When discussing the fate of the fallen, be them angel or man, it is important to become acquainted with Sin and Death, the offspring of Satan. In Paradise Lost, Book 2, from lines 746 to 814, Milton offers what it is to sin and the price of sin with descriptive imagery through Sin’s words. Both Sin and Death embody and characterize their names as both allegories and personifications. With close inspection of the passage, the ideas of sin and death come to life and they live dark and tortuous lives. Milton uses Sin to describe their monstrous tale and further shows how Sin is sinful, but also how she too is fallen through the use of her language and figurative speech. Death is also described as a never ending punishment to Sin and all other sinners with the dark tone Sin uses to describe him. With close inspection of the passage, the ideas of sin and death come to life and they live dark and tortuous lives.
Although Sin and Death may not be in the forms of humans when Satan comes across the pair at Hell’s Gates, their beastly figures still represent the meanings of sin and death. To sin is to disobey God, and the first disobedience occurred when Satan first had the idea of overthrowing God as he was “In bold conspiracy against Heav’n’s King” (II.835) and Sin was conceived. Death’s purpose is to serve as the never ending punishment of Sin, and ultimately the eventual fate of a sinner. Along with being literal representations of their names, their relationship with one another as well as Satan parodies the relationship between God, the Son, Adam and Eve. Eve was born a sexless birth with Adam as the only parent, just as Sin was born of Satan, who acted as both mother and father just like ...
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...to further imply how fallen Man is and how we humans sin. Milton also contrasts the sinful relationships of Satan, Sin, and Death to the pure relationships of God, Adam, and Eve before the fall of man to further separate the light of good and the dark of the fallen. However, Sin could really do nothing else but sin and fall, as that is her nature, for it is the cause of her conception. And in the end, Death is the torment that awaits the fallen, and in Milton’s mind, humans are all fallen, therefore Death awaits all of us and he is something we should fear. With the graphic details of Sin’s torture, and the haunting presence of Death, one can only hope that that is not the fate that awaits them. Perhaps Milton’s strategy of using fear to encourage love and obedience to God works, since it is not hard to imagine someone not wanting to endure the same fate as Sin.
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