The form of parable chosen by Milton for the epic poem is the dream. This would intensify the likelihood even more, that contemporary opposition would read it as simply an artistic use of fantasy and not tend to give it much thought as anything serious.
More importantly, though, the form of the poem is also the resource. Milton states very plainly and directly in Paradise Lost, Book IX, that he has a specific muse, or mediumistic resource, a spiritual being who communicated to him while he slept. So it was also in dream, that he was given the information from which to also create a dream story line, complete with "fantasy" and, therefore, an acceptable "reality" for Church authorities. In other words, who would take seriously the concept of "an angel dictating personally in a dream?" After all, "Only the Bible, the word of God outlines clearly who God speaks to, nothing more, nothing less could be true." (Wouldn't this make a great film today—the concept of an angel dictating God's law, where people find that, indeed, there is more than what the world thought of God and Nature…. Oh, that film has already been done a number of times.)
20. "If answerable style I can obta
21. Of my Celestial Patroness, who deigns
22. Her nightly visitation unimplor'd,
23. And dictates to me slumbering; or inspires
24. Easy my unpremeditated verse:
25. Since first this subject for heroick song
26. Pleas'd me long choosing, and beginning late;...
39. The skill of artifice or office mean,
40. Not that which justly gives heroick name
41. To person, or to poem. Me, of these
42. Nor skill'd nor studious, higher argument
43. Remains; sufficient of itself to raise
44. That name, unless an age too late, or cold
45. Climate, or years, damp my intended wing
46. Depress'd; and much they may, if all be mine,
47. Not hers, who brings it nightly to my ear."
—Book IX The Dream Repository idea:
Scholars and students still debate whether the poem was simply jotted down with little or no editing or original design. This author would suggest that the epic in the final cut was arrived at with a combination of both, only over a longer duration of time than one or two "dreams." However the resource is just the same as for many magical inventions and ideas that have been arrived at in dream and "daydreams," and have been well documented throughout history.
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