Abstract: The “paradise within, happier farr” that the angel Michael foretells in the final book of Milton’s Paradise Lost has attracted widespread and often divisive comment. I argue that the most significant interpretive context for the phrase directly follows Michael’s speech. When Adam returns to the newly wakened Eve, she greets him with a blank verse love sonnet that triangulates three sources of encouragement for the couple in their coming exile from Eden. Each source unveils a different aspect of the “paradise within”: the Stoic trope of the world as a homeland, the Renaissance love motif of the lover as a world, and the divine peace of conscience, which many contemporaries described as a “paradise within.”
Studies in Philology – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Jan 6, 2017
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