Analysis Of John Milton 's ' Paradise Lost ' Essay

Analysis Of John Milton 's ' Paradise Lost ' Essay

Length: 1306 words (3.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In Paradise Lost, John Milton constantly fidgets with the notions of good and
evil. Because of this perpetual play, Milton establishes good and evil as constantly
shifting forces that both God and Satan seem to utilize in opposition to each other. The
conflicting discourse between the two forces redefines Heaven’s God as a being capable
of evil, and Hell’s Satan as a creature seemingly capable of good. At every moment, good
and evil find the occasion to switch heroes, leaving them as forces in a continuously
reconceived state. It seems though that good becomes capable of what seems to be evil,
more than evil is capable of what seems to be good. More often in the story, God
performs actions that place him in a position that makes us question his goodness, and
Satan’s almost comedic presentation of evil seems more pitiful than capable of being
viewed as good. However, by the end of Paradise Lost, both conventional ideologies
regarding good and evil are re-established and all paradox is lost once salvation is
guaranteed for Adam and Eve who have exercised the power of free will, which is
essentially what it the entire conflict between good and evil comes down to.
In Book Two, Satan holds council with his legions of fallen angels, now demons.
In his speech, Satan acknowledges God’s manipulation of evil to construct something
good when he speaks of his new bleak home, “a Universe of death, which God by
curse/Created evil, for evil only good” (Paradise Lost 2: 622-3). By inferring that God
uses evil to construct good, it is deduced that God must have evil in him, much like in
Genesis when he creates light out of darkness. This completely destroys any previous
notions that God is only made of goodness, and th...

... middle of paper ...

...rning that can draw a distinctive line between good and evil, and thus he
never establishes the extreme danger of the serpent that will lead them to damnation. The
notion of damnation is a foreign concept to Raphael and so the only sort of conversation
he can effectively have with Adam and Eve is one about something he is more
accustomed to and knowledgeable of—God in Heaven and his goodness. This proves that
without knowledge of evil, goodness cannot thrive on its own, and this is why Adam and
Eve fell at all. Unlike Raphael, Satan’s language is much more innovative, and
intentionally blurs the boundary between good and evil for Eve, and thus tricks her into
mistaking evil for good, and she commits sin for the sake of being something better than
what she is, something that seems more like what she (and the reader) imagines as good,
something equal.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

John Milton 's Paradise Lost Essay

- Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar follows the conquest of a group of Roman nobles whose main goal is preventing Caesar from becoming king. Brutus, who is arguably the main character despite not being the title of the play, after being convinced by Cassius of the danger Caesar poses, agrees murdering Caesar will be done in the name of bettering the county’s future. This is a perfect example of people of a lower status uniting and fighting against what they proclaim is an opposing force. The premise of the epic poem Paradise Lost deals with a very similar situation except on what could be considered a much grander scale; using God and Satan as key roles in the unraveling of mankind....   [tags: Paradise Lost, John Milton, Hell]

Better Essays
1411 words (4 pages)

Essay on John Milton 's Paradise Lost

- “Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay to mold me man. Did I solicit thee from darkness to promote me?” said Adam in Paradise Lost (Milton 10.743-745). This quote, used as an epigraph on the cover page of Frankenstein, provided the reader with a premise of the acclaimed novel. In writing Frankenstein, Mary Shelley took much inspiration from John Milton’s Paradise Lost by constantly redefining and questioning the true meaning of good and evil just as Milton did with God, Satan, and Adam by the use of her characters: Dr....   [tags: Paradise Lost, Frankenstein, John Milton]

Better Essays
860 words (2.5 pages)

John Milton 's Paradise Lost Essay

- John Milton’s “Paradise Lost” is one of the most well known epics written during the Renaissance. Milton expresses great feeling into his epic, because he felt as if it connected directly to himself during his lifetime. The epic was written when he was unofficially exiled from Cambridge, and the exile of Adam and Eve from Paradise is a comparison in the epic. John Milton uses epic conventions in “Paradise Lost” as he attempts to justify the ways of God to men. Milton believed that everything had been predetermined by God/the Holy Spirit and not through free will....   [tags: Epic poetry, Paradise Lost, John Milton]

Better Essays
715 words (2 pages)

Essay about John Milton 's Paradise Lost

- There are many different arguments for whom the hero of Milton’s Paradise Lost could be. Hero here is synonymous with protagonist or main character. However, if one were to analyze the universal traits that all protagonists share, the answer could hardly be more clear. In John Milton’s Paradise Lost, the hero is clearly Satan. There is no character in the story that even comes close to his qualifications for having this title, as from the beginning to the end of the story, no character is given more attention than Satan....   [tags: Paradise Lost, John Milton, Hell, Fiction]

Better Essays
1653 words (4.7 pages)

Essay on John Milton 's Paradise Lost

- John Milton’s Paradise Lost continues the epic tradition developed by the ancient Greek and Roman poets. Composed in exact imitation of its predecessors, the work depicts all characteristics of a traditional epic poem—including the epic hero, a powerful embodiment of societal values. Milton presents his hero in a most unpredictable form: Satan. Despite the unorthodox oddity, the former archangel exhibits the conventions of an epic hero. Milton’s forced perception of Satan as the hero of the poem reflects his stated purpose for writing the piece....   [tags: Epic poetry, Paradise Lost, John Milton, Homer]

Better Essays
736 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on John Milton 's Paradise Lost

- Milton continues to be considered as one of the best poets, and his best known poem, Paradise Lost, continues to be tricky for his readers to identify exactly who is and who is not the hero between the three prominent characters: Satan, the Son of God, and Adam. Born in London, England in the early seventeenth century, Milton grew up to be a widely respected and known poet and a considerable political proponent (“John Milton”). Growing up, he excelled in his schooling and frequently attended church services....   [tags: Epic poetry, Paradise Lost, Poetry, John Milton]

Better Essays
1247 words (3.6 pages)

Paradise Lost by John Milton Essay

- Paradise Lost by John Milton John Milton divided the characters in his epic poem Paradise Lost into two sides, one side under God representing good, and the other side under Satan representing evil and sin. Milton first introduced the reader to the character Satan, the representative of all evil, and his allegiance of fallen angels that aided in his revolt against God (Milton 35). Only later did Milton introduce the reader to all powerful God, leader and creator of all mankind (John). This introduction of Satan first led the reader to believe acts of sin were good, just like Eve felt in the Garden of Eden when she was enticed by Satan to eat the fruit off of the Tree of Knowledge (Milton...   [tags: Paradise Lost John Milton Essays]

Free Essays
2082 words (5.9 pages)

John Milton 's Paradise Lost Essay

- John Milton grew up in a middle class family in London and was exposed highly to a variety of cultures. His father was highly devoted to the Protestant cause and this devotion wore off on Milton, which be demonstrated in many of his works. At the age 13, Milton began his formal education and was even tutored at home. He went on to several different higher learning opportunities and programs. By 1652, Milton found himself to be completely blind due to his long nights reading next to candle light....   [tags: John Milton, Epic poetry, Paradise Lost]

Better Essays
1247 words (3.6 pages)

Essay on John Milton 's Paradise Lost

- Epic poetry is fundamentally rooted in the subject of heroes. These poetic works typically contributed unique insights into the attributes of a hero; mainly by authenticating the hero as one of grandiose importance, and thus positively represents a culture’s heroic ideal. The seventeenth-century author, John Milton, emerged as a crucial and contemporary innovator of the epic genre with his poem Paradise Lost. Milton undertook a “strenuous project of educating his readers in the virtues, values, and attitudes that make a people worthy of liberty” (Lewalski, 442)....   [tags: Epic poetry, Paradise Lost, John Milton, Hero]

Better Essays
1115 words (3.2 pages)

John Milton's Paradise Lost Essay

- John Milton's Paradise Lost John Milton’s Paradise Lost is filled with fantastical tales from the depths of Hell, extravagant descriptions of the fallen angels, and a curious recitation of the council of demons in their new palace. How did Milton dream up such vivid depictions of such horrible demons as the ones we see in Book I. Most of his fallen angels originate in the form of Pagan gods condemned by the Bible, with actual historical backgrounds which Milton cites in his lengthy descriptions....   [tags: John Milton Paradise Lost Essays]

Better Essays
3096 words (8.8 pages)