Gender Roles In John Milton's Paradise Lost

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John Milton was a Puritan poet and author who started writing in 1658. One of his most renowned works was his epic, Paradise Lost, which was published in 1667. In Paradise Lost, Milton describes and tells the story of how paradise slipped from the hands of Adam and Eve and how they were dismissed from the Garden of Eden. Divided into 12 books, the epic starts by stating the purpose of the epic: to describe the loss of mankind’s spiritual innocence. Then, it goes into the very start of evil in the world with the fall of Satan and his self-appointment as ruler of hell. Next it goes into describing the sin of Adam and Eve, and finally it concludes with the Archangel Michael telling Adam that God has a plan to redeem mankind and ultimately the…show more content…
They maintained their traditional gender roles throughout the period. This was especially so in the higher classes of Europe. Lower class women were given more freedom in their roles since they were expected to do what was needed to help the family, which may have included working. An emphasis was placed on their purity and honor as well. This was representative of their value to the family since women who were not pure or were dishonorable were rarely sought out as wives and could not expand the family lines. This was of vital importance in the noble classes of Europe. Women who stepped out their roles in many ways were looked down upon. They were seen as deviants, promiscuous, and unfitting as wives. In Paradise Lost, Milton tells his story in a way that depicts Eve as a disobedient woman, that dishonors her family and leads to their banishment from the Garden of…show more content…
Through his manner of writing and word choice, he seems to be trying to make the reader feel sorry for mankind since they lost their innocence and access to heaven. Lines 1 to 5 of Paradise Lost read “Of man’s first disobedience, and the fruit/ Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste/ Brought death into the world, and all our woe, /With loss of Eden, till one greater Man /Restore us, and regain the blissful seat.” It says that because of mankind’s actions at the beginning of time, the rest of the humans to ever live will also be punished all because a fruit was eaten. Milton appears to be highlighting the eating of the fruit in this excerpt. Also, because of this fruit that was eaten all of the evil, pain, and death in the world exist and now humans need a savior to allow them back into heaven. This passage seems to exaggerate the punishment bestowed upon humans and it also downplays the cause of the punishment from God. Milton mentions the fruit more in this passage than he does the disobedience of man. By choosing to do so, he sets the stage for Eve to take the majority of the blame for mankind’s original sin. It makes Adam’s sin seem less outrageous and makes the reader feel sorry for Adam because he was tempted into eating the fruit by

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