Monday, October 21, 2013

Two men, justifying the ways of God to man

"The grassy clods now calved, now half appeared
The tawny lion, pawing to get free
His hinder parts, then springs as broke from bonds,
And rampant shakes his brinded main...

"...the swift stag from under ground 
Bore up his branching head: scarce from his mold
Behemoth biggest born of earth upheaved
His vastness"

(excerpts from "Paradise Lost," Location 18139).

The images of the creatures being born from the "womb" of the earth reminded me so much of the scene from C.S. Lewis's "The Magician's Nephew" as the land of Narnia is being created and Aslan is bringing into being the animals.

After this the comparisons and similarities started popping out at me. So I read a bio on C.S. Lewis (thank you Wikipedia) and connections seemed to start flying all over the place!

So I made this. Most of them aren't direct comparisons. Just general thoughts that occurred to me as I looked them up.

I promise I didn't put a filter on it...even though it looks like I did;] Click to enlarge.

Will C.S. Lewis be included as a Major Authors course option in another couple hundred years or so?

Although I have yet to find anything regarding what Lewis thought of Milton and his works, he served as a Fellow and Tutor of English Literature at Magdalen College at Oxford for 29 years and then another 10 years before his death as the chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge. So it can at least be said that he was familiar with Milton.

What ultimate struck me was the very similar goal that these two men seem to have. As my title suggests and as Milton so eloquently puts it, they are "justify[ing] the ways of God to men." This is obviously Milton's goal and I would claim there is hardly a more fitting description for what Lewis strove to accomplish in his writings. (Bolstered by the fact that he was reconverted to Christianity in his 30's. By J.R.R. Tolkien. How cool is that.)


  1. Enter the guild of epic authors! We keep coming back to Lewis, don't we? I think that's just super. The two have a lot in common. Not only do they share a religion, but they are also both very beautiful artists that are difficult for me to read. Also, look!

  2. Props to Clive for imagining creation as the fruits of a song, though. I imagine a post-mortal Milton, after reading Lewis, saying: "why didn't I think of that?!" Milton's verse is so music, especially in these passages, that it would have been fitting.