Paradise Lost By John Milton Essay

Paradise Lost By John Milton Essay

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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 gates of heaven will be reopened to humans through Christ. In Paradise Lost John Milton seems to be depicting the views of women during the Renaissance through his characterization of Eve through his description of how mankind lost its spiritual innocence, the description of Adam and Eve’s sin, and through his description of the encounter between Archangel Michael and Adam.
During the Renaissance, women were not viewed very favorably. 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 E...


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...r on, Milton depicts Eve in an inferior role to Adam. The Archangel Michael bothers to tell only Adam the story of mankind’s salvation. Eve is not seen as important enough to receive the same explanation.
John Milton’s mastery of word choice and knowledge of the human condition allowed him to portray Eve negatively throughout his epic. Milton used the familiarity of Adam’s situation to make the reader feel bad for him, but he does no such thing for Eve. He also shines a light on Eve’s disobedience and carelessness. Milton essentially tells the story of creation in a way that blames Eve. He leaves out her point of view and feelings about the situation in an effort to portray her as more dishonorable than Adam. The manner in which Milton decided to portray Eve, was a clear representation of how women who did not abide by their roles were viewed during his time period.

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