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Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)

Members

The list below shows Durham University research staff who are members of IMEMS. Click the member's name to see a more detailed biography and department.

We also welcome anyone from outside the University with an interest in our work to join. Membership is free of charge. You will receive invitations to our programme of events, with a weekly emails digest about what is happening in the Insitute and further afield. To join IMEMS contact: admin.imems@durham.ac.uk

Publication details for Dr Mandy Green

Green, Mandy (2014). 'Joy and Harmles Pastime': Milton and the Ovidian Arts of Leisure. In A handbook to the reception of Ovid. Miller, John F. & Newlands, Carole E. Chichester, West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. 324-338.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

Milton's reputation as a workaholic makes him an unlikely champion in the rehabilitation of otium, and yet, in his hands, not only does otium shed its pejorative associations, but it also becomes an essential phase in the creative process. For Milton, poetry was at once a serious pursuit and a form of recreation, and this doubleness is bound up with his response to Ovid, who remained the most powerful classical presence in his poetry from the youthful Latin elegies to Paradise Lost.

Like Pomona, Ovid's hard‐working gardener, Eve is reproved for too exclusive a preoccupation with her garden at the expense of human love. In Eve's case this leads directly to her encountering Satan alone. In representing Satan's assault on Eden and on Eve, Milton plays upon and yet subverts the reader's expectations, which have been programmed by the Ovidian mythic paradigm in which the violation of a virginal landscape is deployed to suggest the rape of a helpless female victim.