Sunday, February 24, 2008

Milton's Satan quoting Macbeth in Paradise Regained?

Johann Heinrich Füssli
Macbeth and Banquo with the Witches
(Image from Wikipedia)

In an interesting Times Online review of Anna Beer's recent book, Milton: Poet, Pamphleteer and Patriot, literary expert John Carey writes:
Some poems -- Arcades and At a Solemn Music, for example – go quite unnoticed by Beer. So does his first published poem, the sonnet on Shakespeare. Written when he was 22 and prefaced to the second folio of Shakespeare's works, it is one of the earliest tributes to his genius, and might have been expected to prompt Milton's biographer to trace the influence of Shakespeare on his art from the brilliant pastiche of Comus to Satan's despairing quotation of Macbeth at a key moment in Paradise Regained.
As readily perceived from this short selection, Carey is less than impressed by Beer's biography, but I'm not quoting it for that reason. I have a different motive.

I have not yet found "Satan's despairing quotation of Macbeth at a key moment in Paradise Regained" but wonder if a reader more literate than I might help me out here.

Does anyone know the Macbeth quote alluded to by Carey?

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At 3:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You might check for an offhand (seemingly) reference in William Blake.

It's elliptical but it's simple too.


At 4:07 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

But that would seem to double my duty, JK. Do you happen to know an instance of Blake citing Macbeth in Milton?

Jeffery Hodges

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At 7:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know of three certain instances of references to the Bard. And I recall receiving a few links when JK asked for an easy path to follow the Rueful Countenance.


At 2:46 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

You're too subtle for me, JK, but I'll ruefully countenance that.

A couple of Milton scholars have suggested passages that Carey might have been thinking of, so I might blog on them later.

Jeffery Hodges

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