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Durham University

Department of English Studies


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Publication details for Dr Mandy Green

Green, Mandy (2007). '"Ad Ferrum Ab Auro": Degenerative and Regenerative Patterning in the Final Books of Paradise Lost.'. Modern Language Review 102(3): 654-671.

Author(s) from Durham


In the final books of Paradise Lost Milton exploits the rhetorical possibilities of typology to organize his survey of human history and propel his narrative forward through time to eternity. This typological framework may prove to extend further than previously recognized once the prefigurative value attached to Deucalion and Pyrrha, from the first book of Ovid's Metamorphoses, is fully acknowledged. Milton's pivotal positioning of this Ovidian myth, in the opening lines of Book XI, looks backwards as well as forwards: it gathers Adam and Eve into the same pattern of typological fulfilment—moving from death to new life, from destruction to recreation—in which the faithful few are set against the faithless herd.

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