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 justice, in order to redeem Himself. The pristine creation God named Earth, required a redeemer, thus the emergence of Jesus Christ who offers to sacrifice himself for the sins Adam and Eve were thought to make. Milton makes use of Christian doctrine but still allows himself enough room for poetic license to create this celestial battle.
Paradise Lost reflects Adam and Eve’s true purity and innocence on Earth, as well as God’s ultimate test by placing the Forbidden Fruit in reach allowing Satan to manipulate the scene. One issue Milton’s epic poem provokes is whether or not Adam and Eve were so innocent that they had no real concept of death or punishment, thus slightly justifying falling into temptation. I, however, believe that original innocence translates directly to ignorance. God gave Adam and Eve the option to fall into the temptation Satan offered them in order to give them free will, to test their faith and know that they had true intentions and faith in His word to not have to know what would happen if they took the fruit. They had a relationship with God and knew Him, not just of Him, yet they turn their back on His instruction and go against his teachings for Satan, the first opportunity they get. “So will fall He and his faithless progeny. Whose fault? Whose but his own? Ingrate! He had of Me all he could have; I made him just and right, Sufficient to have stood, though free to fall” (3.95-9) Some may argue that God shouldn't allow free will if He aims not to be disappointed but that's essentially what makes the love and honor for him so powerful. You get to choose, every day in every decision you make whether or not you want to follow Him and worship Him. Therefore the presence of sin gives people an opportunity to prove themselves worthy of being forgiven for the sins they do commit. Milton showcases this kind of love allowing for irenaeus, and mankind becoming capable of differentiating the structured standards of the Bible from individualist notions and thus seeing sin and evil as a distraction from God.
One thing I specifically enjoyed about Milton’s style and tone was that he gave every character an opportunity to convey their side of the story, which allows the audience to better grasp and understand the entire story. He interprets the fall of man as well as Lucifer’s own demise in such a way that you feel the emotions with the characters and empathize in the struggle of following...