Naming in Paradise: Milton and the language of Adam and Eve

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Clarendon Press, 1990 - Literary Criticism - 304 pages
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Names and naming are more important to Paradise Lost than may first appear. This critical study traces Milton's use of prelapsarian and postlapsarian names and the various distinctions that infiltrate Paradise Lost. Through close analysis of the poem's words and narrative, Leonard uncovers areas of meaning that have previously been lost to modern readers, supplying a valuable interpretive key to many important passages. Taking Adam's naming of the animals as his starting point, Leonard explores such topics as the naming of Eve, the blotting out of the rebel angels' names, and Satan's deliberate misapplication of names. By relating these and other topics to the larger episodes of the Fall of the Angels and the Fall of Adam and Eve, Leonard enriches our reading of Paradise Lost. Referring to Milton's earlier editors, as well as modern critics, he provides new insights into such questions as: was Milton of the Devil's party?; were the angels self-tempted?; was Adam right to chooses death with Eve?. Intended primarily for Milton specialists, the warm and lively style of Naming in Paradise ensures that this book will be accessible both to graduate and undergraduate students.

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Contents

Naming Names
23
Lucifer Prince of Twilight
86
The Fall of the Angels
147
Copyright

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About the author (1990)

John Milton (1608a1674) is the author of "Paradise Lost" and "Paradise Regained," which he wrote later in life while completely blind.
John Leonard, a professor of English at the University of Western Ontario, edited Miltonas "Complete Poems" for Penguin Classics.