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By Christopher Ricks

Milton's Grand variety has been vigorously attacked within the 20th century, and this e-book is an try and refute Milton's detractors via exhibiting the delicacy and subtlety that is to be present in the verse of `Paradise misplaced'

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Even when Milton is at his best, Dr. Leavis argues, ‘there is no sharp challenge to a critical or realizing awareness—there is the relaxation of the demand for consistency characteristic of rhetoric’. There is a ‘looseness about meaning’, and ‘we are happy about the introduction of so much extraneous matter because the “Miltonic music” weakens our sense of relevance, just as it relaxes our grasp of sense’. And in a final desperate footnote, convinced that all his arguments have made no headway in the academic world, Dr.

Publications of the Modern Language Association of America References to Milton's early editors are abbreviated as follows: Bentley: Richard Bentley, Paradise Lost (1732) Hume: Patrick Hume, Poetical Works of Milton, Annotations by P. H. x) The Milton Controversy LIKE many years, 1958 saw the publication of a stern letter from Dr. F. R. Leavis. 1 Certainly it is true that the twentieth-century attacks on Milton's style have not been directly and satisfactorily answered. Equally certainly, the Miltonists’ praise of Milton has not gone very far towards showing what exactly is good about the style of Paradise Lost.

Empson's: If one view makes a bit of poetry very good, and another makes it very bad, the author's intention is inherently likely to be the one that makes it good; especially if we know that he writes well sometimes…. To try to make a printed page mean something good is only fair. 1 Yet, naturally enough, I do not agree with all Mr. Empson's particular insights; some of them—and each would have to be argued separately—seem to me improbable. He is, I think, in danger of giving a false primacy to the fact that the insight makes the poetry better.

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