Milton's Grand Style by Christopher Ricks

By Christopher Ricks

Milton's Grand type has been vigorously attacked within the 20th century, and this e-book is an try to refute Milton's detractors by means of exhibiting the delicacy and subtlety that is to be present in the verse of `Paradise misplaced'

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Milton's Grand Style

Milton's Grand variety has been vigorously attacked within the 20th century, and this booklet is an try and refute Milton's detractors through displaying the delicacy and subtlety that is to be present in the verse of `Paradise misplaced'

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Again and again he sees exactly what is happening in a passage of Milton. He then deplores it, but we need not do so, and can be grateful for his insight. He may be wrong-headed, but at least he is headed. He is particularly quick to spot the kind of clash which Milton is so fond of and which is not carelessness. Uplifted imminent one stroke they aim’d. (vi. ’5 Bentley is right about how the style works here, but wrong about its value, as Pearce insisted: ‘Uplifted is what has had a Motion upwards, but has that Motion no longer, when it is already uplifted: and imminent is what hovers and is ready to fall, but has not as yet in the least begun to do so.

Spingarn, iii. 199). (3) Milton's God (1961), pp. 54–55. L. (1749), i. 84. (4) p. 35. (5) p. 193. (6) p. 211. The Grand Style ANY critic of Milton cowers away from discussing his Grand Style, since the great tributes to its power and sublimity have already been paid. Is there any need to add anything to Arnold? ’1 Or to Johnson? ‘The characteristick quality of his poem is sublimity. He sometimes descends to the elegant, but his element is the great. He can occasionally invest himself with grace; but his natural port is gigantick loftiness.

1) Bernard Bergonzi, in The Living Milton (ed. F. Kermode, 1960), p. 174. (1) Revaluation (1936), pp. 42–61. (1) ‘Jonnson as Poet’ (1942), The Common Pursuit (1952), p. 118. (1) Introduction to The English Poems of Milton (World's Classics, 1940), pp. ix, xi. (1) Proceedings of the British Academy (1947), xxxiii. 74–75. Omitted from ‘Milton II’, On Poetry and Poets. (1) The Common Pursuit, pp. , 22, 32 n. L. (1942), pp. 129–30. (1) Eikonoklastes, XI. (1) Some Versions of Pastoral (1935), p. 152.

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