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Back to a golden age!
People who have looked for stories in the Bible and did not find exactly what they have seen in the movies might remember a professor at Faber College in the movie
:
National Lampoon's Animal House
saying that Milton was long-winded and boring, but students needed to hand in their reports anyway. He ended his plea with:
Take me seriously; this is my job!
In Paradise Regained, Satan offers Christ glory as a form of temptation, but Jesus refused to serve Satan. Jesus even complained that Satan offers the nations lies, delusions. Jesus and Milton were a long time ago, but the book at the end of the Bible names a common problem:
All the nations have been intoxicated . . . and every merchant has become rich through her debauchery. (Revelation 18:3.)
Milton wrote a defense of the English people after Salmasius condemned them for cutting off the head of King Charles I. John Milton knew enough languages to serve as foreign secretary for Parliament when the king and Parliament were at war with each other. As people age, it is easier to regress to the comforts taught in early childhood than to try to maintain the antagonisms which destroy societies that tend to be wiped out by the wealthy. By having a Satan offer Jesus the riches and power of turning stones into bread and ruling the kingdoms of the earth, Milton gives Jesus a chance to deny the aims of this world.
I find it difficult to read Milton unless I am looking for something that provides a divine doctrine that is of interest to some American. Stanley Fish wrote a book called How Milton Works that describes some of the lines in a masque called Comus written in strange political circumstances, possibly before anyone thought of John Milton as a famous poet. Fish wants Americans to believe that Milton was serious about divine doctrine, and, please, do not think that Milton was of the devil's party without knowing it, as William Blake thought. Blake wrote a long poem called Milton. Blake considered Milton a great poet, but a hundred years after the death of Milton, Blake wanted to quote him saying:
I go to eternal death.
 

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