . . . (824-826)  S i m i l a r l y , when D a l i l a c l a i m s h e r r e l i g i o n was i t s e l f  justification,  Samson argues t h a t gods who a r e ungodly a r e no gods and deserve no obedience (895-898).  D a l i l a ' s o f f e r o f e m o t i o n a l and p h y s i c a l s a n c t u a r y  (909-927) must a l s o be r e j e c t e d , f o r t o a c c e p t would be t o embrace the v e r y e v i l t h a t had debased Samson.  But Samson's r e j e c t i o n o f e v i l  ( f a i t h l e s s , P h i l i s t i a n D a l i l a ) g i v e s him s t r e n g t h and p a r t i a l from h i s p a i n .  release  He r e g a i n s a measure o f s e l f - e s t e e m by r e c o g n i z i n g t h a t  h i s s e r v i t u d e a t the m i l l i s l e s s s e r v i l e t h a n would be h i s acceptance of D a l i l a ' s o f f e r e d pleasure.  Indeed, as he t e l l s  Dalila,  T h i s Gaol I count the house o f L i b e r t y To t h i n e whose doors my f e e t s h a l l never e n t e r . (949-950)  104 Thus rejected, D a l i l a torments Samson and exults i n her v i c t o r y , (959-996). The importance of this scene i s that D a l i l a , by coming i n contact with good, manifests herself as e v i l , and she i s seen by Samson for what she r e a l l y i s : s p i t e f u l , c r u e l , h y p o c r i t i c a l , and idolatrous. D a l i l a departs, however, that we  It i s after  see the f u l l e f f e c t she has had on Samson.  Samson's words a f t e r D a l i l a ' s departure reveal that he begins to understand, though imperfectly, the mystery of God's ways.  Ironically,  he reasons, . . . God sent her to debase me, And aggravate my f o l l y who committed To such a viper his most sacred trust Of secrecy, my safety, and my l i f e . (999-1002)  God's permissive w i l l allowed D a l i l a to tempt Samson and to taunt him— 20 but not i n order to shame him more.  Rather, D a l i l a ' s overtures enable  Samson to refashion some vestige of personal worth, and for this reason God had  permitted her to confront Samson.  Samson has mastered himself.  He has preferred "strenuous l i b e r t y " to "bondage with ease", and knowing that i t was within his power to choose and that he has chosen the harder course, he has a renewed sense of worth.  This i s made patently clear i n  the fourth act of the drama (1075-1307) when he i s confronted  by the  P h i l i s t i a n giant, Harapha. Observing Harapha's approach, the chorus informs Samson that the giant's ". . . habit c a r r i e s peace, his brow defiance" (1073).  Samson's  laconic reply reveals the transformation h i s character has undergone, for  he says simply,  "Or peace or not, a l i k e to me he comes" (1074).  His fortitude tempered and toughened by h i s painful ordeal, Samson i s 21 now equipped to face h i s adversary.  105 Harapha's a c t i o n s do n o t c o n s t i t u t e a t e m p t a t i o n . are M i l t o n ' s d e v i c e  R a t h e r , they  t o l i f t Samson out o f h i s depressed s t a t e .  Confronted  by a b r a g g a r t who speaks a g a i n s t Samson and h i s God, Samson must a c t i v e l y oppose the g i a n t . dence.  But from the c o n f l i c t Samson draws s t r e n g t h and c o n f i -  Harapha i s the e i d o l o n o f h e r o i c magnanimity.  He i s of ' h e r o i c '  s t a t u r e , s k i l l e d i n f e a t s o f arms, and e x u l t a n t i n h i s own p h y s i c a l strength.  Moreover, the g i a n t i s o v e r t l y contemptuous of i n f e r i o r s ;  h i s mind a s p i r e s t o the i n c r e a s e o f h i s own g l o r y . a c c i d e n t l y bearing  H i s v a u n t s (not  remarkable resemblance t o t h e k i n d of speeches w h i c h  permeate the I l i a d ) move Samson t o a s s e r t h i s (Samson's) m e t t l e .  The  g i a n t has come t o examine Samson's p h y s i c a l b e a r i n g , f o r by i n s p e c t i n g Samson's outward fobm Harapha m i s t a k e n l y worth.  b e l i e v e s he c a n e v a l u a t e  Samson's  By h i s own a d m i s s i o n , Samson i s riot h e r o i c i n a s p e c t ; he had  f o r m e r l y r e f e r r e d t o h i m s e l f as a "burdenous d r o n e " and, o u t w a r d l y a t l e a s t , he i s a . p a t h e t i c f i g u r e . formidable,  H i s h e r o i c s p i r i t , however, remains  and Samson o p e n l y c h a l l e n g e s  the g i a n t t o m o r t a l  combat.  But Samson's v a l o r i s n o t the r e s u l t o f p r i d e i n h i s own p h y s i c a l  strength.  T h i s , i n d e e d , i s made e x p r e s s l y c l e a r when Harapha r i d i c u l e s the b l i n d w a r r i o r and accuses h i m o f u s i n g subdue, h i s foes  (1130-1138).  " s p e l l s " or " b l a c k enchantments" t o  Samson, f o r c e d t o r e p l y t o t h i s  challenge,  argues t h a t h i s armor i s h i s f a i t h , and h i s s t r e n g t h the g i f t o f God.  I know no s p e l l s , use no f o r b i d d e n A r t s ; My t r u s t i s i n the l i v i n g God who gave me A t my N a t i v i t y t h i s s t r e n g t h .... (1139-1141)  By i n v i t i n g Harapha t o defend the name o f Dagon ( e v i l ) Samson o b v i o u s l y  106 sees h i m s e l f as God's champion (1145-1153).  Samson has r e c a p t u r e d h i s  l o s t hope by c h a l l e n g i n g Harapha, f o r the N a z a r i t e no l o n g e r doubts t h a t what God has promised w i l l come t o pass.  When, s i m i l a r l y , Harapha accuses  Samson o f presuming on h i s God (1165-1168), Samson answers i n h i s own defence t h a t h i s God i s m e r c i f u l and f o r g i v i n g . and h i s s u g g e s t i o n  To Harapha's i n s u l t s  t h a t Samson's God has f o r s a k e n h i s former champion,  Samson thus r e p l i e s :  A l l these i n d i g n i t i e s , f o r such they a r e From t h i n e , these e v i l s I deserve and more, Acknowledge them from God i n f l i c t e d on me J u s t l y , y e t d e s p a i r n o t of h i s f i n a l pardon Whose e a r i s ever open; and h i s eye G r a c i o u s t o r e - a d m i t the s u p p l i a n t . . . . (1168-1173)  F o r c e d by e x t e r n a l c i r c u m s t a n c e s  t o a s s e r t h i s w o r t h and t o examine h i s  own f a i t h , Samson has moved t h a t much c l o s e r t o r e c a p t u r i n g h i s magnanimity. As a s i n n e r he i s o b l i g a t e d t o be ' c o n v i c t e d ' o f h i s s i n , t o be c o n t r i t e , t o c o n f e s s , t o d e p a r t from e v i l , and, u l t i m a t e l y , t o t u r n t o good. the time the g i a n t d e p a r t s , Samson has been r e g e n e r a t e d ; his sin.  The n e x t s t e p i n h i s r e n o v a t i o n  which he now m a n i f e s t s  By  he has r e p e n t e d  i s the a c q u i s i t i o n o f f a i t h ,  s i g n s of p o s s e s s i n g .  But Samson's f a i t h i s demon-  s t r a b l e o n l y by t r i a l , and b e f o r e he "can hope (can e x p e c t t h a t what has been promised by God w i l l be g i v e n ) , he must prove h i s f a i t h .  The messenger's  a r r i v a l t r i g g e r s t h i s f i n a l development i n Samson's c h a r a c t e r . When i n f o r m e d o f the demands o f the P h i l i s t i a n l o r d s , Samson's f i r s t r e a c t i o n i s b l a t a n t r e f u s a l . .Warned t h a t ' h i s r e f u s a l w i l l  offend  the enemy, Samson shows t h a t he i s immune t o any punishment t h a t might be d e a l t him.  He p r o t e s t s ,  107 Can they t h i n k me so broken, so debas'd With c o r p o r a l s e r v i t u d e , t h a t my mind ever W i l l condescend t o such absurd commands? (1335-1337) Samson has  obviously regained  h i s sense of p e r s o n a l w o r t h and  J u s t i f i a b l y , he b e l i e v e s he i s too worthy a b e i n g the P h i l i s t i n e s .  t o "make s p o r t " f o r  To g l o r i f y Dagon, of c o u r s e , i s the u l t i m a t e  f o r Samson as a Hebrew, and i n d e e d , i s a j e a l o u s God. man;  dignity.  idolatry  i s the w o r s t k i n d of s i n .  But Samson no l o n g e r  he i s God's champion.  depravity  sees h i m s e l f as  Jahweh, individual  Samson's p a r t i c u l a r f a i t h , however, l i k e  f a i t h i t s e l f as Hume contended, s u b v e r t s  a l l the p r i n c i p l e s of human 22  understanding.  Samson f e e l s c e r t a i n "motions" w i t h i n him  He  f o l l o w s the messenger t o do he knows not what.  r e l e n t s , and  f r i e n d s , he b i d s f a r e w e l l by  (1381-1383). To h i s  saying,  Happ'n what may, of me e x p e c t t o hear N o t h i n g d i s h o n o r a b l e , impure, unworthy Our God, our Law, my n a t i o n , or m y s e l f ; The l a s t of me or no I cannot w a r r a n t . (1423-1426)  Significantly,  St. Paul considered  Samson a hero of f a i t h .  Paul  had  d e f i n e d f a i t h as "the substance o f t h i n g s hoped f o r , the e v i d e n c e o f not seen" (Hebrews X I , 1 ) , and had God  "must b e l i e v e what he fGodJ  t h a t d i l i g e n t l y seek him"  argued t h a t the f a i t h f u l s e r v a n t  i s , and  (XI, 6).  of Dagon.  t o P a u l , had,  the s t r e n g t h t o d e s t r o y  The messenger's d e s c r i p t i o n of Samson's l a s t moments  that M i l t o n , l i k e Paul, obviously considered Samson,  of  t h a t he i s a rewarder of them  Samson, a c c o r d i n g  t o be c o n v i n c e d t h a t God would g r a n t him  things  the  then, temple  manifests  Samson a h e r o of f a i t h .  108 . . . w i t h head a w h i l e i n c l i n ' d , And eyes f a s t f i x t he s t o o d , as one who p r a y ' d , Or some g r e a t m a t t e r i n h i s mind r e v o l v ' d . . (1636-1638) There can be no doubt t h a t M i l t o n ' s Samson had, his  faith,  GOD,  ". . . A  WHEREBY WE  before h i s death, recovered  FULL PERSUASION OPERATED IN IS THROUGH THE  BELIEVE, ON  THE  SOLE AUTHORITY OF THE  GIFT OF  PROMISE ITSELF, 23  THAT WHATSOEVER THINGS HE HAS  PROMISED . . . ARE  Samson had, moreover, r e g a i n e d and  OURS . . . ."  h i s d i g n i t y as a man,  had  d e a t h t o the p u r s u i t of God's honour and g l o r y , and had,  faith,  g a i n e d some knowledge of God.  hero.  Samson's s t r u g g l e , however, i s o n l y one  He  i s magnanimous man,  achievement i s thus r e p r e s e n t e d 24  a Miltonic  Magnanimity i s  the P h i l i s t i n e s .  The  g a i n h i s reward.  The  temple  (Dagon).  By d e s t r o y i n g  can thus shake o f f the  evil,  mortal  r e a l drama of M i l t o n ' s t r a g e d y concerns  Samson's i n w a r d s t r u g g l e t o d e s t r o y w o r t h y , and  the  his  p h y s i c a l a c t , of c o u r s e , i s a s y m b o l i c  f u l f i l s h i s o b l i g a t i o n s i n l i f e and  c o i l and  i s p h y s i c a l s t r e n g t h , and  i n p h y s i c a l terms; he d e s t r o y s  r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of man's v i c t o r y over e v i l man  acquiring  contesting. Samson's p a r t i c u l a r g i f t from God  and  by  life  p a r t , a l b e i t the most  i m p o r t a n t p a r t , of the c o n t e s t M i l t o n ' s poem d e p i c t s . also  devoted h i s  the e v i l i n h i m s e l f , t o make h i m s e l f  the drama i s e m i n e n t l y p s y c h o l o g i c a l .  But M i l t o n , as I have  i n d i c a t e d throughout t h i s c h a p t e r , makes i t p a t e n t l y c l e a r t h a t the  real  n a t u r e of Samson's h e r o i s m and h i s magnanimity i s i m p e r f e c t l y u n d e r s t o o d — e s p e c i a l l y by Manoa. The  c h o r u s , whose f u n c t i o n i t i s to p r o v i d e  a c t i o n of the poem, a p p a r e n t l y  a commentary on  the  comprehends the n a t u r e of Samson's h e r o i s m  109 and h i s magnanimity. and  Thus, when Samson c h a l l e n g e s Harapha t o combat  the g i a n t r e f u s e s , the chorus reminds us t h a t Samson's g r e a t  i s inward.  He has  ".  . . P l a i n H e r o i c magnitude of mind," and he i s  armed w i t h " c e l e s t i a l v i g o r " (1279-1280). e x t o l p a t i e n c e as a b e t t e r f o r t i t u d e i n my  The  tantamount t o h e r o i s m i n Samson's eyes.  but one  chorus then proceeds t o  (1287-1289), b u t , as I p o i n t e d  d i s c u s s i o n of Manoa's p r a i s e of f i l i a l  l i k e l y moved him  strength  submission,  M i l t o n ' s own  patience  i n the c o n t e x t  acceptance of s u f f e r i n g i s not h e r o i c .  i s not  Christianity  to put these words i n t o the mouths of the  fact i s clear:  out  chorus,  of the o l d d i s p e n s a t i o n  patient  T h i s c o u l d o n l y be when men  were  aware t h a t the cosmic s t r u g g l e between good and e v i l c o u l d be waged w i t h i n e v e r y man.  Samson's magnanimous n a t u r e  patjent endurance of e v i l . (Dagon).  cannot f u l f i l i t s e l f  I t requires active struggle against  by  evil  I t i s Manoa's r o l e i n the p l a y t o make i t o b v i o u s t h a t r e a l  h e r o i s m i s not  p o s s i b l e f o r men  (men  not e x p r e s s l y chosen by God)  living  i n the o l d d i s p e n s a t i o n , f o r Samson's f a t h e r r e v e a l s t h a t he does not comprehend why  h i s son i s a h e r o .  On Manoa's r e t u r n t o the c o u r t y a r d where he had the o l d man (1454).  l e f t Samson,  p r o u d l y announces h i s success i n w o r k i n g h i s son's l i b e r t y  O b v i o u s l y Manoa does not u n d e r s t a n d the n a t u r e  however, f o r he has were i n w a r d .  The  of t r u e  liberty,  f a i l e d t o comprehend t h a t Samson's s l a v e r y and  bondage  c h o r u s , because they j o y o u s l y r e a c t t o Manoa's news,  a l s o f a i l t o u n d e r s t a n d t h a t Samson had a t t a i n e d freedom (1455-1466). S i m i l a r l y , Manoa w i l l be (1491-1492). stances."  He  " e n n o b l ' d " by h i s son's past accomplishments  takes p r i d e i n what are r e a l l y " i n s i g n i f i c a n t  But the grand i r o n y occurs a f t e r Samson's death.  circum-  110 Manoa, w i t h h i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c h a b i t o f s p e a k i n g a b s o l u t e and u t t e r f a l s e h o o d  i n the same b r e a t h ,  truth  asks,  How d i e d he? death t o l i f e i s crown o r shame. A l l by him f e l l thou s a y ' s t , by whom f e l l he, What g l o r i o u s hand gave Samson h i s death's wound? (1579-1581) Manoa's f i r s t statement i s c o r r e c t .  B u t , l i k e Harapha, Manoa i s most  impressed by f e a t s o f arms and m a r t i a l v a l o r . s l a y s Samson g a i n s g l o r y .  A p p a r e n t l y the man who  A g a i n , when Manoa l e a r n s o f the manner i n  w h i c h h i s son d i e d , he d e s c r i b e s  the revenge as " g l o r i o u s " (1660).  Though Manoa admits t h a t the revenge i s g l o r i o u s because God has f u l f i l l e d his  promise t o Samson, the g l o r y the o l d man e x u l t s i n i s n o t the g l o r y  o f God, o r Samson's i n the name o f God. i t v e r y c l e a r t h a t he does n o t p e r c e i v e Samson's h e r o i s m .  Indeed, Manoa's l a s t words make the r e a l , e s s e n t i a l n a t u r e o f  He t e l l s h i s f r i e n d s :  Come, come, no time f o r l a m e n t a t i o n now, Nor much more c a u s e : Samson h a t h q u i t h i m s e l f L i k e Samson, and h e r o i c l y h a t h f i n i s h ' d A l i f e H e r o i c , on h i s Enemies F u l l y reveng'd h a t h l e f t them y e a r s o f mourning (1708-1712)  Surely Milton's than Samson. act—the  ....  p o i n t i s t h a t Samson has f i n i s h e d l i f e more h e r o i c l y  Manoa, however, measures h i s son's h e r o i s m by the p h y s i c a l  number o f the enemy Samson has s l a i n .  F u r t h e r m o r e , the g l o r y  i n which Manoa e x u l t s i s e s s e n t i a l l y t h a t which he and Samson w i l l receive.  Though Manoa r e c o g n i z e s  t h a t the honor o f I s r a e l has been  v i n d i c a t e d by Samson's a c t (1714-1716), he does n o t comprehend t h a t the r e a l g l o r y i s owing t o God, t h a t h i s son's g l o r y i s o n l y Samson's  Ill i n s o f a r as the hero i s c o n s i d e r e d to be God's agent.  Manoa's d e c i s i o n  t o b u i l d a monument t o h i s son's g l o r y c o n c l u s i v e l y r e v e a l s t h a t Manoa does not r e c o g n i z e the e s s e n t i a l q u a l i t y of h e r o i s m .  Manoa w i l l  . . . b u i l d him A Monument, and p l a n t i t round w i t h shade Of L a u r e l ever green, and b r a n c h i n g Palm, W i t h a l l h i s T r o p h i e s hung, and A c t s - e n r o l l ' d I n c o p i o u s Legend, o r sweet L y r i c Song. T h i t h e r s h a l l a l l the v a l i a n t youth r e s o r t , And from h i s memory i n f l a m e t h i r b r e a s t s To m a t c h l e s s v a l o r , and adventures h i g h . (1733-1740; i t a l i c s are mine) F o r Manoa, t h e n , h e r o i s m means p h y s i c a l v a l o r and m a r t i a l prowess. r e p r e s e n t s the meaning h e r o i s m h e l d f o r men pensation.  who  l i v e d i n the o l d d i s -  He cannot c o n c e i v e o f a brand o f h e r o i s m  purely physical.  He  that transcends  the  That M i l t o n d e l i b e r a t e l y s e t out t o demonstrate the  i m p e r f e c t comprehension of p r e - C h r i s t i a n men, t o judge from the a c t i o n o f Samson A g o n i s t e s .  I think, i s indisputable In Paradise Lost Michael  had i n f o r m e d Adam, though the a n g e l r e f e r r e d to the e v i l a c t s o f the sons o f S e t h , t h a t :  ... i n those days M i g h t o n l y s h a l l be admir'd And v a l o r and H e r o i c v i r t u e c a l l ' d ; To overcome i n B a t t l e , and subdue N a t i o n s , 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 M a n - s l a u g h t e r , 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 g l o r y , and f o r G l o r y done Of triumph^ t o be s t y l e d g r e a t c o n q u e r o r s , P a t r o n s o f Mankind, Gods, and Sons of Gods, D e s t r o y e r s r i g h t l i e r c a l l ' d , and Plagues o f men, Thus fame s h a l l be a c h i e v ' d , renown on E a r t h , And what most m e r i t s fame i n s i l e n c e h i d . ( X I . 689-699)  Though M i l t o n ' s Samson, because he was  a s e r v a n t o f God and chosen by  112 God  t o augment the C r e a t o r ' s g l o r y , cannot be p l a c e d i n the same c a t e g o r y  as the race o f g i a n t s , the f a c t r e m a i n s : comprehend "what most m e r i t s fame."  Manoa does not r e c o g n i z e  D e s p i t e the f a c t t h a t the  carnage Manoa e x u l t s i n has been committed i n the name o f God,  or  bloody i t does  n o t a l t e r the p l a i n f a c t t h a t Manoa does not p e r c e i v e the e s s e n t i a l meaning of h e r o i s m .  The  Old Testament v e r s i o n of h e r o i s m was  not  satis-  f a c t o r y t o M i l t o n , and Manoa's f u n c t i o n i n the p l a y , i t seems obvious to me,  i s t o make t h i s  clear.  E.M.W. T i l l y a r d ' s d i s c u s s i o n o f Samson A g o n i s t e s embraces the p o i n t of v i e w t h a t M i l t o n was L o s t and P a r a d i s e Regained.  d i s s a t i s f i e d w i t h h i s heroes i n P a r a d i s e M i l t o n ' s drama r e p r e s e n t s the poet's  "renewed  faith in action." In n e i t h e r P a r a d i s e L o s t nor P a r a d i s e Regained had t h e r e been a normal hero. Adam, i f the h e r o , was i n a s i t u a t i o n too f a r removed from o r d i n a r y human c o n d i t i o n s to be q u i t e s a t i s f a c t o r y as normal man: f u r t h e r , he d i d not have the o p p o r t u n i t y of e f f e c t i n g a n y t h i n g t h a t c o u l d be c a l l e d worthy of the h i g h e s t a b i l i t i e s of mankind. C h r i s t i n P a r a d i s e Regained cannot be s a i d t o c o r r e s p o n d - to f a l l i b l e humanity: h i s v i c t o r y i s a foregone c o n c l u s i o n and h i s s t r u g g l e , as s t r u g g l e , has l i t t l e i n t e r e s t . Samson i s d i f f e r e n t : human, f a l l i b l e , and y e t e x h i b i t i n g to what h e r o i s m humanity can r i s e . M i l t o n may w e l l have r e s t e d u n s a t i s f i e d t i l l he had achieved h i s c r e a t i o n . - ' 2  I do not d i s p u t e t h a t Samson i s a M i l t o n i c h e r o , but I do d i s p u t e T i l l y a r d ' s grounds f o r c a l l i n g him a h e r o . Milton's archetypal heroic situation:  man  Samson's c a r e e r  represents  c o n f r o n t e d by e v i l , s t r u g g l i n g  a g a i n s t i t and overcoming i t , and becoming magnanimous i n the But M i l t o n ' s r e l i g i o n d i c t a t e d t h a t genuine h e r o i s m was men  o n l y w i t h the advent o f C h r i s t .  process.  comprehended by  Samson A g o n i s t e s c o n t a i n s an  implicit  d e c l a r a t i o n of t h i s , and M i l t o n ' s exemplary hero must be, t h e n , C h r i s t himself.  FOOTNOTES:  CHAPTER IV  M i l t o n ' s Samson and the C h r i s t i a n T r a d i t i o n ( P r i n c e t o n : U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1949), p. 104.  Princeton  2 " T r a g i c E f f e c t i n Samson A g o n i s t e s " i n M i l t o n Modern E s s a y s i n C r i t i c i s m , ed. A r t h u r E. B a r k e r (New Y o r k : Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1965), pp. 447-66. 3 " F a i t h f u l Champion": The T h e o l o g i c a l B a s i s o f M i l t o n ' s Hero o f F a i t h " i n M i l t o n Modern E s s a y s i n C r i t i c i s m , p. 471. 4 M i l t o n and C h r i s t i a n Heroism, p. 27. Modern c r i t i c i s m o f Samson A g o n i s t e s a l s o r e c o g n i z e s M i l t o n ' s Samson as a p r e f i g u r a t i o n o f C h r i s t . See C.A. P a t r i d e s , M i l t o n and the C h r i s t i a n T r a d i t i o n (Oxford: The C l a r e n d o n P r e s s , 1966), p. 130. Another c r i t i c has viewed M i l t o n ' s p l a y as a c e l e b r a t i o n o f C h r i s t ' s s p i r i t u a l agony. See T.S.K. S c o t t - C r a i g , "Concerning M i l t o n ' s Samson," Renaissance News, V (1952), 45-53. „ There can be no doubt t h a t M i l t o n ' s Samson bears l i t t l e resemblance t o h i s c o u n t e r p a r t i n Judges. F o r i n f o r m a t i o n r e g a r d i n g the c h a r a c t e r o f Samson we may, t h e r e f o r e , r e l y almost e x c l u s i v e l y on M i l t o n ' s p l a y . 7  W o r k s , X V I I , pp. 245-47.  8 I b i d . , p. 247. 9 W i t h r e f e r e n c e t o S a u l , I am here c o n s i d e r i n g h i s c h a r a c t e r and c a r e e r b e f o r e the appearance o f D a v i d when S a u l ' s d e g e n e r a t i o n began. 10 John M. Steadman, M i l t o n and the Renaissance Hero, p. 63. U  W o r k s , X V I I , p. 59.  12 I b i d . , p. 57. 13 " A r e o p a g i t i c a " i n Works, I V , p. 311. 14 Woodhouse's d i v i s i o n i n " T r a g i c E f f e c t i n Samson A g o n i s t e s " i s the one I have used i n t h i s paper.  114 15  " T r a g i c E f f e c t i n Samson A g o n i s t e s " i n M i l t o n  Modern E s s a y s , p. 450.  16 A m b i t i o n , as used by M i l t o n h e r e , "keeps i t s L a t i n meaning o f canvassing f o r public support." M e r r i t t Y. Hughes' note i n Complete Poems and M a j o r P r o s e , p. 557. ^ De 7  O f f i c i i s , p. 66.  18 Summa T h e o l o g i c a ,  p. 250.  19 I n h i s e d i t i o n o f M i l t o n ' s work Hughes n o t e s t h a t M i l t o n d e f i n e d r i g h t e o u s n e s s "as j u s t i c e t o a man's s e l f , " and contended t h a t opposed t o r i g h t e o u s n e s s was "a p e r v e r s e h a t r e d o f s e l f . " Complete Poems, p. 563. 20 M i l t o n argued i n De D o c t r i n a C h r i s t i a n a t h a t God p e r m i t t e d a t i o n because i t made f o r r i g h t e o u s n e s s . . Works, XIV, p. 247.  tempt-  21  , I n De D o c t r i n a M i l t o n d i s c u s s e d f o r t i t u d e as one o f t h e d u t i e s man owed t o h i m s e l f . F o r t i t u d e " i s c h i e f l y conspicuous i n r e j e c t i n g e v i l , or i n r e g a r d i n g i t s approach w i t h e q u a n i m i t y . " Works, X V I I , p. 247. 22 I t i s s t r a n g e t o w i t n e s s t h a t Samson c a n e x p e r i e n c e these " m o t i o n s " and y e t c a n f i n d no "source o f c o n s o l a t i o n from above / S e c r e t r e f r e s h i n g s . . . ," t h a t m i g h t serve t o e n a b l e him t o p a t i e n t l y endure. The f a c t t h a t Samson's o n l y " r e l e a s e can be death s e r v e s , i t seems t o me, t o show t h a t t h e f a i t h h e l d by men l i v i n g b e f o r e t h e coming o f C h r i s t i s i n f e r i o r to C h r i s t i a n i t y . Works, X V I I , p. 393. This i s from M i l t o n ' s d e f i n i t i o n o f " s a v i n g f a i t h . " The o m i s s i o n i s : •". . . whatsoever t h i n g s he has promised i n C h r i s t are ours . . . ." Samson's f a i t h , because he has been promised by God t h a t he s h o u l d d e l i v e r I s r a e l , i s s u b s t a n t i a l l y and e s s e n t i a l l y the same as C h r i s t i a n " s a v i n g f a i t h . " 24 S t . P a u l , whom I v e n t u r e t o t h i n k M i l t o n ' s " b e s t " t e a c h e r , had contended: "Every man h a t h h i s p r o p e r g i f t o f God, one a f t e r t h i s manner, and a n o t h e r a f t e r t h a t " ( I . C o r i n t h i a n s V I I , 7 ) . M i l t o n (London:  C h a t t o & Windus, 1956), p. 331.  CHAPTER V CHRIST: THE MEASURE OF HEROIC MAGNANIMITY And when i t was day, he d e p a r t e d and went i n t o a d e s e r t p l a c e : and the people sought him, and came unto him, t h a t he should n o t d e p a r t from them. And he s a i d unto them, I must preach the Kingdom o f God t o o t h e r c i t i e s a l s o : f o r t h e r e f o r e am I s e n t . Luke I V , 42-43 Despite ognized  as the p r i n c i p a l c r i t e r i o n f o r c r i t i c a l e v a l u a t i o n o f l i t e r a t u r e ,  the e x p e r i e n c e Paradise had  the f a c t t h a t d i s p a s s i o n a t e c r i t i c i s m has l o n g been r e c -  o f l i t e r a t u r e remains e m i n e n t l y  personal.  Next t o  Regained, I can t h i n k o f no o t h e r poem w i t h which c r i t i c s have  g r e a t e r d i f f i c u l t y i n s e e i n g the o b j e c t as i n i t s e l f i t r e a l l y i s .  We come t o the poem b e a r i n g our l i k e s and d i s l i k e s , our b i a s e s and p r e j u d i c e s , o u r i c o n s and i d o l s ; we g e n e r a l l y d e p a r t c a r r y i n g the same baggage.  Because the permanent b e l i e f s o f men r e s i d e i n an a r e a o f the  mind where l o g i c and r e a s o n a r e seldom p e r m i t t e d e n t r y , when we examine a work o f a r t which l i e s near the v e r y h e a r t o f our own p e r s o n a l  exper-  i e n c e and c u l t u r e , our c a p a c i t y f o r i m p a r t i a l e x a m i n a t i o n and e v a l u a t i o n i s g r e a t l y impaired. Paradise  Regained.  This i s the d i f f i c u l t y f a c i n g the student o f C h r i s t i a n readers  f e a r t h e i r own b i a s ; t h e y c a r e f u l l y  guard t h e i r p r a i s e s and t h e i r c r i t i c i s m s .  Non-Christians  fear  they can f r e e l y d e p r e c a t e the poet's achievement out o f hand.  nothing; Ostensibly,  t o defend M i l t o n ' s b r i e f i s t o j u s t i f y the C h r i s t i a n f a i t h w i t h a l l i t s c o n t r a d i c t i o n s and i t s a m b i g u i t i e s ; t o a t t a c k the poem i s t o argue t h a t  116 the c h a r a c t e r o f J e s u s C h r i s t a u t o m a t i c a l l y p r e c l u d e s any  possibility  of dramatic  Paradise  conflict.  The  r e a l problem f a c i n g c r i t i c s  Regained concerns the m y s t e r i o u s a god?  The  nature  of C h r i s t :  of  i s he man  or i s he  C h r i s t i a n b e l i e v e s t h a t the Son i s both human and d i v i n e ;  he i s , as M i l t o n argued i n De D o c t r i n a , the " h y p o s t a t i c u n i o n of natures."  The n o n - C h r i s t i a n f i n d s i t a l m o s t i m p o s s i b l e t o a c c e p t M i l t o n  C h r i s t as man. two  two  Unfounded a d m i r a t i o n and u n s u p p o r t e d condemnation are  the  p o l e s between w h i c h the w o u l d - b e - h o n e s t - c r i t i c of M i l t o n ' s b r i e f e p i c  must s t e e r .  And  the course  i s hazardous.  For M i l t o n , the C h r i s t of P a r a d i s e Regained r e p r e s e n t s  the  u l t i m a t e h e r o i s m man  can r e a l i z e ; the Son  i s the p e r f e c t measure o f  h e r o i c magnanimity.  Indeed i n h i s f i r s t i n v o c a t i o n M i l t o n promises  ... to t e l l o f deeds Above H e r o i c , though i n s e c r e t done, And u n r e c o r d e d l e f t through many an Age, Worthy t'have not remained so l o n g unsung. ( I . 14-17) S i g n i f i c a n t l y , M i l t o n d i d not choose e i t h e r C h r i s t ' s m i n i s t r y or the " P a s s i o n " to demonstrate the Son's h e r o i s m , a brand o f V h e r o i s m w h i c h the poet c l a i m e d was heroic.  s u p e r i o r t o , and  "above" what o t h e r poets had named  M i l t o n e l e c t e d , r a t h e r , to represent  the u l t i m a t e h e r o i s m by  p o r t r a y i n g C h r i s t b a t t l i n g a g a i n s t S a t a n i n the w i l d e r n e s s . triple  t e m p t a t i o n o f C h r i s t as r e c o r d e d  But  i n the g o s p e l a c c o r d i n g  Satan's to  2 Luke,  p r o v i d e d M i l t o n w i t h what I have c a l l e d the a r c h e t y p a l h e r o i c  situation:  man  tempted by e v i l , s t r u g g l i n g a g a i n s t and r e j e c t i n g  evil,  d e s t r o y i n g e v i l by a c c e p t i n g good, and becoming magnanimous i n the proces  117 The g r e a t d i f f i c u l t y most c r i t i c s  have found i n d e a l i n g w i t h P a r a d i s e  Regained, however, i s t h a t , f o r them, the poem c o n t a i n s no elements of drama--there i s no c o n f l i c t .  I n i t s e s s e n t i a l o u t l i n e s , the p r e v a l e n t  c r i t i c a l attitude regarding Milton's b r i e f epic follows. The  c h a r a c t e r o f C h r i s t , i t i s i m p l i e d , i s above  The Son i s , i n f a c t , the p e r f e c t magnanimous man by Satan.  temptation.  b e f o r e he i s approached  There i s no development o r p r o g r e s s i o n i n the poem because  C h r i s t has r e a l i z e d h i s p o t e n t i a l f o r h e r o i s m b e f o r e he i s c a l l e d upon to  prove i t .  C h r i s t , most r e a d e r s o f P a r a d i s e Regained seem t o  i s more d i v i n e than human.  agree,  As a r e s u l t , the r e a d e r i s not made t o f e e l  t h a t the Son i_s hungry or t h a t t h e r e ^Ls any p o s s i b i l i t y of h i s weakening. Satan's o v e r t u r e s thus become empty m o t i o n s , and the poem f a i l s  t o engage  3  the  reader. What f o l l o w s i n t h i s c h a p t e r i s not o f f e r e d i n the hope t h a t a  critical  r e v a l u a t i o n o f the poem w i l l  o p i n i o n s o f men to was  who  suddenly  a l t e r the a t t i t u d e s and  are w i s e r and more e x p e r i e n c e d  than I , but  simply  show what I take t o be M i l t o n ' s b e s t e x p r e s s i o n of what h e r o i c to be.  I n my  o p i n i o n , t h e r e i s a c o n f l i c t i n the poem.  man  I t concerns  C h r i s t ' s p e r f e c t h e r o i s m , h i s magnanimous n a t u r e . Satan's t e m p t a t i o n o f C h r i s t i s a t e m p t a t i o n f o r the s u p e r i o r man  e i t h e r t o renounce o r f a i l t o r e c o g n i z e h i s own  The A d v e r s a r y ' s  magnanimity.  p l a n i s t o prove t h a t Jesus i s not the p e r f e c t  He can do t h i s by showing t h a t C h r i s t ' s s e l f - e s t e e m i s not or by d e m o n s t r a t i n g his  apparently  man.  justifiable,  t h a t the Son does not p l a c e s u f f i c i e n t emphasis on  own w o r t h , by showing t h a t C h r i s t i s proud, a m b i t i o u s , o r p u s i l l a n i m o u s .  S a t a n , i n f a c t , c h a l l e n g e s the Son's magnanimity, and the l a t t e r , t h e r e f o r e ,  118 i s c a l l e d upon t o defend and b a t t l e , as S a u r a t has  t o d e f i n e h i s own  superior nature.  contended, i s between r e a s o n and  passion  r e a s o n ) , a p u r e l y i n t e l l e c t u a l c o n f l i c t i n which r e a s o n and contend f o r the mastery of man.^  Their (false  passion  Seen i n t h i s c o n t e x t , P a r a d i s e  does embrace and c o n t a i n a d r a m a t i c  situation.There  i s n o t , as  Regained W.W.  6 Robson a r g u e s , "an e s s e n t i a l f a i l u r e i n the l i f e of the poem." challenge  to C h r i s t represents  magnanimity.  7  a challenge  Satan s  t o M i l t o n ' s concept of h e r o i c  C h r i s t ' s answer t o the d e v i l ' s c h a l l e n g e  therefore  provides  us w i t h M i l t o n ' s f i n a l p a t t e r n of magnanimity or h e r o i c v i r t u e . On our f i r s t meeting w i t h M i l t o n ' s C h r i s t , we the s u p e r i o r man.  We  acknowledges h i s own on God  l e a r n t h a t he i s  l e a r n t h a t he has a c q u i r e d s e l f - k n o w l e d g e . weakness as man  by e x p l a i n i n g t h a t he i s dependent  ( I . 293), and knows h i s s t r e n g t h as man  be a s o l d i e r i n the army of God.  He  by r e c o g n i z i n g t h a t he  From h i s c h i l d h o o d , he  can  admits,  . . .my mind was s e t S e r i o u s t o l e a r n and know, and thence t o do What m i g h t be p u b l i c good; m y s e l f I thought Born t o t h a t end, b o r n t o promote a l l t r u t h , A l l righteous things . . . . ( I . 202-205) Aware of h i s own  w o r t h , C h r i s t ' s mind a s p i r e s to h i g h e r t h i n g s , to the  p u r s u i t of honour and g l o r y . the Son  "Admir'd by a l l " f o r h i s y o u t h f u l wisdom,  admits: . . . v i c t o r i o u s deeds Flam'd i n my h e a r t h e r o i c a c t s ; one w h i l e To r e s c u e I s r a e l from the Roman yoke, Then t o subdue and q u e l l o'er a l l the e a r t h Brute v i o l e n c e and proud T y r a n n i c pow'r, T i l l t r u t h were f r e e d , and e q u i t y r e s t o r ' d : Yet h e l d i t more humane, more h e a v e n l y , f i r s t  119 By w i n n i n g words to conquer w i l l i n g h e a r t s , And make p e r s u a s i o n do the work o f f e a r ; A t l e a s t to t r y , and t e a c h the e r r i n g S o u l Not w i l f u l l y m i s d o i n g , but unware M i s l e d : the s t u b b o r n o n l y t o subdue. ( I . 215-226)  Moreover, C h r i s t knows t h a t the end o f h i s l i f e i s u n i o n w i t h h i s f a t h e r . A f t e r f u l f i l l i n g h i s o b l i g a t i o n s as man, the p e r f e c t knowledge o f  he w i l l u l t i m a t e l y a c q u i r e  God.  . . . my way must l i e Through many a h a r d assay even t o the d e a t h , Ere I the promis'd Kingdom can a t t a i n .... ( I . 263-265) Thus b e f o r e he i s c o n f r o n t e d by S a t a n , C h r i s t i s magnanimous man. r e c o g n i z e s h i s own w o r t h .  He  He seeks the honour and g l o r y o f God, and  a s p i r e s t o a t t a i n the p e r f e c t knowledge o f God. magnanimous n a t u r e t h a t makes him v u l n e r a b l e .  he  But i t i s C h r i s t ' s Because he wants i m m e d i a t e l y  to b e g i n the b a t t l e a g a i n s t e v i l , because he wants t o g l o r i f y  and honour  God by d e s t r o y i n g e v i l , Satan can o f f e r him the apparent means to do so, and can c r i t i c i z e the Son f o r n e g l e c t i n g h i s r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s w h i l e m e d i t a t i n g i n the d e s e r t .  And t h i s i s p r e c i s e l y what Satan's r e a l tempt-  a t i o n i s . C o n f r o n t e d by the A d v e r s a r y , C h r i s t must l e a r n t o d i f f e r e n t i a t e between good and e v i l .  He must l e a r n t o d i s c e r n what i s i n t r i n s i c a l l y  good and to a c c e p t i t , and t o d i s c e r n what i s i n t r i n s i c a l l y e v i l reject i t .  C h r i s t must demonstrate  h i s a b i l i t y t o d i s t i n g u i s h between  apparent and a c t u a l , t o r e j e c t the former and embrace the l a t t e r . the Son must become aware of what genuine or r e a l h e r o i s m e n t a i l s embraces.  and  Indeed, and  The i m p o r t a n t p o i n t i s t h a t C h r i s t does not y e t f u l l y comprehend  120 how he may  b e g i n h i s good works.  how and when he s h a l l b e g i n .  He does not know what he w i l l  He knows o n l y t h a t he i s the Son o f God  and t h a t he has a duty t o perform. acknowledged his  do or  S i n g l e d out by John the B a p t i s t  and  as the M e s s i a h by s i g n s from heaven, C h r i s t reasons t h a t  work can now b e g i n .  . . . I knew the time Now f u l l , t h a t I no more s h o u l d l i v e o b s c u r e , But o p e n l y b e g i n , as b e s t becomes The A u t h o r i t y which I d e r i v ' d from Heaven. And now by some s t r o n g m o t i o n I am l e d I n t o t h i s W i l d e r n e s s , t o what i n t e n t I l e a r n not"yet; perhaps I need not know; F o r what concerns my knowledge God r e v e a l s . ( I . 286-293)  S a t a n , we d i s c o v e r , l o s e s l i t t l e  time i n a n a l y z i n g h i s opponent's  s t r e n g t h s and p o t e n t i a l weaknesses, and h i s f i r s t encounter w i t h the Son i s r e a l l y n o t h i n g more than a k i n d of r e c o n n a i s s a n c e m i s s i o n . The A d v e r s a r y ' s f i r s t and foremost t a s k i s t o d i s c o v e r the t r u e i d e n t i t y of Jesus.  He does not know f o r c e r t a i n whether the s e l f -  p r o c l a i m e d M e s s i a h i s the a c t u a l Son o f God.  To h i s comrades, Satan  thus announces:  Who t h i s i s we must l e a r n , f o r man he seems In a l l h i s l i n e a m e n t s , though i n h i s f a c e The g l i m p s e s o f h i s F a t h e r ' s g l o r y s h i n e ^ ( I . 91-93)  To t h i s end a l l the d e v i l ' s energy i s d i r e c t e d .  By s u g g e s t i n g t h a t no  o r d i n a r y man would v e n t u r e a l o n e i n t o the w i l d e r n e s s ( I . 321-325),  and  by r e m a r k i n g t h a t the wanderer i s the man whom John the B a p t i s t had d e c l a r e d the promised d e l i v e r e r o f men,  Satan hopes to g a i n from the  man  121 a d e c l a r a t i o n and c o n f i r m a t i o n of h i s ( J e s u s ' ) i d e n t i t y .  But the  Son  answers Satan's e x p l o r a t o r y q u e s t i o n by a f l a t d e c l a r a t i o n of h i s f a i t h i n God:  "Who  brought me h i t h e r / W i l l b r i n g me hence, no o t h e r guide  I seek" ( I . 335-336).  Satan's f i r s t demand o f C h r i s t i s a c a r e f u l l y  framed q u e s t i o n which i s put f o r w a r d i n the hope t h a t C h r i s t w i l l demonstrate his divinity.  By c h a l l e n g i n g J e s u s t o t u r n s t o n e s i n t o bread  ( I . 342-345), Satan can e v a l u a t e h i s opponent's  power o f r e s i s t a n c e .  I f C h r i s t performs the m i r a c l e , the A d v e r s a r y w i l l l e a r n h i s i d e n t i t y ; i f the Son r e f u s e s , S a t a n can judge from J e s u s ' grounds f o r r e f u s a l whether the s o l i t a r y man  can be the promised s a v i o u r o f men.  Indeed,  from C h r i s t ' s answer Satan s h o u l d l e a r n p r e c i s e l y what he s e t out t o d i s c o v e r , and he does, i n f a c t , g a i n from the Son an a d m i s s i o n o f the latter's identity.  Jesus a s k s ,  Why d o s t thou then suggest to me d i s t r u s t , Knowing who I am, as I know who thou a r t ? ( I . 355-356)  S a t a n , however, does not comprehend the r e a l s i g n i f i c a n c e o f C h r i s t ' s r e j e c t i o n o f him. The Son i s equipped w i t h f a i t h i n h i m s e l f and h i s God,  and  t h e r e f o r e f e e l s no need t o demand proof o f , o r j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r h i s faith.  S i g n i f i c a n t l y , the man's response t o Satan's c h a l l e n g e , h i s  defence as i t were ( I . 347-356), i s based on m o r t a l men's a b i l i t y t o endure, and does n o t , t h e r e f o r e , g i v e the A d v e r s a r y any t a n g i b l e p r o o f of  Christ's divine nature.  The p l a i n f a c t t h a t Satan f a i l s to r e c o g n i z e  i s t h a t b e l i e f o r f a i t h r e q u i r e s no t a n g i b l e or c o n c r e t e p r o o f .  Satan,  122  however,'would see a s i g n ' .  The f i r s t  t e m p t a t i o n , i f i t may  be. r e f e r r e d  g to  as such, f a i l s .  That t h i s i s so i s not because Satan's demands have  f a i l e d t o a c h i e v e the d e s i r e d e f f e c t , but because Satan's  'unbelief  r e n d e r s him i n c a p a b l e o f comprehending C h r i s t ' s d i v i n e n a t u r e .  That i s ,  because Satan must have p h y s i c a l e v i d e n c e (a m i r a c l e ) t o a c c e p t t h a t C h r i s t i s the Son, he cannot b e l i e v e .  C h r i s t ' s b e l i e f , h i s a b i l i t y to  a c c e p t by f a i t h a l o n e , e n a b l e s him to r e c o g n i z e Satan as the e v i l and i t i s o n l y t h i s which p r o v i d e s Satan w i t h the s i g n he But the remainder  one,  requires.  o f the f i r s t encounter between the d e v i l and the  Son  r e v e a l s t h a t Satan i s r e s o u r c e f u l , c u n n i n g , and a worthy a d v e r s a r y , for, to  now  r e a s o n a b l y c o n v i n c e d o f h i s enemy's i d e n t i t y , the d e v i l b e g i n s  plot his strategy.  He a t t e m p t s , by r e c o n n o i t e r i n g h i s opponent's  d e f e n c e s , t o d i s c o v e r where the Son i s most v u l n e r a b l e .  Before he  c o n f r o n t e d the Son, Satan had t o l d h i s comrades t h a t f o r c e would not be s u c c e s s f u l , t h a t they would, r a t h e r , have t o employ " w e l l - c o u c h t f r a u d , 1  well-woven  snares" ( I . 97).  Satan's r e m a i n i n g speeches i n the f i r s t book  of  the poem r e v e a l h i s s k i l f u l  of  f r a u d w i l l b e s t serve him.  attempt t o d i s c o v e r what p a r t i c u l a r k i n d  Because C h r i s t r e c o g n i z e s him, Satan c a p i t a l i z e s on the weakness o f h i s own  position.  He o p e n l y d e c l a r e s h i s i d e n t i t y and  to make an a p p e a l t o the Son's sympathies.  The A d v e r s a r y ' s l o n g  ( I . 357-405) i s complex, a m i x t u r e o f t r u t h and f a l s e h o o d . t h a t he f e e l s remorse: S p i r i t " who  apparent  the a n g e l s ' r e v o l t was  has l o s t h i s "happy S t a t i o n " .  He  proceeds speech  implies  " r a s h " ; he i s an " u n f o r t u n a t e  Yet he e x p l a i n s t h a t he  still  e n j o y s " l a r g e l i b e r t y " , and then complains t h a t he i s i n v o l u n t a r i l y i n  123 God's s e r v i c e :  "For what he b i d s I do" ( I . 3 7 7 ) .  c o n f u s i o n , however, i s a r u s e .  Satan's apparent  H i s r e a l s t r a t e g y becomes apparent  when he e x p l a i n s h i s new c o n d i t i o n and i n f o r m s the Son why he has c o n f r o n t e d him.  (Satan)  Satan e x p l a i n s :  . . . I have not l o s t To l o v e , a t l e a s t contemplate and admire What I see e x c e l l e n t i n good, o r f a i r , Or v i r t u o u s ; I s h o u l d so have l o s t a l l sense. What can be then l e s s i n me than d e s i r e To see thee and approach t h e e , whom I know D e c l a r ' d the Son of God, t o hear a t t e n t Thy wisdom, and b e h o l d t h y G o d l i k e deeds? ( I . 379-386)  Satan's p l a n i s t o make C h r i s t aware o f the l a t t e r ' s own sense of w o r t h , his to  magnanimity.  S a t a n f l a t t e r s the Son.  But he does not a l l o w C h r i s t  ponder the meaning o f t h i s , f o r he i m m e d i a t e l y changes the d i r e c t i o n  of h i s argument. ( I . 387-396).  He p l e a d s t h a t he i s not the sworn enemy o f  man  He argues t h a t h i s own m i s e r y i s not a l l e v i a t e d by making  o t h e r s m i s e r a b l e ( I . 397-403), and ends by a s s e r t i n g t h a t h i s own m i s e r y i s compounded by the knowledge  t h a t he can never be r e s t o r e d ( I . 404-405).  Satan's complex and o f t e n c o n t r a d i c t o r y arguments c o n t r i v e d t e s t of C h r i s t ' s perception.  r e p r e s e n t an e l a b o r a t e l y  From C h r i s t ' s response S a t a n w i l l  l e a r n a g r e a t d e a l about h i s enemy. When C h r i s t r e p l i e s and r e v e a l s t h a t he has not been c o n f u s e d by the arguments thing:  Satan has put f o r w a r d , the A d v e r s a r y l e a r n s one i m p o r t a n t  C h r i s t i s eager t o a t t a c k him f o r h i s e v i l d o i n g s , but i s not  d i s p o s e d t o rebuke Satan f o r the l a t t e r ' s f l a t t e r y . u p b r a i d the e v i l one f o r p r e t e n d i n g t o admire v i r t u e .  C h r i s t does not Satan's next  speech ( I . 468-492) thus e x p l o r e s the one p o s s i b l e weakness i n C h r i s t ' s  124 c h a r a c t e r he has d i s c o v e r e d .  Satan c l a i m s t h a t he admires v i r t u e and  t h e r e f o r e wishes t o be i n the presence o f v i r t u e  ( I . 482-485).  But  Satan's a p p e a l i s made even s t r o n g e r by d i r e c t i n g h i s arguments  to  C h r i s t ' s knowledge  Christ  of e v i l  i n the w o r l d o f men.  s h o u l d r e j e c t him i f God a l l o w s e v i l men  Satan asks why  t o profane H i s g l o r y ( I . 486-492).  Once more the A d v e r s a r y ' s argument i s two-pronged.  He a p p e a l s , f i r s t ,  to C h r i s t ' s own sense o f worth and d i g n i t y , and, s e c o n d l y , t o the Son's r o l e i n the u l t i m a t e e x t e r m i n a t i o n o f e v i l . permitted to f l o u r i s h u n t i l the  By s u g g e s t i n g t h a t e v i l i s  the coming o f C h r i s t , S a t a n i s f l a t t e r i n g  Son, b o l s t e r i n g C h r i s t ' s ego and i m p e l l i n g him t o r e c o g n i z e h i s own  worth.  Once more C h r i s t answers c o r r e c t l y but does not say enough.  He t e l l s S a t a n :  Thy coming h i t h e r , though I know t h y scope, I b i d not o r f o r b i d ; do as thou f i n d ' s t P e r m i s s i o n from above; thou c a n s t n o t more. ( I . 493-495)  By a n s w e r i n g S a t a n as he does h e r e , and by not s a y i n g more, Jesus g i v e s S a t a n two v a l u a b l e p i e c e s o f i n f o r m a t i o n .  The f i r s t i s t h a t C h r i s t i s  not a v e r s e t o b e i n g f l a t t e r e d ; t w i c e S a t a n has o p e n l y p r a i s e d the Son and n e i t h e r time has he been r e b u f f e d .  The second i s t h a t C h r i s t ,  who,  as S a t a n had l e a r n e d e a r l i e r ( I . 460-461), i s "minded t o do some g r e a t act",  i s c o n s c i o u s o f h i s own w o r t h ; he w i l l not s h r i n k from the e n c o u n t e r  w i t h e v i l and i n d e e d , stands ready and w a i t i n g t o do b a t t l e w i t h e v i l . I have c o n s i d e r e d Satan's f i r s t o v e r t u r e s a t some l e n g t h here because, i t seems t o me, the  t h e y r e v e a l the course t h a t the c o n t e s t between  d e v i l and the Son i s t o t a k e .  S a t a n has d i s c o v e r e d a p o t e n t i a l l y  125 weak spot i n C h r i s t ' s armor: do b a t t l e a g a i n s t e v i l , (his  the Son, because he f e r v e n t l y d e s i r e s t o  can be g u i l t y of p r i d e i n e i t h e r h i s m i s s i o n  sense of worth) o r h i s achievements.  T h i s i s r e f l e c t e d i n the Son's  f a i l u r e t o r e j e c t Satan's f l a t t e r y and p r a i s e .  How  Satan r e a c t s a f t e r  his  f i r s t e n c o u n t e r w i t h C h r i s t s e r v e s t o show t h a t he has d i s c o v e r e d  the  one p o s s i b l e weakness i n the c h a r a c t e r of h i s opponent, and s e r v e s  to  show, moreover,  t h a t he i s determined t o take f u l l advantage o f the  intelligence. A d d r e s s i n g h i s comrades,  Satan r e l a t e s what he has d i s c o v e r e d .  He has r e c o g n i z e d t h a t C h r i s t i s a s u p e r i o r man,  and a d m i t s :  I , as I u n d e r t o o k , and w i t h the v o t e C o n s e n t i n g i n f u l l frequence was empow'r'd, Have found him, v i e w ' d him, t a s t e d him, but f i n d Far o t h e r l a b o r t o be undergone Than when I d e a l t w i t h Adam f i r s t of Men, Though Adam by h i s W i f e ' s a l l u r e m e n t f e l l , However t o t h i s Man i n f e r i o r f a r , I f he be Man by Mother's s i d e a t l e a s t W i t h more than human g i f t s from Heav'n adorn'd, P e r f e c t i o n s a b s o l u t e , Graces d i v i n e , And a m p l i t u d e o f mind t o g r e a t e s t Deeds. ( I I . 129-139)  Thus when B e l i a l s u g g e s t s p h y s i c a l t e m p t a t i o n i n the form o f women (II.  153-171), S a t a n f l a t l y  d i a g n o s e s , i s one  rebukes him.  C h r i s t , Satan c o r r e c t l y  "on w o r t h i e r t h i n g s i n t e n t " ( i i . 195).  The Son i s  . . . wiser far Than Solomon, o f more e x a l t e d mind, Made and s e t w h o l l y on th'accomplishment Of g r e a t e r t h i n g s . . . . ( I I . 205-207) C h r i s t i s not t o be d e f e a t e d by too o b v i o u s means, and Satan c o n c l u d e s t h a t the a s s a u l t must be more p s y c h o l o g i c a l than p h y s i c a l .  He  resolves:  126 . .. . w i t h m a n l i e r o b j e c t s we must t r y H i s c o n s t a n c y , w i t h such as have more show Of w o r t h , o f honor, g l o r y , and p o p u l a r p r a i s e ; Rocks w h e r e o n * g r e a t e s t men have o f t e s t wreck'd; Or t h a t which o n l y seems t o s a t i s f y L a w f u l d e s i r e s o f N a t u r e , not beyond .... ( I I . 225-230; my i t a l i c s ) To judge from Satan's words h e r e , i t seems t h a t the A d v e r s a r y r e c o g n i z e s he w i l l o f f e r o n l y the a p p a r e n t l y good t h i n g s . be i r o n i c .  But Satan's words must  He t h i n k s t h a t he w i l l a p p e a l t o C h r i s t ' s r e a s o n r a t h e r than  t o h i s p a s s i o n , t o the Son's sense o f worth and d i g n i t y , h i s i n t e l l i g e n c e . The i r o n y i s t h a t Satan's s t r a t e g y i s b r i l l i a n t but h i s method i s s t u p i d . He c o u l d tempt C h r i s t i f he c o r r e c t l y u n d e r s t o o d the n a t u r e of g l o r y , honour, w o r t h , and the e s s e n t i a l n a t u r e o f C h r i s t ' s proposed war evil.  against  That i s , i f the A d v e r s a r y were t o rebuke C h r i s t f o r not i m m e d i a t e l y  b e g i n n i n g t o do God's work, i f he were t o c h a l l e n g e C h r i s t f o r n o t h a s t e n i n g t o a l l e v i a t e human m i s e r y by p r e a c h i n g the word of God, h i s t e m p t a t i o n c o u l d c o n c e i v a b l y be e f f e c t i v e .  But, as we d i s c o v e r from  Satan's conduct of the t e m p t a t i o n , i t i s u t t e r l y  futile.  The second c o n f r o n t a t i o n b e g i n s when the A d v e r s a r y o f f e r s nourishment t o C h r i s t . i n men  The e v i l one argues t h a t hunger i s a n a t u r a l d e s i r e  t h a t must be s a t i s f i e d ( I I . 302-316), and C h r i s t _is hungry.  Satan's t e m p t a t i o n goes beyond the p u r e l y p h y s i c a l . o t h e r f a i t h f u l s e r v a n t s o f God have been f e d by God  But  He p o i n t s out t h a t ( I I . 306-313),  and  i m p l i e s t h a t C h r i s t , as God's most f a i t h f u l s e r v a n t , s h o u l d not then do w i t h o u t nourishment.  He t h e r e f o r e a s k s the Son whether he would e a t i f  food were s e t b e f o r e him ( I I . 320-321). C h r i s t answers  When, i n r e p l y t o Satan's q u e s t i o n ,  " T h e r e a f t e r as I l i k e / The g i v e r " ( I I . 321-322), S a t a n  127 makes a d i r e c t a p p e a l t o J e s u s ' magnanimity.  He asks why C h r i s t , as  l o r d o f a l l c r e a t e d t h i n g s , s h o u l d n o t be f r e e t o take whatever r e q u i r e s ( I I . 322-327).  he  He argues t h a t Nature h e r s e l f r e c o g n i z e s  C h r i s t ' s s u p e r i o r n a t u r e , and hence o f f e r s the Son h e r c h o i c e s t d e l i c a c i e s . The b e a r e r s of the f o o d , Satan t e l l s  Christ,  . . . are S p i r i t s o f A i r , and Woods, and S p r i n g s , Thy g e n t l e M i n i s t e r s , who come t o pay Thee homage, and acknowledge thee t h i r L o r d .... ( I I . 374-376)  But C h r i s t ' s r e j e c t i o n of Satan's o f f e r r e v e a l s t h a t the Son has not been t a k e n i n by Satan's f l a t t e r y , f o r C h r i s t demonstrates t h a t he i s a b l e t o r e j e c t S a t a n because he ( C h r i s t ) c o r r e c t l y u n d e r s t a n d s h i s own He  dignity.  answers: S h a l l I r e c e i v e by g i f t what o f my own, When and where l i k e s me b e s t , I can command? ( I I . 380-381)  S a t a n had a p p e a l e d t o C h r i s t ' s magnanimity by C h r i s t ' s magnanimous n a t u r e .  t o tempt him but i s rebuked  That i s , the A d v e r s a r y ' s a p p e a l was  d i r e c t e d t o C h r i s t ' s s u p e r i o r n a t u r e but i s r e j e c t e d because Satan has n o t p r o p e r l y u n d e r s t o o d how c o n v i n c e d of h i s own worth the Son a c t u a l l y is.  The f o o d Satan o f f e r s i s not i n t r i n s i c a l l y e v i l , but i f C h r i s t  a c c e p t s i t , he w i l l n o t , i n f a c t , r e c o g n i z e h i s own worth and power. The r e s t of the e v i l one's o v e r t u r e s a r e s i m i l a r l y m o t i v a t e d and  similarly  repulsed. What S a t a n o f f e r s t o C h r i s t c o m p r i s e s what A r i s t o t l e ' s magnanimous man  pursues.  Satan o f f e r s C h r i s t the means whereby the Son might a c q u i r e  128 honour. Power and r i c h e s , A r i s t o t l e had the magnanimous man  contended, were d e s i r a b l e .  But  wanted them f o r the sake of the honour t h a t surrounded  9 them.  They were, t h e n , means t o an end.  M i l t o n ' s magnanimous  man,  however, does not a c c e p t t h a t the ends j u s t i f y the means, f o r M i l t o n ' s s u p e r i o r man  must be p e r f e c t l y and i n w a r d l y v i r t u o u s .  h i m s e l f i s as i m p o r t a n t  as why  How  man  conducts  he conducts h i m s e l f i n a p a r t i c u l a r  M i l t o n ' s d e f i n i t i o n of magnanimity must be quoted once more.  way.  "Magnanimity",  he a s s e r t e d , " i s shown, when i n the s e e k i n g or a v o i d i n g , the acceptance o_r r e f u s a l of r i c h e s , advantages, or h o n o r s , we our own  d i g n i t y , r i g h t l y u n d e r s t o o d " (my  are a c t u a t e d by a r e g a r d  italics).^  M i l t o n makes i t  c l e a r , t h e n , t h a t the magnanimous man's p u r s u i t of honour must not an i n d i s c r i m i n a t e q u e s t .  The  s u p e r i o r man  to  be  must comprehend i n what r e a l  honour c o n s i s t s , and must, i n a d d i t i o n , ' r i g h t l y ' u n d e r s t a n d h i m s e l f , his  own  d i g n i t y and w o r t h .  Satan's second t e m p t a t i o n  d i f f e r e n t i a t e between l e g i t i m a t e and impels  the Son  t o r e c o g n i z e h i s own  forces C h r i s t to  i l l e g i t i m a t e honour and g l o r y , and d i g n i t y ; i t i s a t e s t of C h r i s t ' s  knowledge of h e r o i c v i r t u e . 11 Satan's argument m a n i f e s t s  t h a t he has a f a l s e i d e a of h e r o i s m .  I n f a c t , he f a i l s to u n d e r s t a n d the meaning of h e r o i c v i r t u e as M i l t o n understood i t . imous man,  The A d v e r s a r y r e c o g n i z e s  the e x t e r n a l s i g n s of the magnan-  but does not p e r c e i v e , as C h r i s t does, t h a t r e a l h e r o i s m i s  an i n w a r d q u a l i t y .  Indeed, as M i l t o n ' s " b e t t e r t e a c h e r " Spenser, had  argued i n the F a e r i e Queene, . . . v e r t u e s seat i s deepe w i t h i n the mynd And not i n outward shows, but inward thoughts defynd. ( P r o l o g u e , V I . i v . 8-9)  129 Paradise  Regained makes i t c l e a r t h a t M i l t o n f o l l o w e d h i s t e a c h e r ' s  advice.  S a t a n assumes t h a t C h r i s t ' s " g r e a t a c t s " w i l l be h e r o i c i n the conventional  sense; he assumes t h a t C h r i s t w i l l wage a m a g n i f i c e n t  on e v i l w h i c h w i l l exceed the pomp and s p l e n d o r conquests.  and  o f Caesar's g r e a t e s t  He assumes t h a t C h r i s t w i l l be a v a l i a n t g e n e r a l who  l e a d a grand army i n t o b a t t l e .  war  Because he u n d e r s t a n d s " h i g h  will  designs"  " h i g h a c t i o n s " as c o n s i s t i n g i n m i l i t a r y v i c t o r i e s , Satan n a t u r a l l y  assumes t h a t C h r i s t w i l l r e q u i r e money.  He asks  Jesus:  Which way o r from what hope d o s t thou a s p i r e To g r e a t n e s s ? whence A u t h o r i t y d e r i v ' s t , What f o l l o w e r s , what R e t i n u e c a n s t thou g a i n , Or a t t h y h e e l s the d i z z y M u l t i t u d e , Longer than thou c a n s t f e e d them on t h y c o s t ? Money b r i n g s Honor, F r i e n d s , Conquest, and Realms ( I I . 417-422)  ....  But C h r i s t answers Satan's q u e s t i o n , and r e b u t s h i s argument t h a t v i r t u e , v a l o r , and wisdom l i v e i n p o v e r t y and a r e t h e r e f o r e impotent ( I I . 430-432), 12 by p o i n t i n g out t h a t men cannot be r u l e d by f o r c e  alone.  Yet W e a l t h w i t h o u t these t h r e e i s impotent To g a i n dominion o r t o keep i t g a i n ' d . ( I I . 434-435)  R i c h e s , the Son then p o i n t s o u t , a r e a h i n d r a n c e t o v i r t u e ( I I . 435-456), and  power, he adds, i s a c u r s e r a t h e r than a b l e s s i n g , a p a i n f u l o b l i g a t i o n  ( I I . 457-465).  But C h r i s t ' s r e a l grounds f o r r e f u s a l a r e s u r e l y not  based on h i s d i s t a s t e f o r r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . in Milton's religious convictions.  They a r e , r a t h e r , to be found  The Son p o i n t s out t h a t the man 13  seeks power over o t h e r men must f i r s t master h i m s e l f . that:  He contends  who  130 . . . he who r e i g n s w i t h i n h i m s e l f , and r u l e s P a s s i o n s , D e s i r e s , and F e a r s , i s more a K i n g ; Which e v e r y w i s e and v i r t u o u s man a t t a i n s : And who a t t a i n s n o t , i l l a s p i r e s to r u l e C i t i e s of men, or h e a d s t r o n g M u l t i t u d e s , S u b j e c t h i m s e l f to Anarchy w i t h i n , Or l a w l e s s p a s s i o n s * i n him, w h i c h he s e r v e s . But t o guide N a t i o n s i n the way of t r u t h By s a v i n g D o c t r i n e , and from e r r o r l e a d To know, and knowing w o r s h i p God a r i g h t , Is y e t more K i n g l y ; t h i s a t t r a c t s the S o u l , Governs the i n n e r man, the n o b l e r p a r t ; That o t h e r o'er the body o n l y r e i g n s , And o f t by f o r c e , which to a generous mind So r e i g n i n g can be no s i n c e r e d e l i g h t . B e s i d e s , t o g i v e a Kingdom h a t h been thought G r e a t e r , and n o b l e r done, and to l a y down Far more magnanimous than to assume. ( I I . 466-483) This l o n g passage I have quoted here c o n t a i n s w i t h i n i t s e l f M i l t o n ' s concept o f h e r o i c man.  The magnanimous man  of h i m s e l f i n o r d e r t o be a governor of men.  the germ of  must f i r s t be master  M i l t o n ' s p r a i s e of O l i v e r  Cromwell i n the Second Defense of the E n g l i s h People (1654) r e v e a l s poet's a b i d i n g c o n c e r n w i t h the i n d i v i d u a l ' s s e l f - m a s t e r y .  the  Cromwell, he  wrote,  . . . was a s o l d i e r , above a l l o t h e r s the most e x e r c i s e d i n the knowledge o f h i m s e l f ; he had e i t h e r d e s t r o y e d , or reduced to h i s own c o n t r o l , a l l enemies w i t h i n h i s own b r e a s t — v a i n hopes, f e a r s , d e s i r e s . A commander f i r s t over h i m s e l f , the conqueror of h i m s e l f , i t was over h i m s e l f he had l e a r n t most t o t r i u m p h .  The  importance M i l t o n a t t a c h e d  t o i n d i v i d u a l s e l f - m a s t e r y cannot be  s t r e s s e d i n d e a l i n g w i t h h i s concept of h e r o i c man.  over-  I t i s c l e a r that  Satan does not comprehend t h a t the magnanimous man's g r e a t e s t v i c t o r y i s p e r s o n a l , t h a t h i s g r a n d e s t conquest i s the overcoming of h i s weakness.  own  The A d v e r s a r y e x p e c t s t h a t C h r i s t , l i k e Moses or D a v i d , w i l l  engage i n p h y s i c a l combat w i t h e v i l .  Satan does not r e c o g n i z e  that  the  131 b a t t l e C h r i s t i s f i g h t i n g and w i l l c o n t i n u e t o f i g h t , i s inward i n n a t u r e , and t h a t i t w i l l be f o u g h t w i t h i n each man who  seeks honour.  Men must  be persuaded t o be v i r t u o u s and t o j o i n the army o f the f o r c e s f o r g o o d — n o t c o e r c e d or c o n s t r a i n e d . Kingdom"  w  I t i s thus C h r i s t can argue " t o g i v e a  i s more magnanimous than t o assume one.  m i s s i o n t o o f f e r a kingdom t o a l l men.  He w i l l not attempt to f o r c e  obedience t o h i s r u l e and command, but w i l l to  self-government.  i n s t e a d show men  of h e r o i s m .  often  C h r i s t ' s statement  r e p r e s e n t s what i s f o r M i l t o n the e s s e n t i a l  C h r i s t f r e e l y o f f e r s men  showing them the pathway t o h e r o i s m . of  the way  Hughes notes t h a t " r e f u s a l o f a crown was  c i t e d as a supreme example o f m a g n a n i m i t y , b u t h e r e , i t seems t o me,  Indeed, i t i s C h r i s t ' s  quality  a sense o f worth and d i g n i t y by Magnanimity thus t a k e s on the meaning  g e n e r o s i t y , and t h i s , i n the f i n a l a n a l y s i s , i s an i n t e g r a l p a r t o f  M i l t o n ' s concept o f h e r o i s m .  Men are heroes when t h e y conquer  themselves  and seek t o show o t h e r s the way  t o s e l f - m a s t e r y and e t e r n a l h a p p i n e s s .  The Son argues t h a t magnanimity  does not i n v o l v e i m p o s i n g one's w i l l  o t h e r s , but r a t h e r i n v o l v e s o f f e r i n g one's s e r v i c e s t o o t h e r s .  on  Satan's  u n d e r s t a n d i n g of h e r o i s m w i t h i t s i m p l i c a t i o n s o f f o r c e and c o n s t r a i n t i s 16 r e a l l y anathema t o M i l t o n . The remainder o f Satan's arguments  i n d i c a t e t h a t he has f a i l e d t o  p e r c e i v e the e s s e n t i a l q u a l i t y of C h r i s t ' s magnanimity.  Indeed, Satan's  c l e v e r n e s s and h i s r e s o u r c e f u l n e s s d i m i n i s h r a p i d l y i n the t h i r d and f o u r t h books o f the poem.  He i s enamoured o f e a r t h l y g l o r y and assumes  t h a t C h r i s t w i l l n a t u r a l l y share h i s l o v e . Christ i s pusillanimous ( I I I .  Thus Satan's c h a l l e n g e t h a t  21-42), though i t c o u l d have been e f f e c t i v e  i f he had a r r a i g n e d the Son f o r not b e g i n n i n g t o preach the g o s p e l o f  132 s a l v a t i o n , l o s e s any e f f e c t i t might have had because Satan's c h a l l e n g e i s based on a w h o l l y f a l s e premise:  e a r t h l y g l o r y i s good i n i t s e l f .  C h r i s t thus a t t a c k s Satan f o r the d e v i l ' s m i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g of g l o r y - w i t h o u t however d e f e n d i n g h i m s e l f a g a i n s t Satan's f i r s t charge  that  Jesus was n e g l e c t i n g h i s duty by n o t f u l f i l l i n g h i s o b l i g a t i o n s , by n o t , as i t were, s h i n i n g h i s l i g h t b e f o r e men.  S a t a n had a s k e d :  These G o d l i k e V i r t u e s w h e r e f o r e d o s t thou h i d e ? A f f e c t i n g p r i v a t e l i f e , or more obscure I n savage W i l d e r n e s s . . . ? ( I I I . 21-23) But S a t a n had e m a s c u l a t e d h i s own q u e s t i o n by a d d i n g t h a t C h r i s t ' s was  guilt  the r e s u l t of h i s f a i l u r e to pursue g l o r y as Satan u n d e r s t o o d i t  ( I I I . 23-30).  The Son thus rebukes Satan by making a l o n g speech on  the r e a l n a t u r e of the g l o r y the magnanimous man  pursues.  C h r i s t argues  t h a t the p r a i s e of the m u l t i t u d e i s f a l s e g l o r y ( I I I . 4 7 - 5 6 ) . ^  He  p o i n t s out t h a t those men who have most e a g e r l y pursued ' g l o r y ' are the w o r s t enemies t o mankind.  They e r r who count i t g l o r i o u s t o subdue By Conquest f a r and wide, to o v e r r u n Large C o u n t r i e s , and i n f i e l d g r e a t B a t t l e s w i n , Great C i t i e s by a s s a u l t : what do these W o r t h i e s , But rob and s p o i l , b u r n , s l a u g h t e r , and e n s l a v e Peaceable N a t i o n s , n e i g h b o r i n g or remote, Made C a p t i v e , y e t d e s e r v i n g freedom more Than those t h i r Conquerors, who l e a v e b e h i n d N o t h i n g but r u i n wheresoe'er they r o v e , And a l l the f l o u r i s h i n g works o f peace d e s t r o y , Then s w e l l w i t h p r i d e , and must be t i t l ' d Gods, Great b e n e f a c t o r s of mankind, D e l i v e r e r s , W o r s h i p ' t w i t h Temple, P r i e s t and S a c r i f i c e ? One i s the Son of J o v e , or Mars the o t h e r , T i l l Conqueror Death d i s c o v e r them s c a r c e men, R o l l i n g i n b r u t i s h v i c e s , and deform'd^, V i o l e n t or shameful death t h i r due reward. ( I I I . 71-87)  133 The magnanimous man's m i s s i o n i s n o t t o d e s t r o y but t o b u i l d . to be r e h a b i l i t a t e d r a t h e r than punished.  Moreover, the g l o r y the t r u l y  h e r o i c man pursues i s n o t h i s own but God's ( I I I . 106-107). g l o r y i s thus t o be o b t a i n e d by the unswerving will  The h i g h e s t  p u r s u i t o f t r u t h , the  of God. i:For M i l t o n , t h u s , S o c r a t e s and Job a r e more h e r o i c than  a l l the heroes  of the p a s t , f o r they have been t r u e t o themselves  the cause o f good.  and' t o  True g l o r y , we l e a r n , i s tantamount t o fame i n  Heaven; i t i s " t o s t a n d approy'd his  Men a r e  i n s i g h t of God."  R e j e c t e d because o f  f a i l u r e t o comprehend the r e a l n a t u r e o f g l o r y , Satan s h i f t s h i s  a t t a c k t o o t h e r grounds; he u p b r a i d s the Son f o r the l a t t e r ' s  inactivity.  Satan's argument i s t h a t C h r i s t has a duty t o perform and i s n e g l i g e n t by h e s i t a t i n g t o execute i t . of b e i n g pusil/animous.  He accuses  the Son, i n e f f e c t ,  But once more Satan d e s t r o y s the e f f e c t i v e n e s s  of h i s argument by i m p l y i n g t h a t C h r i s t i s g u i l t y because he does n o t b e g i n t o pursue h i s own ( C h r i s t ' s ) g l o r y .  M i l t o n ' s magnanimous man, o f  c o u r s e , must n o t pursue h i s own g l o r y , f o r t o do so would render him g u i l t y o f a m b i t i o n , the excess o f magnanimity. sues God's g l o r y and w i l l i n g l y submits  t o the w i l l o f God.  a c t s o n l y when he knows t h a t God wants him t o . (III.  171-180), C h r i s t thus  The magnanimous man  To Satan's  pur-  He t h e r e f o r e challenge  responds:  A l l t h i n g s are b e s t f u l f i l l ' d i n t h e i r due t i m e , And .time t h e r e i s f o r a l l t h i n g s , T r u t h h a t h s a i d : I f of my r e i g n P r o p h e t i c W r i t h a t h t o l d That i t s h o u l d never end, so when b e g i n The F a t h e r i n h i s purpose h a t h decreed .... ( I I I . 182-186; my i t a l i c s ) Once a g a i n the A d v e r s a r y ' s  i g n o r a n c e has d e s t r o y e d the p o s s i b l e e f f e c t i v e n e s s  134 of h i s c h a l l e n g e .  S a t a n i s unaware o f God's grand d e s i g n and unaware  t h a t the g l o r y C h r i s t pursues i s n o t h i s ( C h r i s t ' s )  own.  Satan's a t t e m p t s to e n t r a p C h r i s t by showing him " a l l / The Kingdoms o f the w o r l d , and a l l t h i r w i t h r e l a t i v e ease by the Son. yet  g l o r y " (IV. 88-89) are thus r e f u t e d  T h i s i s so because the A d v e r s a r y has not  f u l l y u n d e r s t o o d t h a t C h r i s t ' s kingdom i s not o f t h i s w o r l d . A l l  Satan's o f f e r s of power, o f the means whereby C h r i s t might i n i t i a t e r u l e , are thus m e a n i n g l e s s . know the e v i l  Satan's n o t i o n t h a t C h r i s t w i l l have t o  the Son proposes t o overcome ( I I I .  246-250) i s a l s o m i s t a k e n .  C h r i s t w i l l not s e t out t o depose the c i v i l r u l e r s of e a r t h . r a t h e r , f r e e men  from t h e i r inward s e r v i t u d e .  i n the past are s i m i l a r l y i n v a l i d .  He w i l l ,  Because the A d v e r s a r y  does n o t know God's grand d e s i g n , a l l h i s examples of how men battled evil  his  The new  does not r e q u i r e means of the k i n d Satan proposes.  have  dispensation  Indeed, even  though  C h r i s t i n f o r m s S a t a n of the f a c t t h a t p h y s i c a l f o r c e , the "luggage of war", i s "argument / Of human weakness r a t h e r than o f s t r e n g t h " ( I I I . 402),  401-  the A d v e r s a r y does not y e t r e c o g n i z e what the n a t u r e o f C h r i s t ' s  r u l e w i l l be.  And when the Son t e l l s Satan t h a t men who  renounce  their  i n w a r d l i b e r t y deserve p h y s i c a l s e r v i t u d e ( I I I . 414-432), the d e v i l  still  f a i l s t o comprehend t h a t the power he o f f e r s t o C h r i s t i s w o r t h l e s s and impotent.  He p e r s i s t s .  and P a r t h i a n l e g i o n s . are  He o f f e r s C h r i s t a c h o i c e between the Roman From t h i s p o i n t i n the c o n t e s t , Satan's o v e r t u r e s  r e a l l y i n the r e a l m of t r a v e s t y .  H i s r e a s o n i n g power has a p p a r e n t l y  d e s e r t e d him, and h i s o r i g i n a l p l a n t o use " w e l l - c o u c h ' t f r a u d " c e r t a i n l y d i s a p p e a r s when he demands t h a t C h r i s t w o r s h i p him (IV. 166-167).  The  135 remainder o f Satan's t e m p t a t i o n s he has offer.  put forward  are u t t e r l y f u t i l e because, i n f a c t ,  the u n a c c e p t a b l e c o n d i t i o n b e f o r e he makes h i s n e x t  That i s , Satan w i l l g i v e to C h r i s t the "Kingdoms of the  i f the Son w i l l w o r s h i p him.  These are Satan's c o n d i t i o n s .  world"  Thus, any  o t h e r o f f e r s the A d v e r s a r y makes w i l l i n v o l v e the same c o n d i t i o n s . a r e s u l t , C h r i s t ' s r e f u s a l w i l l be a u t o m a t i c . wisdom and C h r i s t ' s vehement i n d i c t m e n t in this  As  Indeed, Satan's o f f e r of  o f e a r t h l y wisdom must be  seen  M i l t o n ' s t i r a d e a g a i n s t c l a s s i c a l l e a r n i n g has o c c a s i o n e d  much  context.  comment by h i s c r i t i c s . w i t h which readers  Douglas Bush a d e q u a t e l y e x p l a i n s the problem  o f M i l t o n are c o n f r o n t e d .  Bush w r i t e s :  I t i s p a i n f u l i n d e e d to watch M i l t o n t u r n and rend some main r o o t s of h i s b e i n g , but we must t r y t o u n d e r s t a n d him. H i s h a r s h condemn a t i o n i s r e l a t i v e r a t h e r than absolute;.we know, t h a t h i s f a v o u r i t e a u t h o r s up t o the end were a n c i e n t s , and t h i s v e r y poem owes much to them. Y e t , w i t h a s t r e n u o u s and d i s a p p o i n t e d l i f e b e h i n d him, M i l t o n has come more and more t o h o l d f a s t to u l t i m a t e t h i n g s . I f he, a w a y f a r i n g C h r i s t i a n , must choose between the c l a s s i c a l l i g h t of n a t u r e and the Hebrew l i g h t of r e v e l a t i o n , he cannot h e s i t a t e , whatever the c o s t . For i f our supreme t a s k i i i t h i s w o r l d i s the conduct of our own l i v e s , t h e n C h r i s t comes b e f o r e P l a t o . I t would be wrong to say s i m p l y t h a t i n o l d age the p u r i t a n has conquered the humanist. What i s t r u e i s t h a t M i l t o n h o l d s the t r a d i t i o n a l a t t i t u d e o f . t h e C h r i s t i a n humanist w i t h a more than t r a d i t i o n a l f e r v o u r i n s p i r e d by the c o n d i t i o n s of h i s age and by h i s own i n t e n s e c h a r a c t e r . ^  This o p i n i o n , I b e l i e v e , i s the most i n t e l l i g e n t © * e - c r i t i c s of M i l t o n have put f o r w a r d .  But M i l t o n ' s a t t a c k on c l a s s i c a l l e a r n i n g i s a l s o  u n d e r s t a n d a b l e and  i n d e e d j u s t i f i a b l e , a t l e a s t i n p a r t , because of i t s  context  i n the poem.  S a t a n , i t must be remembered, has made i t p e r f e c t l y  c l e a r t h a t C h r i s t must w o r s h i p the d e v i l i f he would r e c e i v e the S a t a n proposes, and  t h i s , of c o u r s e ,  i s unthinkable.  favors  There i s , moreover,  136 one  other circumstance  which might serve t o m o l l i f y M i l t o n ' s  a g a i n s t the main r o o t s o f h i s b e i n g .  offence  T h i s concerns the duty o f the  Christian. Regardless  o f the b e l i e v e r ' s l i b e r a l i t y , the p l a i n t r u t h i s t h a t  the C h r i s t i a n f i n d s " t r u e wisdom" o n l y i n S c r i p t u r e .  He m i g h t , t o be  s u r e , f i n d shades o f t r u t h i n n o n - C h r i s t i a n w r i t i n g s , and might f i n d c e r t a i n v e s t i g e s o f f a i t h i n pagan p h i l o s o p h e r s . i s contained  i n the B i b l e .  a d d i t i o n , the A d v e r s a r y ' s truth.  But the "prime" wisdom  No C h r i s t i a n c a n o r w i l l deny t h i s .  In  o f f e r is,r.-.made t o C h r i s t — t h e r e p o s i t o r y o f  He, as the Son o f God, i s i n d i r e c t communication w i t h the  Omnipotent and has,  t h e r e f o r e , a c q u i r e d the p e r f e c t knowledge which o t h e r  men must s t r u g g l e t o a t t a i n .  I t i s f o r o t h e r m o r t a l men t o study " t o  know God a r i g h t " ; i t i s f o r o t h e r men t o w r i t e t r e a t i s e s on what they conceive  t o be the C h r i s t i a n d o c t r i n e .  C h r i s t i s the C h r i s t i a n d o c t r i n e .  I have d i g r e s s e d somewhat here o n l y i n o r d e r t o make c l e a r p r e c i s e l y how " r e l a t i v e r a t h e r t h a n a b s o l u t e " C h r i s t ' s conduct i s . A l l o f Satan's appeals have thus f a r been made t o C h r i s t ' s own sense o f w o r t h , t o the Son's o b v i o u s d e s i r e t o pursue the g l o r y o f God. Because S a t a n does n o t u n d e r s t a n d ( t o judge from h i s conduct) the e s s e n t i a l nature o f the s u p e r i o r man, o r the p a r t i c u l a r k i n d o f g l o r y the magnanimous man p u r s u e s , he has been r e f u t e d w i t h r e l a t i v e ease. ness o f h i s own w o r t h , h i s r e g a r d  C h r i s t ' s conscious-  t o h i s own d i g n i t y r i g h t l y u n d e r s t o o d ,  p r e c l u d e s h i s b e i n g d e c e i v e d by Satan.  Because o f f a i l u r e , Satan,  t r a t e d , s u b j e c t s the Son t o a f i n a l t e s t o f the man's f a i t h . on the h i g h e s t peak o f God's temple, Satan c h a l l e n g e s :  frus-  P l a c i n g him  137 . . . There s t a n d , i f thou w i l t s t a n d , to stand W i l l ask thee s k i l l . . . . (IV. 551-552) The is  Son knows t h a t he has f r e e t o stand  upright  the power to overcome e v i l by f a i t h , t h a t he  though f r e e t o f a l l .  H i s f a i t h g i v e s him  strength;  he  does not presume to tempt h i s f a t h e r by h u r l i n g h i m s e l f from the  pinnacle.  S a t a n , however, because he cannot comprehend the n a t u r e of f a i t h  or  belief, falls:  "Satan s m i t t e n w i t h amazement f e l l "  (IV. 561).  This  f i n a l scene i s a s y m b o l i c r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of the power of f a i t h or b e l i e f . The  Son  "skill";  represents  b e l i e f ; Satan, u n b e l i e f .  w i t h o u t f a i t h or b e l i e f , man  F a i t h or b e l i e f g i v e s  cannot endure and  cannot  man'  stand.  H i s c o n d i t i o n , M i l t o n makes i t v e r y c l e a r , i s p e r i l o u s — u n l e s s man faith.  Armed w i t h f a i t h i n God  as C h r i s t i s , man  b u t i n g to the d e s t r u c t i o n of e v i l . by p r o v i n g  He  i s capable of  Regained.  of the h e r o i c man's duty  This i s the  I t i s moreover, the p e r f e c t  great  manifestation  fulfilled.  M i l t o n ' s C h r i s t , I have m a i n t a i n e d , r e p r e s e n t s h e r o i s m t o which men  contri-  can d e s t r o y e v i l , as i t were,  t h a t e v i l i s powerless t o d e s t r o y him.  l e s s o n of P a r a d i s e  has  the  ultimate  can a s p i r e ; he i s the p e r f e c t model of h e r o i c /$  virtue.  The  problem f a c i n g most r e a d e r s of P a r a d i s e  whether C h r i s t i s a s a t i s f a c t o r y model f o r mere men Son n o t , i n f a c t , too p e r f e c t ?  Regained curn., u).ill 1  to emulate.  I s he not a b l e t o w i t h s t a n d  evil  Is  the  so  s u c c e s s f u l l y because of h i s d i v i n e n a t u r e r a t h e r than because of h i s human s t r e n g t h ? and  M i l t o n apparently  s t r e n g t h were b e i n g  r e j e c t i o n and  b e l i e v e d t h a t C h r i s t ' s human n a t u r e  t e s t e d by S a t a n , and b e l i e v e d t h a t C h r i s t ' s  d e f e a t of e v i l were p o s s i b l e f o r a l l men.  There r e m a i n ,  138 however, two for  critics  problems t h a t C h r i s t ' s c h a r a c t e r and r e a d e r s of M i l t o n .  c a l l e d C h r i s t ' s p e r s o n a l i t y , and character'.  The  The  whether he i s a  i s M i l t o n ' s hero a  r a t h e r than an a c t i v e b e i n g ?  M i l t o n ' s C h r i s t , i t has He  'sympathetic  a r i s e s from the p a r t i c u l a r k i n d of  h e r o i s m the Son's a c t i v i t y i n the poem r e p r e s e n t s : contemplative  Regained poses  f i r s t concerns what m i g h t be  questions  second d i f f i c u l t y  i n Paradise  been o b s e r v e d , i s not v e r y l i k e a b l e .  i s too proud, too c o n s c i o u s of h i s own  obnoxious than meek and m i l d .  i s , t h e r e f o r e , more  I s M i l t o n s p e r f e c t hero r e a l l y a s a t -  i s f a c t o r y image o f human e x c e l l e n c e answer to t h i s , one  w o r t h , and  i f he i s so d i f f i c u l t  to l i k e ?  can o n l y r e p l y t h a t the J e s u s we meet i n  Regained i s c o n f r o n t e d  by the u l t i m a t e e v i l .  t o good; he must be u t t e r l y r e j e c t e d .  In  Paradise  S a t a n cannot be  converted  The M i l t o n i c hero cannot be t o l e r a n t  of e v i l , f o r he must devote a l l h i s e n e r g i e s  to d e s t r o y i n g e v i l .  p u r i t a n c o n v i c t i o n s d i c t a t e d t h a t the t r u l y v i r t u o u s man  had  Milton's  a positive  d u t y t o speak out a g a i n s t e v i l , t h a t he be a l i v i n g jy^proach  to e v i l  Despite  i s the  the f a c t t h a t l o v e i s the g o s p e l J e s u s preached, and  men. real  message of the second book of M i l t o n ' s De D o c t r i n a C h r i s t i a n a , the good C h r i s t i a n has  a p o s i t i v e d u t y t o hate e v i l .  I n a w o r l d where e v i l  i s h e s , v i r t u e w i l l seldom be r e g a r d e d as w h o l l y v i r t u o u s man  w i l l be l o o k e d upon w i t h s u s p i c i o n .  p a l a t a b l e , and  the  h e r o , the p e r f e c t l y v i r t u o u s man, Y e a t s was  T h i s , i n d e e d , i s the p r i c e  must pay.  p e r f e c t l y c o r r e c t when he  We  observed:  truly  M i l t o n ' s perfect hero,  because he a c t i v e l y opposes the s i n f u l ways of the w o r l d , w i l l be w i t h d i s t r u s t and u n b r i d l e d a n i m o s i t y .  flour-  should not f o r g e t  regarded the that  139 . . . twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle. That i s , Christ's advent, his gospel, represented a challenge and a threat to the old dispensations. others, a sword.  For some, Christ brought peace; for  Indeed, gentle Jesus was  both a d e l i v e r e r and a  nightmare. That the magnanimous man's v i r t u e w i l l make him enemies i s undeni a b l e , but we must question why Milton's readers f i n d i t so d i f f i c u l t to accept the Christ of Paradise Regained.  C.S. Lewis has pointed out that  when poets set out to present v i r t u e i t i s not always to teach that v i r t u e , but, rather, to show that they adore v i r t u e .  Of Milton, Lewis  writes:  The whole man i s kindled by h i s v i s i o n of the shape of v i r t u e . Unless we bear this i n mind we s h a l l not understand e i t h e r Comus or Paradise Lost, either the Faerie Queene or the Arcadia, or the Divine Comedy i t s e l f . We s h a l l be i n constant danger of supposing that the poet was i n c u l c a t i n g a rule when i n fact he was enamoured of p e r f e c t i o n . ^ Milton, I am sure, believed i n the i n t r i n s i c beauty of virtue as he conceived i t . to serve God,  I f we cannot see the beauty i n an unshakable resolution i t i s our own  have been simply:  "So be  loss.  Milton's reaction, I believe, would  it".  Much of the d i f f i c u l t y concerning Christ's e s s e n t i a l nature arises from the fact that contemptus mundi i s looked upon as synonomous with contemplation.^  What seems most important  to me,  i s that Milton placed  the greater emphasis on preparation for heroism, rather than on the v i s i b l e manifestations of heroism.  As Steadman points out, "Milton portrays  his hero's v i r t u e not simply i n deed but, f i r s t and foremost, i n analysis  I  140 and c h o i c e . "  22  C h r i s t ' s r e j e c t i o n of "the Kingdoms o f the w o r l d " i s , t o  be s u r e , a triumph o f s p i r i t , but contemptus mundi i s , I t h i n k , t o t a l l y a l i e n t o M i l t o n ' s concept o f h e r o i c man. he i s a t e a c h e r o f men.  C h r i s t has a m i s s i o n t o p e r f o r m :  He educates men how t o l i v e i n the w o r l d of  men and how t o prepare themselves  for a better, eternal l i f e .  Christ  r e j e c t s the w o r l d i n s o f a r as the w o r l d i s l o o k e d upon as the end o f human e x i s t e n c e , but h i s own c a r e e r r e p r e s e n t s p o s i t i v e commitment t o the w o r l d o f men.  Indeed,  . . . t o g i v e a Kingdom h a t h been thought G r e a t e r , and n o b l e r done, and t o l a y down Far more magnanimous than t o assume. ( I I . 481-483)  What i s more, we may be sure t h a t M i l t o n knew how Luke's r e c o r d o f Satan's t r i p l e t e m p t a t i o n ended.  He knew t h a t C h r i s t l e f t h i s f r i e n d s and d i s -  c i p l e s " t o preach the Kingdom o f God."  As M i l t o n w r i t e s ,  H a i l Son o f the most H i g h , h e i r o f both w o r l d s , Q u e l l e r of S a t a n , on t h y g l o r i o u s work Now e n t e r , and b e g i n t o save mankind. (IV. 633-635) And t h i s , s u r e l y , i s the o n l y p o s s i b l e c a r e e r f o r the M i l t o n i c  hero.  To s t r i v e t o know one's l i m i t a t i o n s as man; t o pursue, whatever the h a z a r d s , the g l o r y o f God; t o t e s t i f y a g a i n s t e v i l by p r e a c h i n g a message o f t r u t h ; t o defend and i f need be s u f f e r , and even d i e f o r what one b e l i e v e s :  t h i s i s M i l t o n ' s concept o f what makes men  heroes.  FOOTNOTES: CHAPTER V 1 Works, XV, p. 271. 2 Luke IV, 1-13. 3 See, f o r example, the b i b l i o g r a p h i c a l e n t r i e s under: Kermode, Kurth, McNamee, Robson, Steadman, and T i l l y a r d . 4 Milton  Bush, Hughes,  Man and Thinker, p. 195.  For a contrary point of view, see: E.M.W. T i l l y a r d , M i l t o n , p. 319. 6 "The Better F o r t i t u d e " i n The L i v i n g M i l t o n Essays by Various Hands, ed. Frank Kermode (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1960), p. 127. ^The concept of magnanimity with reference to Paradise Regained has been discussed by both T i l l y a r d and Hughes. Both men are concerned, however, w i t h the f i g u r e of the poet himself, and see the contest of the poem as representing M i l t o n ' s struggle t o choose between the a c t i v e and contemplative modes of l i f e . See: E.M.W. T i l l y a r d , "The C h r i s t of Paradise Regained and the Renaissance Heroic T r a d i t i o n " i n Studies i n M i l t o n , pp. 100-106; and Hughes' a r t i c l e of the same t i t l e i n Ten Perspectives on M i l t o n , pp. 35-62. g  In Luke's account of the temptation a l l three temptations, are, o f course, v a l i d . M i l t o n , f o l l o w i n g S c r i p t u r e , had to pay l i p service t o a l l three. However, as T i l l y a r d c o r r e c t l y points out, M i l t o n r e a l l y concerned himself w i t h the second temptation only. See M i l t o n , p. 323 f f . 9 E t h i c s , I I I , p. 122. Works, XVII, p. 241. John M. Steadman, i n M i l t o n and the Renaissance Hero, demonstrates how M i l t o n ' s Satan (the Adversary of both Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained) represents the conventional epic hero. He i s the e i d o l o n of v i r t u e ; C h r i s t , the eikon. Satan thus represents magnanimity i n i t s e x t e r n a l aspect; C h r i s t represents r e a l or genuine magnanimity, the inward v i r t u e that renders him capable of defeating Satan and pursuing r e a l honour. See pp. 160-164.  142 12  I r o n i c a l l y , the i d e n t i c a l v i e w had been e x p r e s s e d by the Satan of P a r a d i s e L o s t ; ". . . who overcomes / By f o r c e , h a t h overcome but h a l f h i s f o e " ( I . 648-649). 13 M i l t o n ' s a u t h o r i t y f o r p u t t i n g these words i n t o C h r i s t ' s mouth i s unimpeachable. The same message forms the b a s i s of the P a u l i n e t r a c t s and the g r e a t e r p a r t of the New Testament. Compare, f o r example, J e s u s ' words t o the h y p o c r i t e s : "Woe unto you, s c r i b e s and P h a r i s e e s , hypocrites! For ye make c l e a n the o u t s i d e of the cup and of the p l a t t e r , but w i t h i n they are f u l l of e x t o r t i o n and e x c e s s " (Matthew X X I I I , 25). 14 Works, V I I I , p. 215. S i g n i f i c a n t l y , M i l t o n c o n s i d e r e d Cromwell as an exemplar of magnanimity, though the poet e x p r e s s e d h i s c o n c e r n t h a t the g e n e r a l might not l i v e up to h i s "wonted magnanimity." See: p. 225. 15 Complete Poems, p.  505.  16 I t i s on t h i s i s s u e , i t seems t o me, t h a t the major d i f f e r e n c e between the y o u t h f u l and mature a t t i t u d e s h e l d by M i l t o n i s d i s c e r n i b l e . H i s e a r l y p o l i t i c a l o p t i m i s m ( i n A r e o p a g i t i c a , f o r example) g i v e s way i n P a r a d i s e Regained t o the v i e w t h a t the New J e r u s a l e m w i l l not be b u i l t i n E n g l a n d by Englishmen, but can be e r e c t e d by each man w i t h i n himself. T h i s development, I t h i n k , i s r e m a r k a b l y s i m i l a r t o S t . P a u l ' s a t t i t u d e r e g a r d i n g the e s t a b l i s h m e n t of the Church. F o r me, t h e r e i s no doubt t h a t the l a t t e r i s the saner and more e n l i g h t e n e d v i e w . ^One c r i t i c contends t h a t C h r i s t ' s contempt f o r the m u l t i t u d e i s not i n k e e p i n g w i t h the c h a r a c t e r of the b i b l i c a l C h r i s t . Though the c r i t i c r e c o g n i z e s t h a t J e s u s was not always " g e n t l e J e s u s " , the r e a l i s s u e h e r e , i t seems to me, i s t h a t C h r i s t i s r e j e c t i n g the unfounded p r a i s e s of?*men. M i l t o n i s s u g g e s t i n g , I t h i n k , t h a t men d i d n o t , b e f o r e the advent of C h r i s t , r e a l i z e what c o m p r i s e d r e a l v i r t u e . They a r e , i n f a c t , a " m i s c e l l a n e o u s r a b b l e " who do not comprehend the e s s e n t i a l q u a l i t y of h e r o i s m . The "new c o v e n a n t " gave d i g n i t y t o the masses of men t h a t they c o u l d not possess b e f o r e the C h r i s t i a n e r a . I n a d d i t i o n , M i l t o n ' s v i e w of magnanimity, i n t h i s p a r t i c u l a r c o n t e x t of meaning, i s not s u b s t a n t i a l l y d i f f e r e n t from e i t h e r A r i s t o t l e , C i c e r o , or A q u i n a s . See: W.W. Robson, "The B e t t e r F o r t i t u d e " i n The L i v i n g M i l t o n , p. 133. 18 The  Renaissance and E n g l i s h Humanism, p.  125.  19 pp.  W.W. Robson embraces t h i s v i e w . 124-137.  See:  "The  Better F o r t i t u d e , "  143 20  A Preface to Paradise L o s t ? 1965), p. 81.  (London:  Oxford U n i v e r s i t y  Press,  21 See, f o r example, M e r r i t t Y. Hughes, "The C h r i s t of P a r a d i s e Regained and the Renaissance H e r o i c T r a d i t i o n " i n Ten P e r s p e c t i v e s , pp. 35-62. ' M i l t o n and the Renaissance Hero, p. 160.  CONCLUSION The likely  c r i t i c a l debate c o n c e r n i n g  M i l t o n ' s concept of h e r o i c  began when John Dryden, i n h i s D i s c o u r s e  wrote t h a t M i l t o n c o u l d have been f a i r l y  on E p i c k P o e t r y  man (c.1697),  c a l l e d a h e r o i c poet, " i f the  d e v i l had not been h i s h e r o , i n s t e a d of Adam; i f the g i a n t had  not  f o i l e d the k n i g h t , and d r i v e n him out of h i s s t r o n g h o l d , to wander through the w o r l d w i t h h i s l a d y e r r a n t . "  I t i s no l o n g e r s u b j e c t  to  d i s p u t e or debate t o say t h a t Satan i s not M i l t o n ' s hero i n P a r a d i s e L o s t , but the c o n t r o v e r s y men  over M i l t o n ' s p a r t i c u l a r i d e a of what makes  heroes has h a r d l y l e s s e n e d  i n i n t e n s i t y s i n c e Dryden's  time.  T h i s e s s a y , by f o c u s i n g on M i l t o n ' s C h r i s t i a n i t y , has  attempted  t o show t h a t M i l t o n ' s r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f p r o v i d e d him w i t h what he t o be a new  and e n l a r g e d  scope f o r the d e l i n e a t i o n of h e r o i c v i r t u e .  have t r i e d t o demonstrate M i l t o n ' s grounds f o r c o n s i d e r i n g h i s C h r i s t i a n hero s u p e r i o r to any of the heroes whose c a r e e r s Paradise Lost.  conceived  own  antedated  A c c e p t i n g magnanimity as the s i n g l e v i r t u e t h a t most  c l o s e l y c o r r e s p o n d s t o h e r o i c v i r t u e , I have attempted t o show how p o i n t s out the i n f e r i o r c o n d i t i o n i n which men of C h r i s t .  I  l i v e d before  Milton  the advent  M i l t o n , I have contended, makes i t p a t e n t l y c l e a r t h a t complete  or p e r f e c t h e r o i s m i s p o s s i b l e o n l y w i t h the coming of C h r i s t . . P r e - l a p s a r i a n man,  man  l i v i n g i n a s t a t e of i n n o c e n c e , was  a b l e of r e a l i z i n g h i s h i g h e s t human p o t e n t i a l i t i e s .  incap-  H i s innocence i n  f a c t p r e c l u d e d h e r o i s m because he c o u l d not have an a c t i v e r o l e to p l a y i n the cosmic s t r u g g l e a g a i n s t e v i l . was  That i s , he d i d not know t h a t i t  i n h i s power t o p r e v e n t the e x i s t e n c e of e v i l .  In addition,  innocent  145 man's p a r t i c u l a r p o s i t i o n i n c r e a t i o n d i d n o t l e n d i t s e l f t o h i s f u l f i l ment of the c o n t e m p l a t i v e a s p e c t of h i s b e i n g .  H i s h e r o i s m , as a r e s u l t ,  was what I have c a l l e d a f u g i t i v e and c l o i s t e r e d h e r o i s m . For man  l i v i n g i n a s t a t e o f s i n , p r e - C h r i s t i a n man,  i d e a l h e r o i s m was a l s o a m a n i f e s t i m p o s s i b i l i t y .  p e r f e c t or  That i s , men r e c o g n i z e d  e v i l o n l y as i t was u n d e r s t o o d as t h a t which was c o n t r a r y to the law. M i l t o n ' s Samson must thus d e s t r o y the P h i l i s t i n e s t o r e a l i z e h i s h e r o i c p o t e n t i a l i t i e s , and M i l t o n makes i t v e r y c l e a r t h a t Samson's h e r o i s m is  i m p r o p e r l y u n d e r s t o o d by h i s f e l l o w s .  Real h e r o i s m was c o n c e i v a b l y  p o s s i b l e f o r o n l y a chosen few, f o r those e x p r e s s l y chosen by  God,  because the masses of men were not aware of the w i l l of God e x c e p t as i t had been r e v e a l e d t o them by the prophets and the w r i t t e n law..  They  c o u l d not thus see themselves as agents i n God's b a t t l e a g a i n s t e v i l , and, moreover, c o u l d not a s p i r e t o knowledge of God e x c e p t i n the after.  life  R e a l h e r o i s m , what I have c a l l e d M i l t o n ' s concept of h e r o i s m ,  c o u l d not be u n t i l the advent of C h r i s t . Complete and p e r f e c t magnanimity  was  p o s s i b l e o n l y when J e s u s  m a n i f e s t e d h i m s e l f , f o r the M e s s i a h showed t o men  the way  they c o u l d  be s o l d i e r s i n the army of God, and showed them the means t o a t t a i n e t e r n a l happiness.  What t h i s meant was  t h a t a l l men  c o u l d now  see the  importance o f any one i n d i v i d u a l ' s l i f e , and c o u l d see t h a t each man be e i t h e r f o r or a g a i n s t God.  Thus, a l l C h r i s t i a n s c o u l d l e g i t i m a t e l y  pursue the honour and g l o r y o f the d i v i n e . was  could  I n a d d i t i o n , the C h r i s t i a n  c a p a b l e of c o n t e m p l a t i o n . Whereas p r e - C h r i s t i a n man's l i f e and v i r t u e were measured o n l y  by obedience t o the law, the C h r i s t i a n possessed f a i t h .  H i s f a i t h enabled  146 him  t o a c q u i r e an i m p e r f e c t knowledge of God w h i l e on e a r t h .  I n s o f a r as  the H o l y S p i r i t was w i t h him ( t h e r e s u l t of man's b e l i e f t h a t the S p i r i t was i n f a c t w i t h him) he c o u l d be a c o n t e m p l a t i v e For M i l t o n , t h e n , the t r u e w a y f a r i n g  being.  C h r i s t i a n was a h e r o , inasmuch  as he demonstrated h i s a b i l i t y t o pursue the cause o f t r u t h — r e g a r d l e s s o f the d i f f i c u l t i e s he e n c o u n t e r e d en r o u t e .  The t r u e b e l i e v e r saw h i m s e l f  as a s o l d i e r i n God's army and he was d i g n i f i e d by h i s f a i t h f u l to God.  H i s l i f e was a p e r p e t u a l  service  proving-ground, a continuous struggle  i n w h i c h he had t o s t r i v e f o r mastery o f h i m s e l f , and o f which the g o a l was " t o stand approv'd i n s i g h t o f God." represents  The t r u l y v i r t u o u s man thus  a s y n t h e s i s o f a c t i v e and c o n t e m p l a t i v e  modes o f b e i n g .  l i v e a v i r t u o u s l i f e was t o answer one s i d e o f one's n a t u r e ; t o the p e r f e c t knowledge o f God, the o t h e r .  to aspire  T h e o r e t i c a l l y , the C h r i s t i a n  d i s p e n s a t i o n made i t p o s s i b l e f o r a l l men t o be h e r o e s . p e r f e c t hero was n o t m e r e l y v i r t u o u s .  To  But M i l t o n ' s  He was a c r u s a d e r .  I t i s true  a l l men c o u l d g l o r i f y God by t h e i r v i r t u o u s b e h a v i o u r , but the magnanimous man d i d more.  He was, i n d e e d , minded t o do some g r e a t a c t .  The g r e a t e s t ,  the supreme a c t o f magnanimity, was t o g i v e , and M i l t o n ' s p e r f e c t h e r o o f f e r e d h i s l i f e as a g i f t . Magnanimity, the s p i r i t by w h i c h e v e r y t r u e C h r i s t i a n " i s g u i d e d i n h i s estimate  o f h i m s e l f , " i s the sense o f c o n v i c t i o n t h a t e n a b l e s a  man's r e a c h t o exceed h i s g r a s p . man, has t h a t v e r y o p p o r t u n i t y .  The C h r i s t i a n h e r o , M i l t o n ' s magnanimous How w e l l he understands h i m s e l f , h i s own  h e r o i c p o t e n t i a l , and how w e l l he conducts h i s p r i v a t e war a g a i n s t  evil  are e n t i r e l y up t o him, and s e r v e , i n the f i n a l a n a l y s i s , as the o n l y for  j u d g i n g him.  or any h e r o ?  basis  And, i n d e e d , what more c a n we f a i r l y demand o f any man,  SOURCES CONSULTED  Adams, Robert M a r t i n . I k o n : John M i l t o n and the Modern C r i t i c s . New Y o r k : C o r n e l l U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1955.  Ithica,  A q u i n a s . The "Summa T h e o l o g i c a " o f Thomas A q u i n a s , t r a n s . F a t h e r s o f the E n g l i s h Dominican P r o v i n c e . 22 v o l s . London: Burns Oates u)aiLbco,-*e  C-fd.  t  JUS.  A r i o s t o . A r i o s t o ' s "Orlando F u r i o s o " S e l e c t i o n s from the T r a n s l a t i o n of S i r John H a r r i n g t o n , ed. 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Cambridge: New  York:  The Doubleday  Woodhouse, A.S.P. " T r a g i c E f f e c t i n Samson A g o n i s t e s " i n M i l t o n : Essays. See e n t r y under " B a r k e r , A r t h u r E., e d . "  Modern  

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