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68 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
Oh, he stays my tongue! I would lift up my hands, but see, they
hold them, they hold them!
Marlowe, Doctor faustus
"they"-devil, pride,heretics
His faith is great, I cannot touch his soul,
But what I may afflict his body with
I will attempt--which is but little worth
Marlowe, Doctor faustus
Mephastophilis himself making the limits of hell's powers over human souls quite explicit.
"erected wit"/"infected will"
Philip Sidney, Defese of Poecy
the expansiveness which celebrates the scope of human powers is often accompanied, or complicated, by a kind of retrenchment, an acknowledgment of boundaries.
O god, if thou wilt not have mercy on my soul,
Yet for Christ's sake, whose blood hath ransomed me,
Impose some end to my incessant pain:
Let Faustus live in hell a thousand years,
A hundred thousand, and at last be saved.
O no end is limited to damned souls!
Marlowe, Doctor Faustus
supreme irony of Faustus begging for some limit, some end to the term of his damnation
Oh, joy too high for my low style to show!
Oh, bliss fit for a nobler state than me!
Envy, put out thine eyes, lest thou do see
What oceans of delight in me do flow!
My friend, that oft saw, through all masks, my woe,
Come, come, and let me pour myself on thee.
Gone is the winter of my misery!
My spring appears, oh see what here doth grow;
For Stella hath, with words where faith doth shine,
Of her high heart giv'n me the monarchy;
I, I, oh I may say that she is mine!
And though she give but thus conditionly
This realm of bliss, while virtuous course I take,
No kings be crowned but they some covenants make.
Philip Sidney, Sonnet 69
We are told that the (married) Stella will only love him conditionally "while virtuous course I take"; sequence ends in Petrarchan oxymoronic standoff
Like a huntsman after a weary chase,
Seeing the game from him escaped away,
Sits down to rest him in some shady place,
With panting hounds, beguiled of their pray:
So after long pursuit and vain assay,
When I all weary had the chase forsooke,
the gentle dear returned the self-same way,
Thinking to quench her thirst at the next brooke.
There she beholding me with milder looke,
Sought not to fly, but fearlesse still did bide:
Till I in hand her yet halfe trembling tooke,
And with her owne goodwill hir fyrmely tyde.
Strange thing mer seemed to see a beast so wyld,
So goodly wonne with her owne will beguyld
Edmund Spenser, Amoretti 67
Spenser sonnet that marks her surrender to his love, the poem about the deer who allows herself to be bound by the hunter of her own free will-once he stops pursuing her.)= departure from the Petrarchan narrative of frustration
My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;

Coral is far more red than her lips' red;

If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;

If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.

I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,

But no such roses see I in her cheeks;

And in some perfumes is there more delight

Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.

I love to hear her speak, yet well I know

That music hath a far more pleasing sound;

I grant I never saw a goddess go;

My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground.

And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.
Shakespeare, sonnet 130
poems to the dark lady much less idealizing and often frankly critical
The nature of all other beings is limited and constrained within the law prescribed by US
Pico de mirandola, Oration on the dignity of man
the power of the individual to mold and fashion his/her (usually his) own identity:
Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show,
That the dear she might take some pleasure of my pain,
Pleasure might cause her read, reading might make her know,
Knowledge might pity win, and pity grace obtain,
I sought fit words to paint the blackest face of woe:
Studying inventions fine, her wits to entertain,
Oft turning others' leaves, to see if thence would flow
Some fresh and fruitful showers upon my sunburned brain.
But words came halting forth, wanting Invention's stay;
Invention, Nature's child, fled stepdame Study's blows;
And others' feet still seemed but strangers in my way.
Thus, great with child to speak, and helpless in my throes,
Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite:
"Fool," said my Muse to me, "look in thy heart, and write."
Sidney, #1
sonnets which enter into their own dialogue with the conventions and traditions of love poetry
sonnets whose own meditations on how best to represent or address or speak persuasively to the beloved produce meditations on the problems of producing "authentic" love poetry
Some lovers speak, when they their muses entertain
Of hopes begot by fear, of wot not what desires,
Of force of heav'nly beams infusing hellish pain,
Of living deaths, dear wounds, fair storms, and freezing fires;
Someone his song in Jove and Jove's strange tales attires,
Bordered with bulls and swans, powdered with golden rain;
Another humbler wit to shepherd's pipe retires,
Yet hiding royal blood full oft in rural vein;
To some a sweetest plaint a sweetest style affords,
While tears pour out his ink, and sighs breathe out his words,
His paper pale despair, and pain his pen doth move.
I can speak what I feel, and feel as much as they,
But think that all the map of my state I display
When trembling voice brings forth that I do Stella love.
Sidney, #6
sonnets which enter into their own dialogue with the conventions and traditions of love poetry
What, have i thus betrayed my liberty?
Sidney, #47
experiments in the manipulation and dramatization of personal voice
Th'expence of Spirit in a waste of shame
Is lust in action,and till action, lust
Is perjurd,murdrous,blouddy full of blame,
Savage,extreame,rude,cruell,not to trust,
Injoyed no ſooner but dispised straight,
Past reason hunted, and no sooner had
Past reason hated as a swollowed bayt,
On purpose layd to make the taker mad.
Made In pursut and in possession so,
Had,having,and in quest,to have extreame,
A bliſſe in proofe and proud and very wo,
Before a ioy proposd behind a dreame,
All this the world well knowes yet none knowes well,
To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.
Shakespeare, 129
experiments in the manipulation and dramatization of personal voice
Not marble, nor the guilded monument,
Of Princes shall out-live this powrefull rime,
But you shall shine more bright in these contents
Then unswept stone, besmeer'd with ſluttish time.
When wastefull warre shall Statues over-turne,
And broiles roote out the worke of masonry,
Nor Mars his sword,nor warres quick fire shall burn :
The living record of your memory.
Gainst death,and all oblivious emnity
Shall you pace forth,your praise shall stil find roome,
Even in the eyes of all posterity
That weare this world out to the ending doome.
So til the judgement that your selfe arise,
You live in this,and dwell in louers eyes.
Shakespeare, Sonnet 55
sonnets addressing the problem of Time as an enemy to love and to beauty-meditations on loss and transience. The earliest sonnets in the sequence implore the young man to marry and have children so that his beauty will be reproduced for posterity; later ones insist upon the power of the poet to immortalize the beloved in his verse
One day I wrote her name upon the strand,
But came the waves and washed it away:
Again I wrote it with a second hand,
But came the tide, and made my pains his prey.
Vain man, said she, that doest in vain assay
A mortal thing so to immortalize,
For I myself shall like to this decay,
And eek my name be wiped out likewise.
Not so (quoth I), let baser things devise
To die in dust, but you shall live by fame:
My verse your virtues rare shall eternize,
And in the heavens write your glorious name.
Where whenas Death shall all the world subdue,
Out love shall live, and later life renew.
Spnser, Amoretti 75
sonnets addressing the problem of Time as an enemy to love and to beauty-meditations on loss and transience. The earliest sonnets in the sequence implore the young man to marry and have children so that his beauty will be reproduced for posterity; later ones insist upon the power of the poet to immortalize the beloved in his verse
Most glorious Lord of life that on this day,
Didst make thy triumph over death and sin:
And having harrowed hell, didst bring away
Captivity thence captive, us to win:
This joyous day, dear Lord, with joy begin,
And grant that we for whom thou diddest die,
Being with thy dear blood clean washed from sin,
May live for ever in felicity.
And that thy love we weighing worthily,
May likewise love thee for the same again:
And for thy sake, that all like dear didst buy,
With love may one another entertain.
So let us love, dear love, like as we ought,
Love is the lesson which the Lord us taught.
Spenser, Amoretti 68
a serious attempt to place earthly love in the same continuum as heavenly love
Who will in fairest book of Nature know
How Virtue may best lodged in beauty be,
Let him but learn of Love to read in thee,
Stella, those fair lines, which true goodness show.
There shall he find all vices' overthrow,
Not by rude force, but sweetest sovereignty
Of reason, from whose light those night-birds fly;
That inward sun in thine eyes shineth so.
And not content to be Perfection's heir
Thyself, dost strive all minds that way to move,
Who mark in thee what is in thee most fair.
So while thy beauty draws the heart to love,
As fast thy Virtue bends that love to good;
But ah, Desire still cries, give me some food.
Spenser, 71
---"poetic logic" This is particularly striking in Sidney's work, where often a poem's development of a thought or idea (or ideal) will suddenly be overturned by a dramatic final line reversal
When my love sweares that she is made of truth,
I do beleeve her though I know she lyes,
That she might thinke me some untuterd youth,
Unlearned in the worlds false subtilties.
Thus vainely thinking that she thinkes me young,
Although she knowes my dayes are past the best,
Simply I credit her false speaking tongue,
On both sides thus is simple truth supprest :
But wherefore sayes she not she is unjust ?
And wherefore say not I that I am old ?
O loves best habit is in seeming trust,
And age in love,loves not t'have yeares told.
Therefore I lye with her,and she with me,
And in our faults by lyes we flattered be.
Shakespeare, 138
use of a rather problematic kind of casuistry, logic
No longer mourn for me when I am dead
Then you shall hear the surly sullen bell
Give warning to the world that I am fled
From this vile world, with vilest worms to dwell:
Nay, if you read this line, remember not
The hand that writ it; for I love you so
That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot
If thinking on me then should make you woe.
O, if, I say, you look upon this verse
When I perhaps compounded am with clay,
Do not so much as my poor name rehearse.
But let your love even with my life decay,
Lest the wise world should look into your moan
And mock you with me after I am gone.
Shakespeare, 71
the larger Renaissance interest in the rhetorical arts of persuasion; there may be interesting tensions between the apparent drift of a sonnet and its manipulative/persuasive intentions
If love it is not, what is this I feel?
And yet how strange a thing if love it is!
If good, why its effect so deadly ill?
If bad, then why is every torment bliss?
If by free choice I suffer, wherefore mourn?
If it be fate, how fruitless to lament!
O death in life! O pain from rapture born!
How canst thou sway me save that I consent?
If I consent, all senseless is my woe;
Mid adverse winds I toss in fragile bark,
Through stormy seas all rudderless I go,
Of knowledge void, yet filled with errors dark,
Till I know not myself which way I turn,
But freeze in summer and in winter burn.
Petrarch, 132
Love as monarch
Rime sparse
The long love that in my thought doth harbour...
For good is the life ending faithfully
Petrarchan adaption by thomas wyatt
whoso list to hunt, i know where is an hind...
"And wild for to hold though i seem tame."
Petrarchan adaption by thomas wyatt
How like a fire doth Love increase in me?
The longer that it lasts the stronger still;
The greater, purer, brighter; and doth fill
No eye with wonder more than hopes still bee.

Bred in my breast, when fires of Love are free
To use that part to their best pleasing will,
And now unpossible it is to kill
The heate so great where Love his strength doth see.

Mine eyes can scarce sustaine the flames, my heart
Doth trust in them my passions to impart,
And languishingly strive to shew my love.

My breath not able is to breath least part
Of that increasing fuell of my smart;
Yet love I will, till I but ashes prove.
Mary Wroth, 55
possible pun in last line. she pledges her love for William Herbert in a further pun on his first name
YEt is there hope, then Love but play thy part,
Remember well thy selfe, and think on me;
Shine in those eyes which conquer'd have my heart,
And see if mine, be slacke to answer thee.
Lodge in that breast, and pitty moouing see,
For flames which in mine burne in truest smart,
Exciling thoughts, that touch Inconstancy,
Or those which waste not in the constant Art,
Watch but my sleepe, if I take any rest,
For thought of you, my spirit so distrest,
As, pale and famish'd, I for mercy cry.
Will you your seruant leave: thinke but on this,
Who weares Love's Crowne, must not doe so amisse
But seeke their good, who on thy force do lye.
wroth, 3

Pamphilia turns inward to explore her own woes, or to insist upon her faith in the face of Amphilanthus's infidelity
In seeking to reduce both state and people
To a fixed order, their judicious king
Begins at home: quits first his royal palace
Of flatt’ring sycophants, of dissolute
And infamous persons
John Webster, Duchess of Malfi

Webster opens with a tribute to an ideal court (Antonio on the French king) and then turns his eye upon a corrupt Duke and a corrupt Cardinal: the Duchess’s brothers.
In quality.
He speaks with others' tongues, and hears men's suits
With others' ears; will seem to sleep o'th' bench
Only to entrap offenders in their answers;
Dooms men to death by information;
rewards by hearsay
Webster, Duchess of Malfi
Antonio's description of Duke Ferdinand
Some such flashes superficially hand on him for him; but observe his inward character: he is a melancholy churchman; the spring in his face is nothing but the engendering of toads; where he is jealous of any man, he lays worse plots for them than ever was imposed on Hercules...
Webster, Duchess of Malfi
Antonio's description of Cardinal
You never fixed your eye on three fair medals
Cast in one figure, of so different temper.
For her discourse, it is so full of rapture,
You only will begin then to be sorry
When she doth end her speech, and wish, in wonder,
She held it less vainglory to talk much,
Than your penance to hear her: whilst she speaks,
She throws upon a man so sweet a look,
That it were able to raise one to a galliard
That lay in dead palsy, and to dote
On that sweet countenance; but in that look
There speaketh so divine a countinence
As cuts off all lascivious and vain hope.
Webster, Duchess of Malfi
Antonio's description of Duchess
Shall this move me? If all my royal kindred
Lay in my way unto this marriage,
I'd make them my low footsteps; and even now,
Even in this hate, as men in some great battles,
By apprehending danger, have achiev'd
Almost impossible actions -- I have heard soldiers say so--
So I through frights and threatenings will assay
This dangerous venture. Let old wives report
I wink'd, and chose a husband.
Webster, Duchess of Malfi
Duchess’s characterization of her disobedience to her brothers and pursuit of her own desires as an heroic act—and also a transgression that takes her “beyond the pale.”
Shall our blood,
The royal blood of Aragon and Castile,
Be thus attained?
Webster, Duchess of Malfi
Cardinal is speaker
I would have their bodies
burnt in a coal pit with ventage stopped,
That their cursed smoke might not ascend to heaven:
Webster, Duchess of Malfi
Ferdinand, murderous and obscene fantasies
As I have seen some,
Feed in a lord's dish, half asleep, not seeming
To listen to any talk; and yet these rogues
Have cut his throat in a dream. What's my place?
The provisorship o'th' horse? say, then, my corruption
Grew out of horse-dung: I am your creature.
Webster, Duchess of Malfi
BOSOLA: the malcontent courtier and unwilling spy; the disappointed underling who viciously criticizes the court but who also wants a position there himself. To what extent does Bosola mystify his own moral agency when he accepts Ferdinand’s commission?
Die, then, quickly!
Virtue, where art thou his? What hideous thing
Is it that doth eclipse thee?
Webster, Duchess of Malfi
Ferdinand intrudes on duchess
njoy thy lust still, and a wretched life,
On that condition. And for thee, vile woman,
If thou do wish thy lecher may grow old
In thy embracements, I would have thee build
Such a room for him as our anchorites
To holier use inhabit. Let not the sun
Shine on him, till he's dead; let dogs and monkeys
Only converse with him, and such dumb things
To whom nature denies use to sound his name;
Do not keep a paraquito, lest she learn it;
If thou do love him, cut out thine own tongue
Lest it bewray him.
Webster, Duchess of Malfi
Ferdinand intrudes on duchess
You had the trick in audit-time to be sick,
Till I had sign'd your Quietus; and that cur'd you
Without help of a doctor. Gentlemen,
I would have this man be an example to you all,
So shall you hold my favour; I pray, let him;
For h'as done that, alas! you would not think of,
And, because I intend to be rid of him,
I mean not to publish. Use your fortune elsewhere.
Webster, Duchess of Malfi
Duchess' mock framing of Antonio
“you have made your private nuptial bed / The humble and fair seminary of peace”.
Webster, Duchess of Malfi
Bosola's response to Duchess' news that she has had 3 children by Antonio
A politician is the devil's quilted anvil;
He fashions all sins on him, and the blows
Are never heard: he may work in a lady's chamber,
As here for proof. What rests but I reveal
All to my lord? O, this base quality
Of intelligencer! Why, every quality i'th' world
Prefers but gain or commendation.
Now, for this act I am certain to be rais'd,
And men that paint weeds to the life are prais'd.
Webster, Duchess of Malfi
Bosola's final speech. the image of the “politician” (the crafty intriguer)
For thee as we observe in tragedies
That a good actor many times is cursed
Webster, Duchess of Malfi
Ferdinand speaking. Meta-theatrical references and metaphors of life-as-theater in the later stages of The Duchess of Malfi
In a mist: I know not how;
Such a mistake as I have ofteen seen
In a play.
Webster, Duchess of Malfi
Bosola speaking. Meta-theatrical references and metaphors of life-as-theater in the later stages of The Duchess of Malfi
Pull, and pull strongly, for your able strength,
Must pull down heaven upon me:
Yet stay, heaven gates are not so highly arch'd
As princes' palaces; they that enter there
Must go upon their knees. Come, violent death,
Serve for mandragora, to make me sleep:
Go, tell my brothers, when I am laid out,
They then may feed in quiet.
Webster, Duchess of Malfi
Duchess of Malfi right before death
Not a whit:
What would it pleasure me to have my throat cut
With diamonds? or to be smothered
With cassia? or to be shot to death with pearls?
I know death hath ten thousand several doors
For men to take their exits; and 'tis found
They go on such strange geometrical hinges,
You may open them both ways: any way, for heaven sake,
So I were out of your whispering. Tell my brothers,
That I perceive death, now I am well awake,
Best gift is they can give, or I can take.
I would fain put off my last woman's fault,
I'd not be tedious to you.
Webster, Duchess of Malfi
Duchess of Malfi right before death
Let me know
Wherefore I should be thus neglected? Sir,
I serv'd your tyranny, and rather strove,
To satisfy yourself, than all the world:
And though I loath'd the evil, yet I lov'd
You that did counsel it; and rather sought
To appear a true servant than an honest man.
Webster, Duchess of Malfi
Bosola is speaker.
Detailed look at his “conversion” experience at end of Act 4 and the complexity of his motivations for enacting the Duchess’s will and taking on the role of the Duchess’s avenger. (The whole issue of his “neglect” by Ferdinand; the idiosyncrasies of Bosola’s morality as expressed at 4.2.304ff
The weakest arm is strong enough, that strikes
With the sword of justice. Still methinks the duchess
Haunts me: there, there! 'tis nothing but my melancholy.
O Penitence, let me truly taste thy cup,
That throws men down, only to raise them up!
Webster, Duchess of Malfi
Bosola as quasi-tragic hero (think about the significance of his Act 5 soliloquies) who cannot enact his own will (most obviously when he ends up unwittingly slaying Antonio, the very person he had hoped to save). The “sword of justice” that merely produces out-of-control bloodshed.
I heard so, and
Was arm'd for't ere I came. Let us make noble use
Of this great ruin; and join all our force
To establish this young hopeful gentleman
In's mother's right. These wretched eminent things
Leave no more fame behind 'em, than should one
Fall in a frost, and leave his print in snow:
As soon as the sun shines, it ever melts,
Both form and matter. I have ever thought
Nature doth nothing so great for great men,
As when she's pleas'd to make them lords of truth:
Integrity of life is fame's best friend,
Which nobly, beyond death, shall crown the end.
Webster, Duchess of Malfi
Delio's "ending"
O, I am gone!
We are only like dead walls, or vaulted graves,
That ruin'd, yield no echo. Fare you well.
It may be pain, but no harm to me to die
In so good a quarrel. O, this gloomy world!
In what a shadow, or deep pit of darkness,
Doth womanish and fearful mankind live!
Let worthy minds ne'er stagger in distrust
To suffer death or shame for what is just:
Mine is another voyage.
Webster, Duchess of Malfi
Bosola.Has Bosola gained any insight at the last? (Detailed discussion of his dying speeches, his problematic representation of his own agency, the resonant ironies that haunt his attempts to establish the significance of his own experience.)
Prayer, the Church's banquet, Angel's age.
God's breath in man returning to his birth,
The soul in paraphrase, heart in pilgrimage,
The Christian plummet sounding heaven and earth;

Engine against th' Almighty, sinner's tower,
Reversed thunder, Christ-side-piercing spear,
The six days' world-transposing in an hour,
A kind of tune, which all things hear and fear;

Softness, and peace, and joy, and love, and bliss.
Exalted Manna, gladness of the best,
Heaven in ordinary, men well drest,
The Milky Way, the bird of Paradise,

Church-bells beyond the stars heard, the soul's blood,
The land of spices, something understood.
George Herbert, prayer 1
multiple metaphors for human attempts to communicate with God. ( The religious's lyric's spin on the Petrarchist's attempt to win the attention of his lady?)
Batter my heart, three-person'd God ; for you
As yet but knock ; breathe, shine, and seek to mend ;
That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp'd town, to another due,
Labour to admit you, but O, to no end.
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captived, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain,
But am betroth'd unto your enemy ;
Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.
John Donne, Holy Sonnet 14
The self-dramatizing "I" at the center of the poetic universe. Striking, often shocking erotic imagery (e.g. Donne's casting himself as a lover who begs to be ravished by God in Holy Sonnet 14) (complicated wordplay on the multiple connotations of ravish/rapture).
BATTER my heart, three person'd God; for, you
As yet but knocke, breathe, shine, and seeke to mend;
That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow mee,'and bend
Your force, to breake, blowe, burn and make me new.
I, like an usurpt towne, to'another due, 5
Labour to'admit you, but Oh, to no end,
Reason your viceroy in mee, mee should defend,
But is captiv'd, and proves weake or untrue.
Yet dearely'I love you,'and would be loved faine,
But am betroth'd unto your enemie: 10
Divorce mee,'untie, or breake that knot againe;
Take mee to you, imprison mee, for I
Except you'enthrall mee, never shall be free,
Nor ever chast, except you ravish mee.
John Donne, Batter my Heart
Donne's tendency to make his pleas in the imperative mode
O think me worth Thine anger, punish me,
Burn off my rust, and my deformity ;
Restore Thine image, so much, by Thy grace,
That Thou mayst know me, and I'll turn my face.
Donne, "Good Friday 1613, Riding Westward"
OF Mans First Disobedience, and the Fruit
Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal tast
Brought Death into the World, and all our woe,
With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat,
Sing Heav'nly Muse,that on the secret top
Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire
That Shepherd, who first taught the chosen Seed,
In the Beginning how the Heav'ns and Earth
Rose out of Chaos: Or if Sion Hill
Delight thee more, and Siloa's Brook that flow'd
Fast by the Oracle of God; I thence
Invoke thy aid to my adventrous Song,
That with no middle flight intends to soar
Above th' Aonian Mount, while it pursues
Things unattempted yet in Prose or Rhime.
And chiefly Thou O Spirit, that dost prefer
Before all Temples th' upright heart and pure,
Instruct me, for Thou know'st; Thou from the first
Wast present, and with mighty wings outspread
Dove-like satst brooding on the vast Abyss
And mad'st it pregnant: What in me is dark
Illumin, what is low raise and support;
That to the highth of this great Argument
I may assert Eternal Providence,
And justifie the wayes of God to men.
suggests how difficult it is to begin the narrative of Beginnings.
If thou beest he; But O how fall'n! how chang'd
From him, who in the happy Realms of Light
Cloth'd with transcendent brightness didst out-shine
Myriads though bright: If he Whom mutual league,
United thoughts and counsels, equal hope
And hazard in the Glorious Enterprize,
Joynd with me once, now misery hath joynd
In equal ruin: into what Pit thou seest
From what highth fall'n, so much the stronger prov'd
He with his Thunder: and till then who knew
The force of those dire Arms? yet not for those,
Nor what the Potent Victor in his rage
Can else inflict, do I repent or change,
Milton, Paradise lost
Satan's first speech
Where Joy for ever dwells: Hail horrours, hail
Infernal world, and thou profoundest Hell
Receive thy new Possessor: One who brings
A mind not to be chang'd by Place or Time.
The mind is its own place, and in it self
Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n.
Milton, Paradise lost
Satan is speaker
The mind is its own place, and that is why Satan is stuck in hell even when he is geographically on the very threshold of Paradise.
Which way I flie is Hell; my self am Hell;
And in the lowest deep a lower deep
Still threatning to devour me opens wide,
To which the Hell I suffer seems a Heav'n.
O then at last relent: is there no place
Left for Repentance, none for Pardon left?
Milton, Paradise lost
And now divided into four main Streams,
Runs divers, wandring many a famous Realme
And Country whereof here needs no account,
But rather to tell how, if Art could tell,
How from that Saphire Fount the crisped Brooks,
Rowling on Orient Pearl and sands of Gold,
With mazie error under pendant shades
Ran Nectar, visiting each plant, and fed
Flours worthy of Paradise which not nice Art
Milton, Paradise lost
The problem of representing Paradise and the state of innocence when the poet is himself a product of the Fall and has only fallen, slippery, unreliable language at his command.
Milton's self consciousness about this problem
Here Love his golden shafts imploies, here lights
His constant Lamp, and waves his purple wings,
Reigns here and revels; not in the bought smile
Of Harlots, loveless, joyless, unindeard,
Casual fruition, nor in Court Amours
Mixt Dance, or wanton Mask, or Midnight Bal,
Or Serenate, which the starv'd Lover sings
To his proud fair, best quitted with disdain.
Milton, Paradise lost
How, for example, do you represent Edenic sex?-IV.763ff.) Simile by negation in heaven
Not that faire field
Of Enna, where Proserpin gathering flours
Her self a fairer Floure by gloomie Dis
Was gatherd, which cost Ceres all that pain
To seek her through the world; nor that sweet Grove
Of Daphne by Orontes, and th' inspir'd
Castalian Spring, might with this Paradise
Of Eden strive;
Milton, Paradise lost
But fallen language is always potentially double-edged: the lingering implicit comparison (in the "fair field of Enna" passage) between Proserpina/Eve. Even though the myth of Proserpina isn't officially even in existence yet: it will be a product of post-fall pagan culture.
With unexperienc't thought, and laid me downe
On the green bank, to look into the cleer
Smooth Lake, that to me seemd another Skie.
As I bent down to look, just opposite,
A Shape within the watry gleam appeard
Bending to look on me, I started back,
It started back, but pleas'd I soon returnd,
Pleas'd it returnd as soon with answering looks
Of sympathie and love; there I had fixt
Mine eyes till now, and pin'd with vain desire,
Had not a voice thus warnd me, What thou seest,
What there thou seest fair Creature is thy self,
Milton, Paradise lost
suggesting WHY it is that the serpent approached her first? His invention of her "Narcissistic" narrative (IV. 449-91) of her own beginnings (with its faint echo of Satanic self-love); his choice to have Satan overhear it.
Two of far nobler shape erect and tall,
Godlike erect, with native Honour clad
In naked Majestie seemd Lords of all,
And worthie seemd, for in thir looks Divine
The image of thir glorious Maker shon,
Milton, Paradise lost
The double presentation of Adam and Eve
With kisses pure: aside the Devil turnd
For envie, yet with jealous leer maligne
Ey'd them askance, and to himself thus plaind.

Sight hateful, sight tormenting! thus these two
Imparadis't in one anothers arms
Milton, Paradise lost
Satan's response to Adam and Eve IV 502ff. (The anti-model: he leers at naked beauty; we should not.)
Note in particular 505ff--hell is a state of unfulfilled desire
O fair foundation laid whereon to build
Thir ruine!
amazing enjambed oxymoron, the idea of “building ruin”: Satan as miscreator again
Aught whereof hee hath need, hee who requires
From us no other service then to keep
This one, this easie charge, of all the Trees
In Paradise that bear delicious fruit
So various, not to taste that onely Tree
Of knowledge, planted by the Tree of Life,
So neer grows Death to Life, what ere Death is,
Som dreadful thing no doubt; for well thou knowst
God hath pronounc't it death to taste that Tree,
The only sign of our obedience left
Among so many signes of power and rule
Milton, Paradise lost
The nature of the divine prohibition.
See IV. 419 ff. Adam's emphasis on abstention from the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge as a "sign" of obedience, a purely symbolic act.
Queen of this Universe, doe not believe
Those rigid threats of Death; ye shall not Die:
How should ye? by the Fruit? it gives you Life
To Knowledge, By the Threatner, look on mee,
Mee who have touch'd and tasted, yet both live,
And life more perfet have attaind then Fate
Meant mee, by ventring higher then my Lot.
Milton, Paradise lost
Satan's seduction of Eve (IX 684ff)
"Do not believe" (684); "look on me" (686). If Eve stops believing that she must above all keep faith with God, abide by his prohibition; if she looks on the serpent and believes that it has gained its powers by eating the fruit but has suffered no punishment Satan will achieve his ends.
Each thing on Earth; and other care perhaps
May have diverted from continual watch
Our great Forbidder, safe with all his Spies
About him. But to Adam in what sort
Shall I appeer?
Eve's "Satanic" language after eating the fruit: (e.g. 813-815)
Astonied stood and Blank, while horror chill
Ran through his veins, and all his joynts relax'd;
From his slack hand the Garland wreath'd for Eve
Down drop'd, and all the faded Roses shed:
The reflection of eve's actions in her surroundings: the response of Nature
O thou that with surpassing Glory crownd,
Look'st from thy sole Dominion like the God
Of this new World; at whose sight all the Starrs
Hide thir diminisht heads; to thee I call,
But with no friendly voice, and add thy name
O Sun, to tell thee how I hate thy beams
That bring to my remembrance from what state
I fell, how glorious once above thy Spheare;
Till Pride and worse Ambition threw me down
Warring in Heav'n against Heav'ns matchless King:
Ah wherefore! he deservd no such return
From me, whom he created what I was
In that bright eminence, and with his good
Upbraided none; nor was his service hard.
Milton, paradise lost
satan has ust landed on earth. He becomes gripped with doubt about the task in front of him; seeing the beauty and innocence of Earth has reminded him of what he once was. He even briefly considers whether he could be forgiven if he repented.
HAil holy light, ofspring of Heav'n first-born,
Or of th' Eternal Coeternal beam
May I express thee unblam'd? since God is light,
And never but in unapproached light
Dwelt from Eternitie, dwelt then in thee,
Bright effluence of bright essence increate.
Or hear'st thou rather pure Ethereal stream,
Whose Fountain who shall tell? before the Sun,
Before the Heavens thou wert, and at the voice
Of God, as with a Mantle didst invest
The rising world of waters dark and deep,
Won from the void and formless infinite.
Milton, Paradise Lost.
Poet as epic hero
DEscend from Heav'n Urania, by that name
If rightly thou art call'd, whose Voice divine
Following, above th' Olympian Hill I soare,
Above the flight of Pegasean wing.
The meaning, not the Name I call: for thou
Nor of the Muses nine, nor on the top
Of old Olympus dwell'st, but Heav'nlie borne,
Before the Hills appeerd, or Fountain flow'd,
Thou with Eternal Wisdom didst converse,
Wisdom thy Sister, and with her didst play
In presence of th' Almightie Father, pleas'd
With thy Celestial Song. Up led by thee
Into the Heav'n of Heav'ns I have presum'd,
An Earthlie Guest, and drawn Empyreal Aire,
Thy tempring; with like safetie guided down
Return me to my Native Element:
Milton, Paradise Lost.
Poet as epic hero
NO more of talk where God or Angel Guest
With Man, as with his Friend, familiar us'd
To sit indulgent, and with him partake
Rural repast, permitting him the while
Venial discourse unblam'd: I now must change
Those Notes to Tragic; foul distrust, and breach
Disloyal on the part of Man, revolt,
And disobedience: On the part of Heav'n
Now alienated, distance and distaste,
Anger and just rebuke, and judgement giv'n,
That brought into this World a world of woe,
Milton, Paradise Lost.
Poet as epic hero