Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Anxiety of Moral Influence

Eliot challenging the die-hard defenders of Milton: "The kind of derogatory criticism that I have to make upon Milton is not intended for such persons, who cannot understand that it is more important, in some vital re­spects, to be a good poet than to be a great poet."

Milton's God, praising the Son who has:
                                                  been found
By Merit more then Birthright Son of God,
Found worthiest to be so by being Good,
Farr more then Great or High. (3.308-11)
As often in Book 3, the Father (manifester of Narcissistic Personality Disorder) is echoing the prompts the Son has given him, here the Son's earlier warning that should he destroy humanity:
wilt thou thy self
Abolish thy Creation, and unmake,
For him, what for thy glorie thou hast made?
So should thy goodness and thy greatness both
Be questiond and blaspheam'd without defence. (3.162-66)
So Eliot's distinction comes from Milton.  Just saying.

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