Milton and Scriptural Tradition: The Bible into Poetry

By James H. Sims; Leland Ryken | Go to book overview
Save to active project

The Gospel of John and Paradise Regained: Jesus as "True Light"

Stella P. Revard

Milton's extensive use of the Gospel of John in Christian Doctrine and Paradise Lost is well documented, and in view of the transcendental concerns of these works it is hardly surprising that Milton depends so heavily in them on the gospel that most fully describes the relationship of the divine Son to the divine Father. Yet, as critics such as Ira Clark have recognized, we must not neglect the influence of John on Paradise Regained because this poem more directly concerns the Son preparing himself for an earthly ministry than it does the operations of the divine Logos.1 Neither should we dismiss John's influence on Paradise Regained because it, alone of the gospels, does not recount the temptation in the wilderness that is the main subject of Milton's brief epic. Milton had to elaborate greatly on this biblical episode, and, as critics have pointed out, he uses language and allusions from other parts of the Bible to describe this episode as well as to create those sections of Paradise Regained that are without direct biblical authority: Jesus' soliloquies, his conversations with Satan, and his responses to the Satanic offers of Parthia, Rome, and Athens.2 Throughout major portions of Paradise Regained, therefore, Milton had the opportunity to draw extensively from the Gospel of

____________________
1
For the citation of John in Paradise Regained, see Ira Clark, "Paradise Regained and the Gospel according to John," Modern Philology 71 ( 1973): 1-15; James H. Sims, The Bible in Milton's Epics ( Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1962), pp. 274-78; Louis L. Martz, "Paradise Regained: The Meditative Combat," ELH 27 ( 1960): 238.
2
James Sims has illustrated how Milton's phrasing in Paradise Regained often suggests sections of the Bible other than the one that appears to be his principal source. Sims cites the fact that the thief's words from the cross ( Luke 23:39) underlie Satan's plea in the first temptation to "save thyself and us" ( The Bible in Milton's Epics, pp. 154-55).

-142-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Milton and Scriptural Tradition: The Bible into Poetry
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 214

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?