Importance of Debate in John Milton’s Paradise Lost

Importance of Debate in John Milton’s Paradise Lost

Length: 703 words (2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Importance of Debate in John Milton’s Paradise Lost


Paradise Lost Is an epic novel depicting the creation of the world and Man's fall from grace. It also shows the fall of Lucifer and his entrapment in Hell with other arch demons. Though Lucifer was one of the most beautiful angels, he became the most hideous of creatures in hell as Satan, the most powerful demigod-god. Satan resents God for the punishment that he has received and seeks revenge on Him. Satan knows, however, that he and his forces are no match for the might of Heaven, so he calls for a debate among his devilish council to work through their options. John Milton portrays the arch-demons of hell like members of the Senate, toiling over how to get back at God. The arguments are similar only in that they all believe that some course of action must be taken, but in most ways they are vastly different. Each debate builds on the last until the best compromise is met.

Satan begins the debate with his opening remarks. He sounds hopeful, even though he knows that Hell is no match for God. Satan then yields the floor to Moloch, who argues the most extreme course of action. He believes that a full out war on Heaven is the only way to seek revenge on God. Moloch's speech was the first argument so the other demons were the most open minded about his ideas. Belial then took the stand, though he had a far different view than Moloch's.

Belial can see that they are no match for the power of God, and therefore denizens of Hell should be benign and hope that God pities them. In other words, Belial is ready to give up because he recognizes that their hands are tied. He is hoping that God wants them to realize this and will allow them back into heaven for admitting that He is superior. Belial's argument is the complete opposite of Moloch's in that he believes in repentance, not revenge.

Mammon disagrees totally with Belial's argument. He thinks that because they have been banished from heaven and become so obviously hideous, there is no longer any place for them there. He believes that they are forever banished to Hell and they should make the most of their situation. Repentance is not an option in his mind. According to Mammon, the arch-demons should make the most of a bad situation.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Importance of Debate in John Milton’s Paradise Lost." 123HelpMe.com. 24 Sep 2018
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=21883>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Speech and Deception in John Milton's Paradise Lost

- Speech and Deception in Milton's Paradise Lost "Rhetoric and sophistry testify to the fact that the world in which we live is a world of speech, that the clever man can compose at will in order to trick others." 1 Speech was perhaps the most important medium for Milton.  As a blind poet, his lack of visual faculties was augmented by a renewed importance on auditory paths to enlightenment, especially the communicative.  Therefore, contemplation of dialogue in Paradise Lost becomes an essential tool for developing a correct understanding of the characters, as Milton would have intended.  Nowhere is this truer than with the character of Satan.  Throughout the text, his rhetoric ex...   [tags: Milton Paradise Lost Essays]

Research Papers
1724 words (4.9 pages)

Essay on Milton and Cavendish: Faithful Realists

- Milton and Cavendish: Faithful Realists Inquiries regarding the nature and acquisition of knowledge, coupled with the monumental question of whether human beings are capable of accruing knowledge–the philosophical study of epistemology–has roots buried in antiquity: Genesis, to be exact. Great thinkers of the Western tradition have both accepted and rejected components of Old Testament lore; Platonic and Aristotelian philosophers have indeed battled for centuries over the way in which reality is understood....   [tags: Paradise lost Blazing World]

Free Essays
3659 words (10.5 pages)

Fall of Man in John Milton’s Epic Poem, Paradise Lost Essay

- Paradise Lost, John Milton’s epic poem about the fall of man and the loss of Eden, is a subtly politically charged writing that reflects his own personal struggles and political viewpoints during 17th century England. There are many similarities between his epic poem and the despair and disappointment experienced during the reign of Charles I and the English Civil War. Through this poem, and with attention paid to the historical context with which it was written, Milton not only produces a great work of English literature, but also the seed for a discussion on civil disobedience and civil war....   [tags: eden, england, parliament]

Research Papers
930 words (2.7 pages)

Essay about Paradise Lost, by John Milton

- In Paradise Lost, Milton writes the creation story from the perspective of three different characters: Eve, Raphael, and Adam, in that order. Eve’s story tells of her creation and her interest in herself rather than in Adam. Adam’s story tells the creation of animals and then of Eve from his rib. Raphael’s story is more of a warning to Adam to make sure that Eve does not eat from the tree of knowledge. Raphael is sent by God because he is omniscient and knows that Satan’s snake will tempt her. Analyzing from the perspective of the already fallen world, it is difficult for us to see how Raphael is doing much more than simply following God’s orders and warning Adam of Eve’s future actions....   [tags: paradaise lost, milton]

Research Papers
923 words (2.6 pages)

Importance of Preserving the Union in John Milton’s Paradise Lost Essay

- The Importance of Preserving the Union in Paradise Lost                Critics have long argued over the power structure operating in the gender relations of Milton's Paradise Lost. However, to really understand Adam and Eve and the intricacies of their relationship, it is necessary to view them in terms of a union, not as separate people vying for power. Because they are a union of contraries, the power dilemma is a moot point even though a hierarchy exists; it is a hierarchy of knowledge, not of power, and it in no way implies that Adam needs Eve any less than she needs him....   [tags: Milton Paradise Lost Essays]

Research Papers
5573 words (15.9 pages)

Essay on Epic Characteristics of Milton's Paradise Lost

- Paradise Lost is one of the finest examples of the epic tradition in all of literature. In composing this extraordinary work, John Milton was, for the most part, following in the manner of epic poets of past centuries: Barbara Lewalski notes that Paradise Lost is an "epic whose closest structural affinities are to Virgil's Aeneid . . . "; she continues, however, to state that we now recognize as well the influence of epic traditions and the presence of epic features other than Virgilian. Among the poem's Homeric elements are its Iliadic subject, the death and woe resulting from an act of disobedience; the portrayal of Satan as an Archillean hero motivated by a sense of injured merit and...   [tags: Epics Milton Paradise Lost Essays]

Free Essays
3232 words (9.2 pages)

Essay on The Fallen Angels in John Milton's Paradise Lost

- The Fallen Angels in Paradise Lost       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...   [tags: Milton Paradise Lost Essays]

Research Papers
2066 words (5.9 pages)

Essay on Predestination in Book III of John Milton's Paradise Lost

- Predestination in Book III of Paradise Lost   Milton's purpose in Paradise Lost is nothing less than to assert eternal providence and justify the ways of God to men - a most daunting task.  For Milton to succeed in his endeavour, he has to unravel a number of theologiccal thorns that have troubled christian philosophers for centuries.  Since his epic poem is, essentially, a twelve book argument building to a logical conclusion - the 'justification of the ways of God to men' - he will necessarily have to deal with these dogmatic problems, and, in doing so, reveal his own take on the Christian theology....   [tags: Milton Paradise Lost Essays]

Research Papers
1629 words (4.7 pages)

The Power of Free Will in Milton?s Paradise Lost Essay

- 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]

Research Papers
1562 words (4.5 pages)

Milton’s Paradise Lost Essay

- Milton’s Paradise Lost has been praised as being the greatest English epic of all time, most stunningly in its author's depiction of the parents of humanity, Adam and Eve. How Milton chose to portray the original mother and father has been a focus of much criticism with contemporary readers. One of the main subjects of these comments is in reference to Eve, who, according to many, is a trivial character that is most definitely inferior to her mate. Nonetheless, many do not recognize that, after the fateful Fall, she becomes a much more evolved character....   [tags: Milton’s Paradise Lost]

Research Papers
4358 words (12.5 pages)

Related Searches



After Mammon's argument, all the demons seemed in complete disagreement. Hell's great compromiser, Beelzebub, entered the picture to add a little cohesiveness to their thoughts. He agrees with Mammon that there is no place for them in Heaven and also with Moloch that they should seek revenge on God. He disagrees, however, that they should wage a full out war on Heaven because he agrees with Belial that they are no match for God's power. Beelzebub then plants his demon seed. God holds Man very precious as his creation. If the arch-demons attack man, an easy target, they can get to God. This is an ingenious plan which utilizes the ideas brought up by the other arguments. Beelzebub finds a common theme among the other demon's thought's and emphasizes the similarities. Satan agrees with Beelzebub's plan whole heatedly, and volunteers to go to Earth and tempt man.

Satan played on the other demons intelligence. He knew all along that they were no match for God, but he thought it would be better if they decided that for themselves rather than telling them right out. It would leave Satan open for criticism if he dictated what they should do, but if the deduce it for themselves, then they have only themselves to blame if their ideas are incorrect. Similarly, Satan knew that the best way to get to God was through man. It would not be in his best interest to submit the idea and then go carry it out because it would not make him seem like he is taking as big a risk. If he were to plant the idea in Beelzebub's head, when he volunteered to go to Earth it would make him seem like a heroic leader and not a dictitorial one.
Return to 123HelpMe.com