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Divine alchemy in Paradise Lost

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Date Issued:
2012
Summary:
This study examines the themes of alchemy and transformation in Paradise Lost and seventeenth-century thought. Beginning with an overvieiw of the historical roots of alchemy, this study analyzes the ancient, underlying philosophical concepts that marital union produces the birth of the soul and that destruction is necessary for this birth. Alchemical references identified in Paradise Lost include animal lore and direct alchemical images, which demonstrate Milton's knowledge of alchemy and his deliberate use of the alchemical metaphor. These themes support the proposal that Milton, a Christian humanist, uses alchemy as a metaphor described in this study as "divine alchemy," which begins with his belief that Christians, inheriting original sin, must submit themselves to a transformative process similar to transmutation to restore right reason and, ultimately, achieve salvation.
Title: Divine alchemy in Paradise Lost.
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Name(s): Rutherford, Andrea J.
Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters
Department of English
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Issued: 2012
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Physical Form: electronic
Extent: vii, 58 p. : ill.
Language(s): English
Summary: This study examines the themes of alchemy and transformation in Paradise Lost and seventeenth-century thought. Beginning with an overvieiw of the historical roots of alchemy, this study analyzes the ancient, underlying philosophical concepts that marital union produces the birth of the soul and that destruction is necessary for this birth. Alchemical references identified in Paradise Lost include animal lore and direct alchemical images, which demonstrate Milton's knowledge of alchemy and his deliberate use of the alchemical metaphor. These themes support the proposal that Milton, a Christian humanist, uses alchemy as a metaphor described in this study as "divine alchemy," which begins with his belief that Christians, inheriting original sin, must submit themselves to a transformative process similar to transmutation to restore right reason and, ultimately, achieve salvation.
Identifier: 833365070 (oclc), 3358963 (digitool), FADT3358963 (IID), fau:4046 (fedora)
Note(s): by Andrea J. Rutherford.
Thesis (M.A.)--Florida Atlantic University, 201?.
Includes bibliography.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
System requirements: Adobe Reader.
Subject(s): Milton, John, 1608-1674
Milton, John, 1608-1674
Milton, John, 1608-1674
Symbolism in literature
Science in literature
Literature and science -- England -- History -- 17th century
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/FAU/3358963
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Owner Institution: FAU