Naming in Paradise: Milton and the Language of Adam and Eve

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9780198129585: Naming in Paradise: Milton and the Language of Adam and Eve

Naming in Paradise explores Milton's use of prelapsarian and postlapsarian names, and the various ways in which distinctions between them infiltrate Paradise Lost. Taking Adam's naming of animals as his starting point, John Leonard examines the larger significance of naming and prelapsarian language in Milton's great epic. Always keeping his argument as close as possible to the poem's words and narrative, Leonard establishes the importance of naming in Paradise Lost, supplying the reader with a valuable interpretative key to many passages and narrative episodes that have hitherto been ignored or misunderstood. Referring frequently to Milton's early editors as well as to modern critics, Leonard explores such topics as the naming of Eve, the namelessness of the fallen Angels, demonic neologisms, and the uncertainty of Satan's name and identity. By relating these and other topics to the larger episodes of the Fall of the Angels and the Falls of Adam and Eve, Leonard uncovers areas of meaning that enrich and amplify our reading of Paradise Lost.

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Winner of the James Holly Hanford Award for the most distinguished book published on Milton in 1990

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