"Rickard A. Parker" wrote: (Quoting someone)
> > One does not expect a spectre, usually.
Well, one usually does expect the unexpected in a poem which has
excited people for 80 years or so (or, when I first read it, for about
30 years). And by the time one gets to Stetson the basic dcorum of the
poem has been pretty well established: don't expect anything but
surprises. So seeing spectres flowing over London Bridge by this point
one takes well in stride. That's the sort of thing that happens in TWL.
One doesn't expect a 4-vol novel entitled Parade's End and by rumor
about war to begin with a comment on the varnish in a railroad car --
but there you are.
Now if you want something REALLY surprising, check out Book III of PL,
with a young (!) cherub wandereing through space and stopping by the
angel of the sun to request some tourist information; he's heard by
rumor what a big deal creation was but wasn't there so he'd like to take
a look at it. Uriel is a bit surprised by this but keeps his cool and
merely checks out the legitimacy of the Cherub's motive in seeking
knowledge -- and the Cherub passes. And just in case the reader thinks
that perhaps Uriel should have suspected someting, Milton goes on to
underline that only God alone can detect hypocrisy. Now if one knows
anythibng at all about around 2000 years of thinking and writing about
angels (those on this list will be acquainted with Dante's angels)
_this_ is uncanny enough that from that point on in modern literature
the unexepcted will be run-of-the-mill.