Lecture 18 - Paradise Lost, Books IX-X
recorded by: Yale University
published: May 25, 2011, recorded: November 2007, views: 2515
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)
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This second lecture on the Fall traces Milton's use of the word wander, in all of its forms, across the poem. The transformation of wander from its pre-fallen sense to its more nefarious incarnation following the transgression is examined closely. The wider literary context of the concept of wandering, with particular emphasis placed on its importance to the romance genre, is briefly discussed. The reductive forces of Book Nine -- particularly its tendency to transform the moral ambivalence, disputed sexual hierarchy, and general poetic ambiguity of earlier books into more definitive representations -- are considered, with the lecture ultimately suggesting that the poem begins to turn away in Book Nine from many of its proto-feminist elements.
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