John Milton’s Paradise Lost is a religious work, and is in many ways an autobiography of Milton’s own life. John Milton was raised catholic and converted to Protestantism. Later in life he became a Calvinist. His strong Calvinists beliefs can be seen throughout Paradise Lost. It was Milton’s desire to be a great poet, but he did not believe that was his purpose in life. He believed that he had been put here to serve God, and that any thing that he wrote should be in one way or another related to that purpose. In this way Milton felt that in writing Paradise Lost not only was he writing the epic poem he had always wanted to, but also fulfilling his godly purpose here on earth.
At the time that Milton was writing Paradise Lost he was a prisoner in his home and to his blindness. He had been involved in the rebellion with Cromwell when the King had been executed and the monarchy had been run out of England. When Cromwell died and the King returned to power he was forced to go into hiding and no longer had any rights of an English man. If he had come out of hiding he most likely would have been executed for treason. He had also lost his sight completely and was being taken care of by his daughters.
The subject of Paradise Lost is man’s disobedience and how disobedience leads to the loss of happiness. He is dealing not only with the disobedience of Adam, Eve, and Satin, but also with his own disobedience. Different autobiographical issues are dealt with through Adam and Satin. Adam seems to represent his sins against God, which led to his blindness, and Satin could represent his disobedience to the King.
The first book deals with the war in heaven and the devils being sent out into ...
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...ventually die for their sins. Being kicked out of the garden also has some autobiographical significance in the life of Milton. He loved gardens and both of his punishments, blindness and being imprisoned in his home made it impossible for him to enjoy them.
In the last book Michael shows Adam what is to come for the human race. This gave Adam some hope for the future and makes it easier for him to carry on after falling from God. Adam sees that much good will come from his sin in the end.
Masson, David. Afterword “A Brief Life of Milton” Paradise Lost. By John Milton. Ed. Scott Elledge. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1993.
Milton, John. Paradise Lost. Ed. Scott Elledge. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1993.
Wagenknecht, Edward. The Personality of Milton. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1970.
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