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

1606 words - 6 pages

John Milton's Paradise Lost has been perhaps one of the most heatedly debated works of Western literature. Critics of Paradise Lost have praised Milton for his accurate description of a divine omnipotent and just God. I intend to prove that God as depicted in Paradise Lost is not the same God that is depicted in the Bible. Milton makes a noble attempt, but he is guilty of being only human. He makes the attempt to portray God as fair and just. However, his portrayal does not accurately correspond with God portrayed in the Bible. In the end, his representation of God is of an unjust one.In Paradise Lost, Milton intentionally tries to form a personal connection with Satan. Although in size Satan at first is far from human, with "parts... extended long and large lay floating many a rood (1/4 acre) in bulk as huge as whom the fables name of monstrous size" (I: 194-97). However, throughout the story he displays many human-like characteristics that enable readers to sympathize with him. After being thrown out of paradise, Satan expresses remorse and reflects upon "how glorious he was once above [the sun]; till pride and worse ambition threw [him] down" (IV: 39-40). Furthermore, he acknowledges his weakness and admits that if given the opportunity, he would rebel once again. The honesty showed by Satan closely resembles that of an epic hero. When Satan addresses his troops, standing in front of his vast numberless army, "thrice he assayed, and thrice in spite of scorn, tears such as angels weep, burst forth" (I:619-20). Here, Satan is overwhelmed with pride and is honored that so many have decided to follow his cause. "which Satan converts despair into heroic energy is... of noble emotion" (Reid 120) Even though they have been cast out of heaven, they continue to remain loyal to him.When we look towards the bible, God created Adam and Eve, he granted them free will, to do as they please and live life according to their own conclusions. Although Satan tempted Eve, it was Eve who ultimately chose with her free will to eat the fruit of the tree. Now let us compare Satan and his first sin. God grants Adam and Eve mercy, and not Satan and the angels because "[t]he first sort by their own suggestion fell, self-tempted, self-depraved: man falls deceived by the other first: man therefore shall find grace, the other none" (III, 129-32). However, one must ask if left alone to decide, would all of the angels have agreed to join the rebellion against God? Or did Satan, with his mastery of words, tempt and deceive the other angels into believing that they had a chance at defeating God? If this is the case, then the angels were tempted by Satan to sin, just as Adam and Eve were. So according to God, he should grant the angels the same grace and mercy he bestows onto mankind.Unlike the other angels, Satan with his free will was tempted to overthrow God and become God himself. Since Satan was the leader, logically no one could have tempted Satan; it was him with his own...

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