|Abstract||The complexity and universality of theme in Milton's masque Comus elevate the work beyond the realm of occasional entertainment. Milton achieves this thematic heightening by using poetry to create verbal patterns which reinforce on an intellectual level the allegorical meanings implicit in the visual spectacle of the masque. The Attendant Spirit, who, as mediator between heaven and earth, descends from "the starry threshold of Joves Court," moves on the human level, and ascends "Higher then the Spheary chime," places the work in a cosmic perspective. Thus his movement forms the basic structural metaphor of the masque and lends perspective to all human movement contained within it. The directional imagery, as well as the arrangement and rhetoric of the language, bears out this tripartite pattern, thereby extending the rich thematic possibilities implicit in the upward, downward, and circular patterns presented visually in the spectacle. Milton also recreates on an intellectual level the chaotic movement presented in the antimasque and the overcoming of false reason by right reason presented in the mimed heroic conflict. By creating through the speeches a pattern of the evil mind in process as well as the process by which man refutes temptation by use of his right reason, Milton creates exemplary patterns, which not only reflect the visual presentation on another level, but also bear an affinity with the epic tradition. Milton has allowed his language to bear much of the thematic burden of the masque, but he has not excluded the decorative masquing elements of spectacle, song, and dance. Although his language proceeds in the manner of the direct discourse of drama, and at times his characters display a consistent quality in a manner similar to a character in a play, Milton is not using scenes which are intended to unfold at the literal level of drama. Rather, he uses various elements to heighten the work thematically, yet at the same time he makes these elements function within the mythological and allegorical framework required of a masque. Although the work is allegorical in that it presents images which bear moral meanings, it transcends the allegorical tradition in that Milton does not, as did his medieval predecessors, separate idea from image. An analysis of his use of mythology reveals how he combined classical and Christian materials to achieve a Renaissance synthesis which functions as a myth in the sense that he creates what MacCaffrey calls "the model by which everyday reality is in some sense the symbol."