Essay on John Milton 's Paradise Lost

Essay on John Milton 's Paradise Lost

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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). In many ways, Milton had begun to enter epic poetry into its most ingenious phase. Paradise Lost exemplifies the opposition and incorporation of morality, discernment, and rigorous judgment; Milton truly prompts a “critique of the values assonated with those of other heroes a genres” (Lewalski, 442). Although Milton coincides with the previous exemplars of epic poetry by establishing his “hero” as having grandiose importance, the similarities, for the most part, end here. According to the strict precedent set by biblical literature, Satan should be depicted as an antihero and villain, yet he is the most imperative character of the poem. The anecdote Milton chose for Paradise Lost is dependent upon the action of a malicious rather than benevolent hero. Satan, as portrayed by Milton in Paradise Lost, is a complex literary character. He has all the heroic qualities such as determination, fortitude, and dignity, yet despite these noble characteristics, Satan allows malice and pride dominate his personality.
Paradise Lost exemplifies the notion that although a character may fit the archetype of an epic hero, pernicious and selfish determination can counter these attributes. Sa...


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...ermination, fortitude, and dignity, yet through his own free will Satan’s malice and pride dominate his personality. If we are to understand Satan’s character, we must cease to regard him as unfortunate, in fact throughout the epic Satan remains unrepentant. It was at the foot of God that Satan was awarded all the luxuries of Heaven, but it was through his own free will that Satan fell. Milton attempts to manipulate our idea of an epic hero by exhibiting Satan as the focal point Paradise Lost. Unable to cope with his inferiority, Satan’s punishment only proved to fuels his desire for power, through motives of malice and vengeance Satan remains hell-bent on forging his own density. The anecdote Milton chose for his epic is dependent upon the action of a malicious rather than benevolent hero; this narrative mirrors Satan’s grandest attribute, his ability to manipulate.

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