"And to himself thus plain'd": Performing Monologues in Paradise Lost
My research is concerned with the place of monologue in John Milton's Paradise Lost , and its importance in illuminating Milton's engagement with modes of performance. I aim to identify instances of monological speech in the epic and study them as negotiating space between the private and the public with an implicit focus on the idea of audience. In addressing monologue, I am interested in a term which expands further than the dramatic soliloquies to include the great speeches/orations whether in Heaven or in Hell, or in Eden, oral declarations which could imply either solitariness or the presence of an audience. The project affords the opportunity to think about whether Milton's monologues encourage performance or deny it, if they constitute monodrama or not, or in other words if they incorporate a dialogic dimension or if they retreat into a private self-representation.