9780230602427

Destabilizing Milton "Paradise Lost" and the Poetics of Incertitude

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780230602427

  • ISBN10:

    0230602428

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2008-04-15
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
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Summary

Destabilizing Milton challenges the widely accepted view of Milton as a poet of absolute, unquestioning certainty. In "Paradise Lost," Milton confronts the failure of the Revolution by creating a poem that refuses to grant the reader any interpretive stability or certainty. While "Paradise Regained" and "Samson Agonistes" reflect Milton's deep ambivalences after the collapse of the Republic. Far from confirming his earlier ideals, in his later poetry, Milton subjects his culture's most cherished beliefs, such as the goodness of God, to withering scrutiny, while refusing the comfort of orthodox answers.

Author Biography

Peter C. Herman is Professor of English and Comparative Literature, San Diego State University.

Table of Contents

Introduction: ""Normal"" Interpretation and the Protocols of Milton Criticism: Or, How the Interpretation of MiltonReallyWorks
""Warring Chains of Signifiers"": Metaphoric Ambivalence and the Politics ofParadise Lost
Paradise Lost,the Miltonic ""Or,"" and the Poetics of Incertitude
""England a Free Nation"": Milton's Prose and the Ancient Constitution
""New Laws, New Counsels"": Satan, Charles I, and the Ancient Constitution
Incertitude, Authority, and Milton's God
God, Gender, the Fall, and the Problem of
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