Date of Award

5-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

College/School

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Department/Program

English

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Jeffrey Alan Miller

Committee Member

Adam Rzepka

Committee Member

Monika Elbert

Subject(s)

Milton, John, --1608-1674--Paradise lost, Said, Edward W. --Orientalism

Abstract

This essay explores, in sequence, the event of Eve’s dream, Raphael’s visit to Eden, and Satan’s temptation as presented in Milton’s Paradise Lost. To aid an interpretation of Raphael’s visit to Eden, in terms other than failure, is Edward Said’s seminal work, Orientalism. Said’s theoretical cruxes of “latent orientalism” and “narrative” propel an analytical reconfiguration of the events stated above. As Said’s claims work to question analyses of Raphael’s visit, present in scholarly discourse, Milton’s text works to reveal the analytical possibilities of Said’s work in ways that are otherwise absent from the discourse. By examining these moments in Milton’s text, Said’s claims also procure insightful dimensions and interpretations outside of their more theoretical and historical commonplace. Ultimately, Said’s main concern of the historical dynamics shaping the relationship between “east” and “West”, “Orient” and “Occident”, prove relevant to consideration of the dynamics of “earthly” and “heavenly”, God and man, in Milton’s epic poem.

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