Digesting Devotion: Food As Sustenance And Sacrament In Milton's Paradise Lost

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Title: Digesting Devotion: Food As Sustenance And Sacrament In Milton's Paradise Lost
Author: Brown, Sherri Lynne
Advisors: Dr. Robert V. Young, Committee Chair
Dr. Allen F. Stein, Committee Member
Dr. John N. Wall, Committee Member
Abstract: Milton's story of the original sin of Adam and Eve and the resulting fall of mankind is a story that is bound up in food imagery and the language of consumption. A meal for Adam and Eve holds significance far beyond its value as sustenance. Milton embeds his epic with seventeenth-century beliefs on diet and health that help to emphasize the physical and spiritual innocence of the prelapsarian pair and the fallen state of the England of Milton's time. Moreover, the couple's meals in Paradise become not only dietary indications of man's pre-fallen perfection, but also precursors to the Eucharistic meal that will be instrumental to man's redemption once he is fallen. In his writing, Milton exemplifies his ability to merge scientific beliefs of the time with his own religious views, thus bringing the secular and the sacred together in an epic where food and eating become indicative of one's relationship with God.
Date: 2005-10-25
Degree: MA
Discipline: English
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/2211


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