Chapter

‘Betwixt the world destroyed and world restored’: Milton and the Universal Rack

Fiona J. Stafford

in The Last of the Race

Published in print June 1994 | ISBN: 9780198112228
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191670718 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198112228.003.0002
‘Betwixt the world destroyed and world restored’: Milton and the Universal Rack

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John Milton's great poem on the creation of mankind entitled ‘Paradise Lost’ (1667) is discussed in an attempt to start an investigation into the last-of-the-race myth. Milton's efforts to revive an unfallen world shows knowledge of the limitations of seventeenth-century Britain and his own concept of distance from God's human prototype. With the importance of the figure of Adam in this study, ‘Paradise Lost’ is a key text, it being the myth of Eden's most influential modern illustration. Predictions of the modern myth of the last of the race can be recognized in Milton's orthodox account of Adam, the first man. Milton allows his readers to explore world history towards the last part of the poem, through Archangel Michael's revelation of his vision to Adam.

Keywords: John Milton; Paradise Lost; myth; modern myth; race; poems

Chapter.  10735 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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