The Psalms were of intense interest to Milton, who read them not only as impassioned voices conveying significant moments in life's journey, but also as examples of various genres, each containing rhetorical and poetical conventions appropriate to the expressive intent of the speaker. In this book Mary Ann Radzinowicz describes the pervasive influence of these biblical works on Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained. She shows that the dramatic moments when Milton's characters respond to the numinous are shaped by his appreciation of the lyricism of the Psalms and by his studies of their thematic relationships.
This book traces the density of poetic voices in the epicsvoices arising from the echoing of psalm kindsand the ironic paralleling of important episodes in them. At the same time, Radzinowicz's book relates to each other Milton's two remarkable poetic oeuvres derived from the Old and New Testaments: one an anonymous, powerful, ancient, worship-centered, lyric work, the other an individually determined, revolutionary, heroic work.
Originally published in 1989.
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