Milton, daunted by the achievement in the world of epic by his great precursors Homer and Virgil, went back to the moment of creation itself
Okay, I need to know more about this because Homer has such a special place in my mind. I’ve spent most of my conscious life learning about the ways the philosophers evolved throughout history.
It’s almost like Bloom interprets the history of literature as something Oedipal in order to kill Freud, ironically. “I understand the Oedipus cycle better!” I’m not going to allow myself to be frozen in his interpretation of it, while also respecting his seemingly unmatched erudition. Oh no, I’m doing exactly what he says people do, oh well.
Some people really sit down and decide to do something like this
Milton’s epic has a largely negative relation to the content of the Iliad or the Aeneid. Milton’s “one greater Man,” Christ, is a hero who necessarily surpasses all the sons of Adam, including Achilles and Aeneas
We need an epic for our secular age, just saying. When you see other people in history who had it in them to attempt something like that it makes it seem more possible it can be done again. Someone has to set ideals, right? Randomly, after giving Bloom the title, I just read HIM saying that Milton was the most erudite poet in history. He had the intention all his life to do what he did. It wasn’t a “Muse” from the gods, he studied how to do it. What goals do people give zoomers these days? Go into law, be a lawyer. That’s nothing. At least throw this kind of goal out there for them. With the marginalization of the Great Books over the last few decades that’s going to be even more impossible to do. The best rap battle ever is what you can expect in the future at the rate we’re going. Anyway, it might be a Space Age epic, if I had to guess.
This is counter-intuitive for people who like to believe we live in a “Christian nation”
Paradise Lost makes frequent references to obscure biblical events and places which are quite confusing for us, in our secularized society, as opposed to the more famous Greek gods mentioned by Homer.
Milton is more relatable to us in this sense though
Homer uses the exacerbated form of conflict, war as the setting for his The Iliad, and John Milton makes it explicit through the clash between God and Satan.
We’re far removed from any talk of God or gods though. An epic in our time would have to use Ideas in their place.
This is clever though (to say the least)
Satan embodies all the other characteristics of an epic hero… However, the progress of the epic displays a gradual moral and physical degeneration of Satan that and is rooted in pride.
So we got some idea of how Virgil adjusted Homer and Plato for Roman times – now look, a Christian
Paradise Lost provides a corrective sketch of God. Milton declares the purpose of his epic being to ‘juftifie the ways of God to man.’
If someone were to do something similar in our time it would seem very, how do you say–Nazi. If you disagree the chances are you’ve been corrupted by the modern “epics” known as the media and what’s taught in school. Where is the “Nazi art” of today? That’s just one model that could be used anyway. Nazism is only one of the many Olympian gods, so to speak. No one wants to write that, partially because they’re fused with society. Sorry that makes you mad that’s the ideal of “revolutionary art” in our time. Are you one of those people who is too cowardly to go to war so runs a pig farm instead? If so, your opinion doesn’t matter you coward. Make some “regime art”. How DULL! You want to be accepted by the world of frauds and you want to be lavished with praise for that. Only a base soul wants that, and thus nothing timeless is possible from you. Is it possible for me, personally? At least I haven’t sold my soul, that’s all I’m saying, and not doing that is one of the main prerequisites of what I’m talking about. Let’s see, what living person should I read today, slave 1, slave 2, slave 3, or slave 4? So many options to choose from.