Journal Article

The Homeric Psalm: Milton’s Translation of Psalm 114 and the Problems of ‘Hellenic Scripture’

Jeffrey Einboden

in Literature and Theology

Volume 17, issue 3, pages 314-323
Published in print September 2003 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online September 2003 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/17.3.314
The Homeric Psalm: Milton’s Translation of Psalm 114 and the Problems of ‘Hellenic Scripture’

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John Milton’s translation of Psalm 114 into Homeric Greek represents a unique and paradoxical synthesis of the Hebraic and Hellenic traditions. This paper proposes that Milton’s 1634 rendering evidences his early attempt to aesthetically redeem scriptural verse through employing the parameters of classical prosody. Through investigating Milton’s employment of the diction, syntax, morphology, and metre of the Homeric poems, this paper questions the extent to which Psalm 114’s monotheistic content may be voiced through the linguistic and figural conventions of pagan verse, particularly in light of Milton’s own mature espousal of the ‘plain’ sanctity of scriptural language.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

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