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Merely to officiate light"

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Date Issued:
2009
Summary:
This thesis considers the role and function of God the Son within the anti-Trinitarian system John Milton envisions in his epic poem, Paradise Lost. In the poem, God the Father frequently acts independently of His Son, and the divine attributes that traditionally describe the Son, including His timelessness, no longer apply to the character Milton constructs. Despite this apparent degradation, Milton still elevates the Son and considers Him to be a character worthy of our respect. To account for this seeming paradox, I propose a reading of Paradise Lost that does not dismiss Milton's heretical belief in a subjected Son, but rather uses it as a way envision a new form of power. To do so, I compare the relationship between God the Father and His Son in terms of light and sun imagery, to demonstrate how power is divided and distributed between the two, according to the scientific principles of Milton's day. In addition, I consider how Michel Foucault's concept of the docile body both applies to the Son and explains His deference to the Father. Through these analyses, I hope to demonstrate that the Son's power exists as the result of properly exercising His free will, a will that would not have been His own had He been one with His Father.
Title: " Merely to officiate light": the subordination and glorification of God the Son in Paradise Lost.
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Name(s): Cruikshank, Kathryn H.
Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Thesis
Issuance: multipart monograph
Date Issued: 2009
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Physical Form: electronic
electronic resource
Extent: v, 85 leaves ; 29 cm.
Language(s): English
Summary: This thesis considers the role and function of God the Son within the anti-Trinitarian system John Milton envisions in his epic poem, Paradise Lost. In the poem, God the Father frequently acts independently of His Son, and the divine attributes that traditionally describe the Son, including His timelessness, no longer apply to the character Milton constructs. Despite this apparent degradation, Milton still elevates the Son and considers Him to be a character worthy of our respect. To account for this seeming paradox, I propose a reading of Paradise Lost that does not dismiss Milton's heretical belief in a subjected Son, but rather uses it as a way envision a new form of power. To do so, I compare the relationship between God the Father and His Son in terms of light and sun imagery, to demonstrate how power is divided and distributed between the two, according to the scientific principles of Milton's day. In addition, I consider how Michel Foucault's concept of the docile body both applies to the Son and explains His deference to the Father. Through these analyses, I hope to demonstrate that the Son's power exists as the result of properly exercising His free will, a will that would not have been His own had He been one with His Father.
Identifier: 459778860 (oclc), 209988 (digitool), FADT209988 (IID), fau:1362 (fedora)
Note(s): by Kathryn H. Cruikshank.
Thesis (B.A.)--Florida Atlantic University, Honors College, 2009.
Bibliography: leaves 72-85.
Electronic reproduction. Boca Raton, Fla., 2009. Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Subject(s): Milton, John, 1608-1674
Milton, John, 1608-1674
Symbolism in literature
God in literature
Religion and literature -- England -- 17th century -- Criticism and interpretation
Held by: FBoU FAUER
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/FAU/209988
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author, with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Owner Institution: FAU

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