Reading the classics and Paradise lost

Front Cover
University of Nebraska Press, 1993 - Fiction - 222 pages
0 Reviews
Milton’s early commentators—Henry Todd, Thomas Newton, Joseph Addison, and others—not only knew their classics well, they took them seriously as models of literary excellence and repositories of values. In the twentieth century, however, the classics have become mere “background.” As a consequence, William M. Porter argues, not only is the foundational dimension of Milton’s poetry now hardly visible, even to scholars, but the potential of Milton’s poetry to revitalize the reading of the classics has been diminished.

In this insightful study, Porter attempts once again to read both the classics and Milton’s epic poem sensitively and intelligently. He exposes the recklessly speculative and tendentious character of much earlier work on Milton’s allusions, in which allusions were promiscuously posited and in which Paradise Lost was too often regarded naively as triumphing over the classics. Porter demonstrates that Milton’s allusions, in which allusions to the classics, while fewer than has been supposed, are rich with wit, irony, and thought that can be grasped only by a reader with a double perspective.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Allusion
13
Lesser Forms of Literary
21
The Critical Allusion
32
Copyright

11 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1993)

William M. Porter, recipient of the CML Incentive Award for Outstanding Scholarship in 1985, is an associate professor of classical languages at the University of Houston. He has published articles in such journals as Classical and Modern Literature, Comparative Literature, and Rhetorica.