Lecture 16 - Paradise Lost, Books VII-VIII << previous session | next session >>Overview:This lecture on Books Seven and Eight ofParadise Lostfocuses on Milton's account of the Creation. Thepoet's persistent interest in the imagery of digestion is explored with help from the proto-scientific theories ofthe seventeenth-century philosopher Paracelsus. The moment at which Milton names and assigns a gender tohis muse is examined. Finally, Milton's use of gender in the Creation account is explored in light of previousdiscussions of the poem's complex sexual hierarchy; particular emphasis is placed on Raphael's similarlygendered account of celestial hierarchy in Book Eight.Reading assignment:John Milton. Complete Poems and Major Prose.
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