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Title: Tales from the Levant : the Judeo-Arabic demonic 'other' and John Milton's 'Paradise Lost'
Author: Al-Akhras, Sharihan Sameer Ata
ISNI:       0000 0004 7225 8633
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis revisits Milton’s employment of mythology and the demonic, by shedding a light on a neglected, yet intriguing possible presence of Middle-Eastern mythology – or as identified in this thesis – Judeo-Arabic mythology in Paradise Lost. The mythographic reception of Milton’s work has been rightly discussed within a Greco-Roman frame. However, this thesis offers for a consideration an analysis of the unique role of Judeo-Arabic mythology. By doing so, the thesis not only aims to enrich the dualistic analyses of ‘East-West’, ‘Christian-Muslim’ and ‘Anglo-Ottoman’ relations, when tackling this angle of Early Modern studies, but also to generally demonstrate the way seventeenth-century literature encompassed multifaceted and interchangeable allusions to both Islam and Judaism in Catholic and Protestant writing. The thesis directs its attention towards examining the possible presence of two Judeo-Arabic demonic figures in Paradise Lost: the Islamic devil, Iblis, and his consort in the Jewish tradition, Lilith. The argument demonstrates the way Milton’s deployment of the Judeo-Arabic demonic not only mirrors the Biblical story of the Fall, but also connects with the political and religious upheavals of his age, including the emergence of the first English translation of the Qur’an in 1649. Furthermore, by examining the two Judeo-Arabic demonic figures in Paradise Lost not only the treatment of the demonic in Milton’s work is revisited in a way that allows for a wider scope of literary analysis, but the complex treatment of gender, identity and ‘the Other’ are similarly understood within a more pluralistic context. The thesis then concludes with the first discussion of the contemporary reception of Milton’s Paradise Lost in the writings of Arab women specifically, exploring the way the very same demonic, discussed throughout the thesis, is deployed by these female Arab authors while resisting and redefining the role of gender in religion, society and politics.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available