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Title: Apocalyptic Violence and the Merkabah Images in Paradise Lost
Authors: Chao, Hsing-hao
Keywords: apocalyptic violence;apocalypticism;Merkabah images;Milton;Paradise Lost;violence
Date: 2009-12
Issue Date: 2016-05-13 11:46:53 (UTC+8)
Abstract: 本文以《失樂園》第六、第七卷裡的戰車意象為中心文本,討論密爾頓對於天啟末世暴力的概念。麥可.萊布認為密爾頓作品中的暴力具有雙重性質──毀滅與再生。作者藉此主張這兩個戰車意象體現了此雙重性質。本文先研究暴力在天啟文學裡的角色;然後把《失樂園》第六卷天上戰爭這一場景裡的戰車意象,看作是為正義而戰的天啟末世暴力。接下來作者追蹤密爾頓天啟末世思想的發展軌跡,指出在寫《失樂園》之前他便已不再持激進末世論了。因此,作者認為《失樂園》天上戰爭並不能解釋成密爾頓祈求基督速臨以終結英國復辟。此外,戰車意象亦表示神靈同在,也因此才能確保暴力是為正義而服務。本文指出戰車意象再度出現於第七卷的創世場景,表示密爾頓藉由同一個意象把毀滅與再生串聯起來。在第六卷天上戰爭裡,聖子駕著聖父的戰車施行毀滅;在第七卷創世場景裡,聖子再度駕著戰車施行創造。文末,作者把毀滅與再生的主題與密爾頓對正義與憐憫的觀念連接起來。密爾頓認為,暴力為正義服務,但之後必伴隨憐憫。
This paper discusses Milton’s concept of apocalyptic violence, focusing on the Merkabah images in Books VI and VII of Paradise Lost. The author, inspired by Michael Lieb’s theory of the dual nature of violence—destruction and regeneration—intends to argue that the two Merkabah images can best exemplify the duality of violence. The paper first examines how violence works in apocalyptic narratives and then takes the Merkabah image in the war in heaven in Book VI of Paradise Lost as a representation of apocalyptic violence, in which justice is served. Then the author delineates the development of Milton’s apocalyptic thoughts, pointing out that Milton has relinquished radical apocalypticism by the time he composed Paradise Lost. Thus, the author contends that the war in heaven in Paradise Lost cannot be interpreted as Milton’s invocation of Christ’s intervention to terminate the Restoration. Moreover, the Merkabah image signifies divine presence that vouchsafes the implementation of violence to serve the cause of justice. The paper then demonstrates that the same chariot vision appears again in the creation scene in Book VII. Milton employed the same Merkabah image to concatenate destruction and regeneration. The “chariot of paternal deity” engaged in the war in heaven in Book VI represents destruction, and the same chariot of the Son in the creation scene in Book VII denotes regeneration. At the end of the paper, the author links the theme of destruction and regeneration to Milton’s concept of justice and mercy. Violence is used to serve the cause of justice, which, according to Milton, must be moderated by mercy.
Relation: 文山評論:文學與文化, 3(1),55-77
The Wenshan Review of Literature and Culture
Data Type: article
Appears in Collections:[文山評論:文學與文化 THCI Core] 期刊論文

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