How Paradise Lost influenced Moby Dick | The Connell Review
Hebraic and Biblical Elements in Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick
With its elemental simplicity of plot, its pathos and monumental action scenes, Moby-Dick is a breathtaking adventure. But its scope is so much greater than that. It is a vivid meditation on Melville's America, taking in the wider themes of nature, religion, society, war, history and civilisation. Moby-Dick is rich in symbols, from the biblical names of the characters to the great whale itself: part monster, part benign natural force and source of the oil that powers civilisation. Perhaps most wonderful is the poetry of Melville's language. From the ‘stately dramatic thee and thou of the Quaker idiom’ spoken by Ahab to the colourful jargon of the lower decks, he commands an astonishing range of registers. His words echo the humour of Dickens, the richness of Shakespeare and the cadences of the Bible, combined in an exhilarating style that is all Melville’s own.
The Life and Works of Herman Melville
Herman Melville's tale of the hunt for the white whale, Moby-Dick, is one of the greatest novels of all time. It is at once an adventure story of the high seas, and an exploration of the uncharted regions of the soul. Neglected in Melville’s day, Moby-Dick is now acknowledged as a sublime work of the imagination, an American Odyssey.