John Milton 's Paradise Lost And Beowulf Essays

John Milton 's Paradise Lost And Beowulf Essays

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Paradise Lost and Beowulf are both intricate pieces of literature. The constant disagreement and combat of the protagonist and antagonist is the main focus in both of these works. Many people interpret the deep meaning of the poem very differently, however there is no mistaking the recurring theme of good versus evil.
Milton’s Paradise Lost was written in a time period known as the Interregnum period. During this time period, “church attendance was mandatory” and the Puritans “generally garbed themselves in black and white” (UTPB Faculty “The Interregnum and Milton’s Paradise Lost”). The Puritans strongly believed there was a right and wrong answer for everything and rarely questioned anything. John Milton was a Renaissance man who wrote a poem on the most significant story in mankind that today, “would [be] consider[ed] the greatest epic poem” (UTPB Faculty “The Interregnum and Milton’s Paradise Lost”) He broke off from the traditional values and questioned the actions of Adam and Eve. That is why Milton and his poem, Paradise Lost, had such a strong impact on the Puritan people. Milton also made many epic similes throughout his poem adding to the complexity of his work.
John Milton uses the original good versus evil duo, God and Satan, as the protagonist and antagonist in his poem. He leaves no imagination to the reader when it comes to determining which character will most strongly posses the quality of evil. Shortly into the first book, the words of Satan give away his demonic nature. Satan accepts his role as the evil in the story saying “farewel remorse: all good to me is lost; evil be thou my good” (Milton, book 1, lines 109-110.) He then states his plans to his evil comrade Beelzebub, “to do ought good neve...


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... of an Anglo-Saxon warrior, and helps give life to the theme of good versus evil. Even though Beowulf died in the process, he still achieved the goal of successfully defeating Grendel, Grendel’s mother and the fire breathing dragon. The evil throughout this poem may have outnumbered the good, but ultimately, good still prevailed.
Paradise Lost and Beowulf were exemplary pieces of literature that perfectly embodied the theme of good versus evil. In the poems, the theme was presented continuously and kept the reader guessing until the last word. Evil may have seemed in control throughout the poems, but good always found a way to succeed. In the words of John Connolly, “no matter how hard evil tries, it can never quite match up to the power of Good, because Evil is ultimately self-destructive. Evil may set out to corrupt others, but in the process corrupts itself.”

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