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Polysemy in John Milton's Paradise Lost

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Date Issued:
2009
Summary:
This is a study of the polysemous language in John Milton's Paradise Lost. Unlike some of his seventeenth-century contemporaries, Milton did not harbor a mistrust of highly symbolic and interpretable language, and the fact that he did not has deep repercussions in Milton's great epic. I examine the porous and mutable nature of Edenic language, and how it challenges the idea of prelapsarian language as devoid of polysemous gloss. Prior to the Fall, Adam and Eve's perfect acquisition of knowledge is not undermined by the symbolism of language. Nevertheless, Satan cleverly exploits the polysemy of Edenic language in order to effectuate Adam and Eve's transgression. Ultimately, Milton's Paradise Lost departs from common seventeenth-century theories about language and knowledge. Milton's view is unique in that it retains a positive view of symbolic language and suggests that postlapsarian humanity is bereft of divine guidance and left to struggle for knowledge through experience.
Title: Polysemy in John Milton's Paradise Lost.
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Name(s): Harrawood, Suzanne.
Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters
Department of English
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Issued: 2009
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Physical Form: electronic
Extent: v, 45 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: This is a study of the polysemous language in John Milton's Paradise Lost. Unlike some of his seventeenth-century contemporaries, Milton did not harbor a mistrust of highly symbolic and interpretable language, and the fact that he did not has deep repercussions in Milton's great epic. I examine the porous and mutable nature of Edenic language, and how it challenges the idea of prelapsarian language as devoid of polysemous gloss. Prior to the Fall, Adam and Eve's perfect acquisition of knowledge is not undermined by the symbolism of language. Nevertheless, Satan cleverly exploits the polysemy of Edenic language in order to effectuate Adam and Eve's transgression. Ultimately, Milton's Paradise Lost departs from common seventeenth-century theories about language and knowledge. Milton's view is unique in that it retains a positive view of symbolic language and suggests that postlapsarian humanity is bereft of divine guidance and left to struggle for knowledge through experience.
Identifier: 465424037 (oclc), 332913 (digitool), FADT332913 (IID), fau:3752 (fedora)
Note(s): by Suzanne Harrawood.
Thesis (M.A.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2009.
Includes bibliography.
Electronic reproduction. Boca Raton, Fla., 2009. Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Subject(s): Milton, John, 1608-1674
Symbolism in literature
Narration (Rhetoric)
Polysemy
Semiotics
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/FAU/332913
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Owner Institution: FAU