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This reading of Milton juxtaposes the poet’s theology and Freud’s account of the Oedipus complex in ways that yield both new understanding of Milton and a model for psychoanalytic interpretation of literature.
The book ranges widely through the art and life of Milton, including extensive discussions of his theological irregularities and the significance, medical and symbolic, he assigned to his blindness. William Kerrigan analyzes the oedipal aspect of Milton’s religion; examines the nature of the Miltonic godhead; studies Milton’s analogies linking human, angelic, and cosmic bodies; and explores Milton’s symbolism of home. In a commanding demonstration, Kerrigan delineates how the great epic and the psyche of its author bestow meaning on each other.