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Milton in the Long Restoration$
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Blair Hoxby and Ann Baynes Coiro

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198769774

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198769774.001.0001

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Milton, the Long Restoration, and Pope’s Iliad

Milton, the Long Restoration, and Pope’s Iliad

(p.447) 24 Milton, the Long Restoration, and Pope’s Iliad
Milton in the Long Restoration

John Leonard

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the influence of Paradise Lost on Pope’s Homeric translations, especially his Iliad, and examines the influence that Pope exerted on Milton’s eighteenth-century editors and critics, both through his poetic practice and his critical notes on Homer (which frequently mention Milton). The chapter examines four main aspects of epic style in Milton and Pope: (1) versification, especially the use of ‘apt Numbers’ to make sound imitate sense; (2) epic diction, especially Pope’s use of Milton to adapt and accommodate those features of Homer that we now know to be oral formulae; (3) the relation of epic to mock epic; (4) the homologated epic simile. The claim is that Pope’s Iliad provides a useful lens through which to read Paradise Lost, and that it exerted an influence on Milton’s eighteenth-century editors and critics that has yet to be fully recognized.

Keywords:   John Milton, Alexander Pope, Homer, epic style, versification, mock epic, epic similes

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