John Milton’s epic poem “Lost Paradise”, written 350 years ago, is considered completely studied. However, the work attracts the attention of scientists to this day – Miranda Fael from the University of Tafts in Massachusetts found a new literary pattern in it. This is an acrostikh, a well -known technique that had previously met in this poem, but Fael was lucky to find a new. It remains to solve its meaning.
Acrostikh is built from the first letters of the words of a number of consecutive lines that are formed in the word. With his help, the author wants to point out something, emphasize some nuance. Fael drew attention to the next passage from book 9, in the moment when Eve argues with Adam:
From HIS Surmise Prov’d False, Find Peace Within,
Favor from HeAV’N, OUR Witness from Th’.
And What is Faith, Love, Virtue Unassay’d
Alone, Without Exterior Help Sustain’d?
Let us not then Suspect OUR HAPPY STATE
Left So Imperfect by the Maker Wise
As not secret to single or combin’d.
Frail Is Oour Happiness, if this be so
The first letters are folded in FFAALL, and if you read from the bottom up, it turns out “Fall” – “Fall”. The first word in which the letters are doubled is turned out to be an extended version of the main word. According to Fael, this is an indication that there were three falls. First of all, Adam and Eve fell, but with them the temptation of Satan fell and. Three falls, but two lost paradise.
Like many acrosti, it almost diametrically turns over the meaning of the lines from which. And this, usually, is the brilliant idea of the author, which leaves the reader the opportunity not only to analyze the details of the plot, but also to look at what is happening detached. Acrostikh serves as a warning, a hint of the true essence of things taking place in the narrative.
Source — Milton Quarterly