Friday, 21 April 2017

sympathy for the devil

On the occasion of the three hundred fiftieth anniversary of the publication of the epic poem, Benjamin Ramm writing for BBC Culture presents a compelling argument for revisiting John Milton’s Paradise Lost.
Influence and legacy is to be found lurking everywhere, perhaps only second to Shakespeare’s inspiration in English traditions though references may not be readily apparent.  Informed by the milieu of the English Civil War and republican age, the ten thousand lines of blank verse was indeed meant to “justify the ways of God to men” and help reconcile themselves to these turbulent and revolutionary times, championed of course by a menacingly magnetic Satan who is the most interesting character by far—and signals both allure and repulsion depending on the reader and the reading.

The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.