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This report is taken from PN Review 239, Volume 44 Number 3, January - February 2018.

Some Thoughts on Paradise Lost
Some Thoughts on a Speech of Adam’s in Paradise Lost (2)
[XII: 469–478]
Frank Kuppner
4. ‘Full of doubt I stand / Whether I should repent me now of sin / By me done and occasioned’ [XII: 473–5]
[How punctiliously Adam – evidently already a natural diplomat – goes out of his way to make it clear that it was not the Cosmos-creating Almighty God who brought about this fructiferously catastrophic lapse. Although, of course, if there had been no originating Creator, none of the consequent complications and developments (whether for good or evil) could ever possibly have arisen, the whole thing is surely apparelled in a rather more flattering quasi-celestial light when helped along by apologetic sleight-of-hand involving evasive terms like ‘occasion’. [‘Occasio’ (Lat.): a fall. (But did he fall or was he pushed?)]

By the way, we’re quite certain (are we?) that none of Satan and his unMerry unMen are still within earshot somewhere or other? To be ‘full of doubt’ as to whether one should repent the committing of a sin (and the Original Sin at that! – nothing less) could be taken to have rather a thrilling, not to say hugely encouraging, undertone of back-sliding about it, which might well seem to the Prince of Darkness to betray a marked creative potential. I mean to say, he has already escaped from the Divinely Appointed Prison once, has he not? (Yes. Once indeed. At least!)]


5. ‘or rejoice / Much more, that much more good thereof shall spring / To God more glory, more good will to men / From God, and over wrath grace shall abound.’ [XII: 475–8]
[‘Much ...


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