ABSTRACT

This article argues that central to understanding Paradise Regained is Milton's Hebraic monism. By amalgamating the philosophy of Maimonides on prophecy and active intellect with his own, Milton logically answers key questions which, for scholars of the poem, remain unsettled: why does the Son enter the wilderness in the first place? How does he survive here for 40 days, and how, precisely, is paradise regained? For Milton, the Son's obedience and intellectual progress effects the transmutation of his body and heightens the capacity of his active intellect. As an intellectually perfect being, the Son experiences what Maimonides terms “veridical dreams,” and this achievement is essential both to his survival and to his regaining paradise. Scholars hitherto have confined Milton's monism to Paradise Lost. This article shows that Maimonides offers new insights to the philosophy, and posits the significance of it for unlocking Paradise Regained.

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