Yet Once More: Verbal and Psychological Pattern in Milton

Yet Once More: Verbal and Psychological Pattern in Milton

Yet Once More: Verbal and Psychological Pattern in Milton

Yet Once More: Verbal and Psychological Pattern in Milton

Excerpt

Overwhelmingly much has been said about Milton's borrowings from others. Nothing, or next to nothing, has been said about his borrowings from himself. There is not even an article, not to say a book, on this subject. Inevitably, various editors, in the course of their annotations, have drawn attention to an occasional parallel, made here and there a cross- reference. The editions of Henry John Todd, in the nineteenth century, and Merritt Y. Hughes, in the twentieth, are especially valuable in this respect. Charles R. Sumner, in notes added to his translation of De Doctrina Christiana in the Bohn edition of the prose, pointed to numerous verbal parallels between that treatise and Milton's other works, especially Paradise Lost. The nearest to a collection in one place of various parallels has been the three columns on pages 1276-1277 of the Index to the Columbia Milton, and these are swelled by other than verbal parallels. Hundreds of Milton's repetitions have gone unrecorded and uncommented on; there has been no attempt to find the sum and assess it. The only general remark I have met with was made by Hugh C. H. Candy in the course of his special pleading, entitled Some Newly Discovered Stanzas written by John Milton on Engraved Scenes illustrating Ovid's "Metamorphoses", "he did in a sense plagiarize himself, as, in fact, Milton had rather a habit of doing." This is so to a degree unrealized by the commentators, as is evidenced not only by their silence but by the actual misstatements that some of them, and these not the least eminent, have let drop. I am not referring here to the assertion made by the latest of Milton's biographer-critics, Rex Warner: "He never repeated himself"; for I have no disposition to quarrel with the truth in that statement. But, as Mr. Warner himself points out, Milton's peculiar greatness lies in the extent to which he is a tension of opposites, and this means, among other things, that his critics can--and certainly they do--make opposing statements about him: that he is classical and that he is romantic, that he is . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.