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 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 chaos. Satin is the leader of the rebellion in heaven and he and all of the devils that were on his side of the rebellion arrive on the lake of fire. In book two they all discuss what to do about their situation. There is talk of returning for another battle, but it is agreed that they don’t have a chance. Finally Satin decides that they should try and destroy the new world that he has heard God was creating.
When Satin reaches the new world that has been created in book IV he considers what would happen if he were to repent for what he had done. He talks the matter over with himself for quite some time and decides that even if God would take him back it would not do him any good.
“The lower still I fall, only supreme
In misery; such joy ambition finds.
But say I could repent and could obtain
By act of grace my former state; how soon
Would highth recall high thoughts, how soon unsay
What feigned submission swore: ease would recant
Vows made in pain, as violent and void.
For never can true reconcilement grow
Where wounds of deadly hate have pierced so deep:
Which would but lead me to a worse relapse,
And heavier fall: so should I purchase dear
Short intermission bought with double smart.” (Book IV...