Paradise Lost

While reading this fine poem known as Paradise Lost a particular excerpt that caught my eye. Know this, to find something attractive in such a complex work is far from my desire. Still I had to admire this fragment that went as such: …”But his doom Reserv’d him to more wrath; for now the thought Both of lost happiness and lasting pain Torments him; round he throws his baleful eyes That witness’d huge affliction and dismay Mixt with obdurate pride and stedfast hate At once as far as Angels kenn he views The dismal Situation waste and wilde, A Dungeon horrible, on all sides round…”
What my eyes feel upon in particular was something with which all men struggle. Pride can devour your very soul. But this pride is not of an ordinary suit. No, this is call pride called obdurate is what caught my eye.
To the extend of my knowledge this word comes from a similar form that means to harden. And futher searching revealed obdurate has a couple meanings: hardened in feelings especially against moral or mollifying influence.
Stubburnly persistent in wrong doing
Resistant to persuasion of softening influences
Hard and resistant
All of these ideas seem to go hand in hand with the pride of these foolish men and their refuting of the moral standings I hold dear. I hope God on high may show them the great mercy so few of us truly deserve. Not the company I would search out that is certain.

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About Alex Mueller

Alex Mueller can be found running and cycling the streets and suburbs of Boston, taking long sojourns in rare book archives whenever he can. He teaches English at UMass Boston, serves as Book Review Editor for Arthuriana, and writes about digital pedagogy, open access publishing, and medieval literature.

One thought on “Paradise Lost

  1. While reading Milton’s rowdy rail of hell. Me came ‘st upon a word from one with more knowe’st than me. From the very fine passage of “O how unlike the place from whence they fell! There the companions of his fall, o’rewhelm’d With Floods and Whirlwinds of tempestuous fire, He soon discerns, and weltring by his side…” Me ask’d me self, what is a weltring and whence does it come. Come to find out it means many more than I can manage. Anywhere from some shoes, to some leather, perhaps a pugilist or even a surging confused mass. I would go with the latter for I am easily that. Though if me think’st real hard, I believe the definition to be the action of tuning or twisting the body about. This make ‘st since considering its spakes of satins counter part in hell who has just been overwhelmed with floods and whirlwinds of hells tempestuous fire.

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