The fallen angels are Satan's minions and the voices by which
Milton may express a variety of opinions and views, showing the diversity
and intricacies of Hell, and the immorality of their actions and proposals.
Whilst we are often impressed by the skill with which the individual
leaders perform their tasks and speeches, we are never left in any doubt as
to the truth of G-d, and the futility of their debates. By examining the
angels as a group, Milton is able to leave the infernal dungeon, to take a
flight throughout history, giving his own point of view. It is thus that
Books I and II of "Paradise Lost" are so unique, as the alternative, and
less-frequently explored world of the devils, is probed in such a
Milton uses the story of the fallen angels to open out on numerous
eras, civilisations, myths and stories, allowing him to convey his own
perception of the world's history, as the reader is guided through various
points in time. Before we are introduced to the individuals, Milton
depicts an enormous army of different species, each of changeable size and
form. The image of a "pitchy cloud / Of locusts" to describe them as they
rise from the burning lake is especially apt, given the destructive nature
of, and biblical references to these insects. Milton states that they lost
their original names after the Fall ("Got them new names, till wand'ring
o'er the earth") and that they became known to man as the heathen idols of
the Old Testament and the pagan deities of Egypt and Greece. A rich
portrait of mythological and biblical history is painted, t...
... middle of paper ...
...ilton. New York: Norton, 1957.
Elledge, Scott, ed. Paradise Lost: An Authoritative Text, Backgrounds and Sources,
Criticism. New York: Norton, 1975.
Fox, Robert C. "The Allegory of Sin and Death in Paradise Lost." Modern Language
Quarterly 24 (1963): 354-64.
---. "Milton's 'Sin': Addenda." Philological Quarterly 42 (1963): 120-21.
Johnson, Samuel. "Paradise Lost." Elledge 521-34.
Lewis, C. S. A Preface to Paradise Lost. Rpt. New York: Oxford UP, 1979.
Milton, John. Paradise Lost. In John Milton: Complete Poems and Major Prose. Ed.
Merritt Y. Hughes. Indianapolis: Odyssey, 1980.
O'Keeffe, Timothy J. "An Analogue to Milton's 'Sin' and More on the Tradition."
Milton Quarterly 5 (1971): 74-77.
Patrick, John M. "Milton, Phineas Fletcher, Spenser, and Ovid--Sin at Hell's Gates."
Notes and Queries Sept. 1956: 384-86.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The classic tragedy Paradise Lost, written by John Milton, demonstrates how the fallen angels lose the paradise they have been given, and how this fall directly effects the downfall of man as well. Before anything ever was, all matter was chaos; utter darkness and filth. A mighty being, God, rose up out of chaos and created the firmament called Heaven, and all the universe (4). The angels, and archangels that populated Heaven, danced in the realms of the magnificent light (8). Lucifer, the highest archangel, stepped fourth and accused God of his power, jealously tying to take it from him.... [tags: Milton Paradise Lost Essays]
1390 words (4 pages)
- “Solitude sometimes is best society” (Book IX, Line 249), a famous quote in John Milton’s 17th cen. epic poem Paradise Lost, summarizes a separation from Heaven which results in the fall of Lucifer, one of God’s fallen angels. The silent battle between God and Satan, the development of characters and the themes in the epic adds to a better overall understanding of the Milton 's poem. The work is one of literature’s most profound, giving its audience an exclusive look at fate, free will and morality.... [tags: Paradise Lost, Epic poetry, John Milton]
2194 words (6.3 pages)
- Milton’s Paradise Lost Critics of the Romantic Period have claimed that John Milton was unconsciously allied with the forces of evil. In Paradise Lost Milton’s accounts of “Devils & Hell” are much more elaborate and awe inspiring than those of “Angels & God.” Hell and Satan are portrayed extensively whereas the reader is given brief and inconclusive glimpses of Heaven. The apparent dichotomy is explained by William Blake: “The reason Milton wrote in fetters when he wrote of Angels & Gods, and at liberty when of Devils & Hell, is because he was a true Poet and of the Devil’s Party without knowing it.” Milton’s adherence to orthodox views resulted in an uninspired portrait of Heaven.... [tags: Paradise Lost ]
410 words (1.2 pages)
- Paradise Lost by John Milton John Milton divided the characters in his epic poem Paradise Lost into two sides, one side under God representing good, and the other side under Satan representing evil and sin. Milton first introduced the reader to the character Satan, the representative of all evil, and his allegiance of fallen angels that aided in his revolt against God (Milton 35). Only later did Milton introduce the reader to all powerful God, leader and creator of all mankind (John). This introduction of Satan first led the reader to believe acts of sin were good, just like Eve felt in the Garden of Eden when she was enticed by Satan to eat the fruit off of the Tree of Knowledge (Milton... [tags: Paradise Lost John Milton Essays]
2082 words (5.9 pages)
- Milton's Satan in Paradise Lost After researching Satan and his kingdom, Hell, through the Bible and Paradise Lost to compare and contrast the two characterizations, I realized that Milton must have been a true Bible scholar. Milton’s Satan is described so closely to the Biblical view of Satan that it is often times hard to distinguish the two. Milton changed and elaborated on a few characteristics of his Satan and his Hell in order to create Paradise Lost, but based his characterization and his descriptions on his interpretation of the Bible, using his imagination to form a more vivid picture of how horrible Satan and Hell are in reality.... [tags: John Milton Satan Paradise Lost]
1787 words (5.1 pages)
- Milton makes Satan out to be a loveable likeable character that we can relate to, for a man of principle and a godly man why does he do this “I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last.”Revelation 1: 8 in the King James Version John Milton’s Paradise lost is a poetic amalgam of vice and virtue it is an epic navigates the perils of right, wrong and the grey area that humans themselvesstraddle. An epic inherently conflicted at its very core stemming from the writer and the environment around him.... [tags: Paradise Lost John Milton]
1439 words (4.1 pages)
- John Milton's Paradise Lost John Milton’s Paradise Lost is filled with fantastical tales from the depths of Hell, extravagant descriptions of the fallen angels, and a curious recitation of the council of demons in their new palace. How did Milton dream up such vivid depictions of such horrible demons as the ones we see in Book I. Most of his fallen angels originate in the form of Pagan gods condemned by the Bible, with actual historical backgrounds which Milton cites in his lengthy descriptions.... [tags: John Milton Paradise Lost Essays]
3096 words (8.8 pages)
- Satan is No Hero in Paradise Lost There have been many different interpretations of John Milton's epic, Paradise Lost. Milton's purpose in writing the epic was to explain the biblical story of Adam and Eve. Although the epic is similar to the Bible story in many ways, Milton's character structure differs from that of the Bible's version. Through-out the epic Milton describes the characters in the way he believes they are. In book II of Paradise Lost, Milton portrays Satan as a rebel who exhibits certain heroic qualities, but who turns out not to be a hero.... [tags: Milton Paradise Lost Essays]
1717 words (4.9 pages)
- The Power of Free Will in Milton's Paradise Lost Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "Remember always that you not only have to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one." To be an individual means to act by choice and make decisions with free will enhanced by the power of knowledge. Only then are people true to themselves and to others. In Paradise Lost, Milton clearly conveys this concept of acting freely under God. He shows the reader that only with the freedom to choose do a person's actions become meaningful and sincere.... [tags: Milton Paradise Lost Essays]
1562 words (4.5 pages)
- Paradise Lost as Christian Epic John Milton's great epic poem, Paradise Lost, was written between the 1640's and 1665 in England, at a time of rapid change in the western world. Milton, a Puritan, clung to traditional Christian beliefs throughout his epic, but he also combined signs of the changing modern era with ancient epic style to craft a masterpiece. He chose as the subject of his great work the fall of man, from Genesis, which was a very popular story to discuss and retell at the time. His whole life had led up to the completion of this greatest work; he put over twenty years of time and almost as many years of study and travel to build a timeless classic.... [tags: Milton Paradise Lost Essays]
1144 words (3.3 pages)