Moody Thinking

“Let me ‘splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.” — Inigo Montoya

The Other Shape

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I am about halfway through the first year of my Ph.D. program, and I finally feel like my family and I are settling in to a rhythm. I knew that this experience was going to be challenging for all of us, but there was really no way to prepare for the multitude of changes. We have been pressed and squeezed and the result has been that we are ultimately growing closer to each other and to Christ. We are different, better people because of this process.

To this point, the blog has served for me to give you my grand eloquent thoughts (sarcasm, he seemed to say) about the goings on of my life and in the world. So much of my time is now spent neck-deep in whatever I am studying, so I will now utilize the blog to relay the things that I am learning as a student and as a teacher/tutor. At times, I will focus on one specific text or category. Often, my thoughts will be limited to random musings, as they have been since this blog’s inception.

Either way, feel free to comment below or on facebook or whatever new technology presents itself between now and 5 seconds from now.

We are studying John Milton’s epic Paradise Lost in my 16th and 17th century poetry class. The poem is masterfully, albeit mysteriously at times, developed. I am often left in awe of Milton’s imagination and also wondering what he might be “saying” in the text about God, man, Satan, the political climate of Britain at the time, etc. Critics have debated the many of facets of this work for quite some time, and I hope to add something to the debate at some point in my career. I am tentatively writing about John Donne’s use of graphically violent imagery in the Holy Sonnets for this class as well, so you can expect posts on that subject soon.

Rather than continuing to ramble on about Milton, I will leave you with his masterful description of Death as approached by Satan:

The other shape, 
If shape it might be called that shape had none 
Distinguishable in member, joint, or limb, 
Or substance might be called that shadow seemed, 
For each seemed either; black it stood as night,
Fierce as ten furies, terrible as Hell, 
And shook a dreadful dart; what seemed on his head
The likeness of a kingly crown had on. 

--Book II, Lines 666-673.



Written by Jeff Moody

October 18, 2011 at 6:02 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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