‘On other surety none’: Raphael's Temporal and Spatial Passion Allegories

Russell M. Hillier

in Milton's Messiah

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199591886
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725326 | DOI:
‘On other surety none’: Raphael's Temporal and Spatial Passion Allegories

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According to William Hunter's interpretation of Paradise Lost's War in Heaven, Raphael's martial narrative functions as a temporal allegory where the three days of angelic warfare evoke the Paschal triduum, that is, the three days in the gospel narratives that include the Last Supper, the Passion, and the resurrection. This chapter develops Hunter's thesis by suggesting further ways in which the War in Heaven, operating as a temporal redemption allegory, displays the Son's saving work. Raphael's account of the Creation in Book Seven similarly operates as a spatial redemption allegory that communicates the Son's salvific agency by associating vertical movements of descent and ascent with Christ's Incarnation, death, resurrection, ascension, and session. Milton implements a range of other literary devices to inscribe within Raphael's history of the original, prelapsarian Old Creation the promise of the future, postlapsarian New Creation of humanity accomplished by the incarnate Son's saving work.

Keywords: allegory; narrative; surety; time; space; anointing; hexaemeron; ascension; compasses; Psalm culture

Chapter.  17853 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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