Historians of science have noted that Milton’s figurative reference to the “spotty globe” of Satan’s massy shield identifies Milton as an adherent of the New Astronomy promoted by Galileo. Understood in light of the techniques of surveying employed by Galileo, the same shield also speaks to Galileo’s use of parallax, whereby the scientist made his drawings more precise by viewing alternately from the vantage of the heights of Fesole or the valley of the Arno. Milton mentions these places in his epic simile of Satan’s shield: the science behind Satan’s arms in Paradise Lost reveals that Milton’s deep commitment to liberty informs his imagination of how God structured the pains of hell.
EliotT.S. “Milton (1947) Annual Lecture on a Master Mind. Reprinted from The Proceedings the British Academy 33.” Milton Criticism: Selections from Four Centuries. Ed. Thorpe.JamesNew York: Collier1969. 310–32.
GalileiGalileoDrakeStillman and and Dahlstrom.Grant E.Galileo against the Philosophers in His Dialogue of Cecco Di Ronchitti (1605) and Considerations of Alimberto Mauri (1606): In English Translations
Los Angeles: Zeitlin and Ver Brugge1976.