Academic Commons


Faithful Likenesses: Lists of Similes in Milton, Shelley, and Rossetti

Gray, Erik I.

Lists and similes are both archetypal epic devices; Milton not only was the epic poet closest to Shelley and Rossetti, but he also combined the two devices in a way his classical precursors did not. In this essay, I begin by considering lists of similes in general, arguing that their tendency is to test or strain the reader’s faith. I then examine the very different effects of this tendency in Milton and Shelley before returning to Rossetti, for whom the trope represents in some ways a matter of life and death.


More Information

Published In
Texas Studies in Literature and Language
291 - 311
University of Texas Press
Academic Units
English and Comparative Literature
Academic Commons provides global access to research and scholarship produced at Columbia University, Barnard College, Teachers College, Union Theological Seminary and Jewish Theological Seminary. Academic Commons is managed by the Columbia University Libraries.