Friday, March 28, 2014

The Symposium...

I attended the three o'clock session Milton: Paradise, Politics, and Catharsis, overseen by Professor Burton. I attended this specific session because I had personal interest in finding out how Milton's Paradise Lost and religious writings influenced Christianity since their publication. I've never been able to wrap my head around Paradise Lost, even though I greatly enjoyed his poem "Il Penseroso" and "L'Allegro", because biblical figures were so... human. There is great freedom in the portrayal of each character, but I still couldn't help but think the book a little ridiculous. From what I know, many people from this period were significantly influenced by Milton's writings... and I couldn't understand why.

However, as I was listening to the second speaker (Andrew Price), I was surprisingly drawn in by the analysis of Satan, and how similar he is to us (humans). I was especially fascinated with the comparison of Satan's force and Christ's passivity. Satan eventually fell with force and Christ overcame with passivity--his complete reliance on God and unquestioning devotion. In my mind, I was starting to argue against this--not with the fact that Christ's passive heroism superseding Satan's forceful heroism, but the definition of Christ's passivity. Did Christ really follow God's instructions not knowing His reasons and purpose? Is that really Christ's passivity? I don't argue that Christ trusted God completely, but did Christ really (sometimes) not know why God instructed him in certain ways?

I know this is a weird thought to have while listening to a topic on how English Restoration and Milton and Oliver Cromwell's own experience influenced Milton's works, but I couldn't stop thinking about this.

To connect my question to my what I'm writing (which I'm struggling with)...  In my paper, I'm trying to write about the difference of blind faith and really knowing and acting upon it. I feel that at times, we do need to follow instructions without questioning them, but I also feel that we need to intuitively know and feel right about following certain instructions.

... I feel lost now. Am I making any sense?

Anyway, I've found Andrew Price's essay online! Here is the link. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you attended and that you enjoyed Andrew's paper (That's great that you found it online - that's what will happen later with your own paper!). I don't think that was a bad connection to your own project. Is blind faith a kind of passivity? Interesting.