Milton's Ovidian Eve presents a fresh and thorough exploration of the classical allusions central to understanding Paradise Lost and to understanding Eve, one of Milton's most complex characters. Mandy Green demonstrates how Milton appropriates narrative structures, verbal echoes, and literary strategies from the Metamorphoses to create a subtle and evolving portrait of Eve. Each chapter examines a different aspect of Eve's mythological figurations. Green traces Eve's development through multiple critical lenses, influenced by theological, ecocritical, and feminist readings. Her analysis is gracefully situated between existing Milton scholarship and close textual readings, and is supported by learned references to seventeenth-century writing about women, the allegorical tradition of Ovidian commentary, hexameral literature, theological contexts and biblical iconography.
This detailed scholarly treatment of Eve simultaneously illuminates our understanding of the character, establishes Milton's reading of Ovid as central to his poetic success, and provides a candid synthesis and reconciliation of earlier interpretations.
Contents: Foreword; Introduction; 'The fairer image': reflections of Narcissus and Pygmalion's ivory maid; Daphne and the issue of consent; Maiden, bride and mother: 3 faces of Eve; 'Goddess humane': Eve as Venus, queen of the Graces; 'The vine and her elm': a marriage made in paradise; 'Access deni'd': the virgin in the garden; 'Softening the stony' : Eve and the process of spiritual regeneration; Afterword; Works cited; Index.
About the Author: Mandy Green is a Teaching and Research Fellow in the Department of English Studies, Durham University, UK
Reviews: ‘… Green's book can only be praised for illuminating an important and hitherto largely neglected allusive pattern in Paradise Lost.’ Bryn Mawr Classical Review
'Milton’s Ovidian Eve is an intricate, thought-provoking study, rich with detail and numerous flashes of brilliant insight. It opens up many other possibilities of interpretation, not just with regard to Eve, but to many other passages in the poem where Ovidian allusions create tantalizing and often unpredictable imaginative echoes and associations.' Philological Quarterly
'... [a] compelling study...' Modern Language Review
'... contain[s] much that will stimulate and inform a student of Milton, and contribute in interesting ways to ongoing debates amongst Milton scholars.' Notes and Queries
'... Green's subtle and penetrating study, [is] an important contribution both to Milton criticism and to the history of the reception of Ovid.' Milton Quarterly
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