Once Upon the Orient Wave: Milton and the Arab Muslim World
In an unusual view of one of the English language's greatest writers, an Arab scholar analyzes the oriental influences on Milton's work, and Milton's own influence on Arab writers and critics John Milton's great poems, Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained, are among the greatest pieces of writing in the English language. Like other writers of his time, Milton had only a sketchy idea of Islam and the Arab world, from travelers and linguists who had made the arduous journey to and from the Middle East. But buried in his works are signs that Milton had absorbed ideas and influences from Islam and Arab culture. Professor Dahiyat shows how from the Middle Ages, partly as an attempt to counteract Islam with Christianity, a wide range of writers and researchers spoke, read, and wrote Arabic and published books in the earliest days of printing which Milton could have read. He then shows how many different references there are to the Orient and Islam in Milton's writings, and discusses the later response of Arab writers and scholars to Milton's major works.