Devotional Experience in the Poetry of John Milton

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The author examines Milton's poetry in the light of the poet's treatise on the subject of devotion in the often-overlooked second book of "The Christian Doctrine." This study suggests that Milton's poems can be understood as both theodices and devotions.


". . . provides a generally sound reading of Milton's best poems from the narrow but valuable perspective of their major characters' trust, hopes, gratitude, fears, humility, patience, and obedience - and often their lack of these qualities. Particularly valuable is his thesis that in Paradise Regained Milton emphasizes Jesus's humanity. And his focus on devotional affections enables him to see Samson as a developing character - a point missed by Dr. Johnson." - Christianity and Literature

"Travers' examination of Milton's understanding and treatment of the devotional experience succeeds, I believe, in shedding some new light on the structure of Milton's late poetry." - Rachel Trubowitz in Seventeenth-Century News

"In reading Travers' effective analysis of Milton's poetic disclosure of true devotional experience, particularly in his character development, I slowly discovered his own "movement": from analysis to self-knowledge in the knowledge of God. Thus Travers' scholarly and readable interpretation of Milton is actually an aid toward that which Milton himself desired to progress. . . . Travers' writing is clear and his use of the texts of the particular poems is helpful. The argumentation on the points and emphases of Milton is convincing." - John D. Morrison in Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

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