This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

How Evil And Good Is Portrayed In "Paradise Lost" By John Milton

1258 words - 6 pages

The original sin that led to humanity's fall in the Garden of Eden is by far the worst sin committed by humankind. It is this sin that led to future sins. This original sin must be emphasized by writers to depict the evil involved in it. In writing Paradise Lost, John Milton recognizes this fact and uses a variety of literary techniques to stress the evil in the story over the good. The techniques used include a series of parallels with the parallel between good and evil being first and foremost as well, as symmetry to keep the poem in balance. Paradise Lost is a poem essentially about the origin of sin and evil, as a result, Milton presents evil in a more coercive manner than good.Satan and ...view middle of the document...

This comparison to mythical figures makes the reader think more about the subject therefore invoking more thought about Satan's powerful stature. Due to the drama and persuasiveness of Satan's rhetoric, he is the most well developed character in Paradise Lost.Both the angels and devils and heaven and hell can be contrasted along with Satan and the Son. Milton depicts the angels as being in a state of eternal joy by singing, 'With jubilee, and loud hosannas filled Th' eternal regions.' (Bk. 3, lines 348-349.) Nevertheless the angels are not being presented with as much intensity as the devils are in Book one. Despite having been cast to hell the fallen angels are still shown to continue on in their old ways as if nothing has happened to them. Mammon leads some of the devils to the hills to loot gold. (Bk. 1, lines 670-690.) Milton aptly describes the fallen angels by giving the names that they were worshipped with and a succinct description. Milton employs an epic simile in Book one to exaggerate the number of fallen angels and hence the amount of evil: 'His legions, angel forms, who lay entranced, thick as autumnal leaves that strow the brooks in Vallombrosa.' (Bk. 1, lines 301-303.) Hell is described as the most appalling place in existence as it is 'A dungeon horrible, on all sides round as one great furnace flamed; yet from those flames no light, but rather darkness visible served only to discover sights of woe.' (Bk. 1, lines 61-64.) The devils build a palace for themselves called Pandemonium which means all-demons, in contrast to the Pantheon which means all-gods. This name demonstrates the absolute evil of the building as it mocks any sentiment of goodness while at the same time exhibiting the evil within. In terms of evil and detail, Satan's subordinates are presented in much the same way as himself.Humanity falls in the Garden of Eden because evil eventually conquers good. Because evil defeats good in Paradise Lost it must be treated with more emphasis. When the fall of humankind is being described in Book nine, Satan is no longer described as a feeble underdog, he is now a powerful leader filled with rage. His rage is portrayed in Book nine after he overcomes how beautiful Eve is, 'But the hot...

Find Another Essay On How Evil And Good Is Portrayed In "Paradise Lost" By John Milton

John Milton: Paradise Lost Essay

1533 words - 6 pages In John Milton’s Paradise Lost, Satan seeks revenge against God and causes the fall of man. He deceives Adam and Eve and gets them to disobey God. God ends up seeming cruel because of the way He punishes Adam and Eve but, He’s not. God could have killed them for disobeying him, instead He’s giving them a second chance with life, its just going to be a harder life. God is just doing what He has to by sending them out of the Garden. He is the high

Analysis of Paradise Lost by John Milton

1001 words - 5 pages John Milton seeks to simply “justify the ways of God to men” with his timeless tale of the war between Heaven and Hell, leading to Lucifer being exiled from Heaven to deceiving God’s creation of man in Paradise Lost. I believe Milton is attempting to demonstrate the beginning of the root of all evil by exploring the fall of Lucifer and subsequently Eve’s fall in response. He begins with describing God creating another universe with divine

Heroism in "Paradise Lost" by John Milton: A Movement Forward in Morality

2580 words - 10 pages by C.S. Lewis and William Empson, who have similar views of the heroism presented in Milton's Paradise Lost. By concentrating on these main ideas I will show how Milton definition of heroism is based on moral strength.In order to understand the different definitions of heroism found in Paradise Lost we must first look specifically at what predominantly constitutes an epic hero. According to Joan Malory Webber, the epic hero is a person with

Paradaise Lost by John Milton

943 words - 4 pages that was required of them was to take care of the land in Eden, which would not be harsh labor, as fruit was produced easily. In both the Bible story of the Garden of Eden and the expounded version by John Milton, Satan tricks Eve into eating of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Just as is true today, Milton’s audience in the eighteenth century would have been familiar with the story of Adam and Eve’s downfall. Readers know that Eve will

Reflections of Milton in Paradise Lost and On Having Arrived

958 words - 4 pages At a young age, John Milton was convinced that he was destined forgreatness. He thought that he "might perhaps leave something so written toaftertimes as they should not willingly let it die"(Text 414). For thisreason he thought that his life was very important to himself and to others.He often wrote directly about himself, and he used his life experiences asroots for his literature. In Paradise Lost and in a sonnet entitled "OnHis Blindness

Dante’s Inferno in Milton´s Paradise Lost

1589 words - 7 pages seen throughout Paradise Lost, Milton’s progression of evil and Satan are quite different from Dante. Dante’s influence on Milton is noted by many scholars and is very apparent in several instances throughout Paradise Lost, however, Milton shows a progression of evil through his own vision of Satan and creates a Hell that is less meticulously constructed than Dante’s and more open to interpretation. Several scholars have made arguments that

Paradise Lost by John Milton: Exploring the Themes of Mankind's Great Fall

903 words - 4 pages Considered by many scholars to be one of the greatest poems of the English language, Paradise Lost by John Milton tells the biblical story of Adam and Eve's fall from grace in language that is a supreme achievement in rhythm and sound. Written by a very bitter, very lonely Milton in his mid-50's, the book was widely criticized by the Catholic church. People wondered whether Milton sought to justify the mysterious ways of God or merely show the

John Milton, 'Paradise Lost Books One and Two', title - 'Milton's is a highly visual representation of hell. What does he describe? How does he describe it? What purposes do his descriptions serve?'

1937 words - 8 pages death, which God by curseCreated evil, for evil only good' (Book II 621-2)which highlights the fact that hell is the complete opposite to heaven, which is a universe of life and happiness. The reversal in the second line makes it that more powerful as does the repetition of linked words with 'death', 'curse' and the repetition of 'evil'.Finally, in describing hell, Milton regularly deals with how the physical corresponds with the moral, in that

The Power of Free Will in Milton?s Paradise Lost

1548 words - 6 pages that only with the freedom to choose do a person's actions become meaningful and sincere. This idea also helps Milton to explain the importance of "the fall" and God's ultimate plan. Throughout the book, free will is demonstrated not only by Adam and Eve, but also Satan and the other fallen angels, as well as God's Son. Each character's fate further explains why freedom is so important in expressing true feelings. In Paradise Lost, Milton

Sin and Death in John Milton's Paradise Lost

2555 words - 10 pages Sin and Death in Paradise Lost       Abstract: Death assumes in his original argument, with most readers of Paradise Lost, that Satan is all bad, having rejected God, and presumably that his charisma is illusory. Sin assumes, with Empson, that Satan's entire career, including his corruption of Eve, is the project of an all-powerful and sinister God. By the time Satan gets to Mt. Niphates in Book IV he is convinced of both; he

John Miltons Paradise Lost

2139 words - 9 pages John Miltons Paradise Lost 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

Similar Essays

Paradise Lost By John Milton Essay

1088 words - 4 pages least partially accurate, as Wordsworth seems anxious to compete with Paradise Lost. Yet it is inaccurate to completely apply Bloom’s ‘anxiety of influence’ to Wordsworth. In Book IX of Paradise Lost, Milton debates his topic too. He is ‘not sedulous by nature to indite/Wars, hitherto the only argument/Heroic deemed’ (PL IX.27-9) and continues to dispel other ideas such as Arthurian legend. Wordsworth and Milton both reject what has gone before

Paradise Lost, By John Milton Essay

1191 words - 5 pages 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

Paradise Lost By John Milton Essay

712 words - 3 pages Heather R. George Professor Paige Sasser ENG 2323 May 28, 2014 Literary Analysis Essay Paradise Lost John Milton's Paradise Lost is a configuration of the biblical interpretations in Genesis written in the 17th Century. In many ways this story is like the story of Adam and Eve in the Bible; although some aspects are significantly different. Some may try and argue that this poem is about Satan wanting revenge on God; however it shows a beautiful

Paradise Lost By John Milton Essay Title: Is God Just?

1606 words - 6 pages at the Bible more closely, we find that Milton's depiction of God is not the same as the God portrayed in the Bible. The effectiveness of the explanation of course depends on how you interpret his readings.Works CitedReid, David. The Humanism of Milton's Paradise Lost. Great Britain: Edinburgh University Press Limited, 1993.Moore, E. Leslie. Beautiful Sublime: The Making of Paradise Lost. California: Stanford University Press, 1990.Works ConsultedPeter, John. A Critique of Paradise Lost.Demaray, G. John. Milton's Theatrical Epic: The Invention and Design of Paradise Lost. Massachusetts: Cambridge, 1980.