Milton's “late espoused Saint” appears at the center of two planes of spiritual movement, horizontal and vertical, each culminating in God and corresponding to the traditions of Christian typology and Christian Neoplatonism. On the former, she reveals eschatologically Christ's redemptive self-sacrifice, subtly fulfilling the sacrifice ethos of pagan and Jewish myth and history. On the latter, she, like Dante's Beatrice, descends the Neoplatonic order seeking to “embrace” her beloved through grace. That the sonnet's persona, who represents every Christian, including Milton, fails to recognize the import of the saint is due to the Thomistic-Neoplatonic doctrine of intellectual blindness and man's desiccated will to choose “higher” objects of love. Hence, like Dante in the Purgatorio, the persona's unrefined affection casts a veil over his own eyes. His affectional egocentricity (“my... Mine”) prohibits his understanding that the “late espoused Saint” is now wedded to the true Bridegroom. The vision breaks at the word “delight,” as does Adam's dream of Eve (PL VIII, 474—80), signifying in the context of the Thomistic idea of dilection (love from rational choice, electionem) the persona's archetypical error. The persona's still “fancied sight” causes him to “wake” to the Christian Neoplatonic dream life of mortality.

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