The Influence of Boethius' De Consolatione Philosophiae on John Milton's

Author: Taylor, Leslie A. and Jefferey H.
Makes a compelling case for solving problems in Paradise Lost. Emphasis is well founded on Boethian providence from which flows the radiant seeing of God’s awareness of, and concern of, the world. The loving watchfulness of the Divine Vistion does not pre-determine good and bad decisions. God’s providence is ameliorative. Milton relies on the optimism of the “Consolation of Philosophy” in his usage of divine providence in foreknowing but not necessitating human choices.


"This book thoughtfully bridges a gap in Milton studies, and will serve as an invitation for additional
scholarship working with the resonances between Milton and Boethius and between Milton and the
medieval world at large...The Taylors' invite scholars to hear the resonances between one of the
most influential authors of the medieval era and one of the most influential authors of early modernity."
-Professor Emily E. Stelzer,
Houston Baptist University

Table of Contents

Table of contents
Foreword: by Peter J. Fields
Acknowledgments /Introduction

Boethius in the English Renaissance

Chapter 1: “Foreknowledge had no influence on their fault”
The free will argument in Paradise Lost
-Divine Vista and Human Agency
-Critical Readings
-Arminius, Coornhert, and Boethius

Chapter 2: Boethian Divine Vista throughout Paradise Lost
-Books 1&2 The “pleasing sorcery” of Hell
-Books 3&4: Divine Vista & the Devil’s Survey
-Books 5&6: Free Will & the War in Heaven
-Book 7: Instant Creation
-Books 8,9 &10: Reason, Will, & the Fall
-Book 11: Prophetic Vision from on High
-Book 12: “The world was all before them...”

Chapter 3: Other Boethian Themes in Paradise Lost
-Boethian dialogue
-Epistemological hierarchy
-The Great Chain of Being

Chapter 4: Boethian Themes Elsewhere in Milton
-Paradise Regained
-Samson Agonistes

Chapter 5: Milton's Boethius
-Presumptions and presuppositions
-Augustine, Boethius and Milton