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Milton's Paradise Lost And His Justification Of The Ways Of God To Man.

1445 words - 6 pages

By Lee A. ZitoWhen John Milton decided to write, he knew from the start he wanted his creation to be that of an epic. Paradise Lost is just that. It is Milton's own take on the biblical story of Satan's fall from grace as well as man's fall. Milton was not only armed with an extensive knowledge on the Bible, but in everything a man of his time could learn. With his wisdom he emersed himself into his work, making Paradise Lost not only a tale of epic perportions, but one that would "Justify the ways of God to Man." (I 26)Even before reading Paradise Lost, I had always wondered why God allowed evil, and why he allowed death. After a while I had simply accepted that God was God, and what happens, happens. Basically an act of pure faith. Then I read Paradise Lost and as a Christian I do feel that Milton's artistic vision has successfully helped him accomplish what he had set out to do. Staying true to the teachings of Christianity, his perception of man's fall has made sense of why there is evil in the world. Not because of God, but because of the free will God has granted his creations.Free will is both a blessing and a curse. Through free will God has made us independant in our own decision making. We have the power to choose right from wrong. Free will gives us power, and it is that power that can corrupt. The first character in Paradise Lost we are introduced to is Satan. He is the first being to be corrupted by his obsession with power, which stems from his free will. He chose his path, and that path lead him and those who followed him into eternal damnation by God.God then creates the Earth, and on it Adam and Eve. Both are still granted with the power of free will, even after Satan had abused this power. God has still granted it to them and provides the paradise known as Eden for their home. It is there that they are told by God not to eat from the tree of knowledge, but because they have free will they have the freedom and power to choose whether or not to obey God.Satan who is seeking revenge on God for throwing him into Hell makes his way to Eden. He then successfully persuades Eve to eat from the tree of knowledge. Eve then persuades Adam into eatting from the tree as well. This not only is direct disobedience to God, but a consequence of evil through sin. Adam and Eve both realize they are naked, signifying that they know what is right from wrong, thus they have fallen from grace.Later in the book the arch-angel Michael tells Adam of God's plan. The plan that Adam is foretold of is humanity's salvation through the coming of God's Son. Adam in his reflection of his sin, refers to it as "Felix Culpa", which mean's happy fall. This knowledge of salvation is why Adam refers to their fall as a happy one. Eventhough they had fallen from grace, God will eventually send his Son to grant them the grace they had lost when they ate from the tree of knowledge. Through the fall they will have to experience evil, but out of that evil Adam knows there...

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