MOST DISCUSSIONS OF Comus focus on its political or religious implications, and its status as a precursor to John Milton's ethical and revolutionary thinking in his prose pamphlets and major poems. I am concerned here, on the contrary, with its implications specifically as a private work, a family affair; these are what seem to me most significantly Miltonic. I focus on three questions: Why is Milton's ethical masque about three lost children trying to get home? What is wrong with Comus—why is he a villain? How happy is the ending?

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