CHAPTER III
PARADISE REGAINED AND SAMSON AGONISTES

PARADISE REGAINED sings Man's Regeneration. The most remarkable thing about it, from our point of view here, is that such a tide should be given to such a work.

The drama remains entirely intellectual. There is no action and no passions come into play. The purely emotional side of Jesus's story, his suffering and crucifixion, has not attracted Milton. Divine love, God's love for the world, which makes him sacrifice his only Son for the salvation of his creatures, Christ's love for men which makes him give his blood as an offering to Eternal Justice, has no appeal for Milton either. Milton was not sentimental; he was not a mystic. He had his strong share of human feelings and passions, but he was simple and natural, and satisfied his desires in the plain normal human way, without refining overmuch. Besides, he wanted to understand things. The incomprehensibility of God is to him an intellectual fact, a perception by the mind of its own limitations. It is not a mystery of love and blind self-forgetfulness.

Therefore, even as the Fall had been an argument in which man had been deceived, so the Restoration is an argument in which man, in the person of Jesus, triumphs. Paradise Regained is a tale of Reason and Passion discussing who shall win in man. It comes as near as it can to being an allegory, and barely escapes being one

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Milton, Man and Thinker
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Preface v
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction xiii
  • Part I - The Man xix
  • Chapter I - The Elements of Milton's Character In Youth 1
  • Chapter II - The Man of Action and of Passion 21
  • Part II - The System 109
  • Chapter I - Ontology 113
  • Chapter II - Cosmology 134
  • Chapter III - Psychology and Ethics 149
  • Chapter IV - Religion 172
  • Chapter V - Politics 181
  • Chapter VI - Conclusion: a General View Of Milton's Philosophy 198
  • Part III - The Great Poems 201
  • Chapter I - Faith, Philosophy, and Poetry In Milton's Work 203
  • Chapter II - Paradise Lost 213
  • Chapter III - Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes 233
  • Part Iv The Sources 245
  • Chapter I - Hebraic Sources 251
  • Chapter II - The Christian Era 259
  • Chapter III - The Fathers 264
  • Chapter I - The Zohar and the Kabbalah 281
  • Chapter II - Robert Fludd (1574-1637) 301
  • Chapter III - The Mortalists, 1643-1655 310
  • Conclusion 323
  • Appendices 327
  • Index 353
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