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Literature Review of Paradise Lost by John Milton



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    In John Milton’s Paradise Lost, we learn of Milton’s epic poem that deals with the entire story of man’s fall from grace, including background for Satan’s motives. In Book 1 of the poem, a brief introduction mentions the fall of Adam and Eve caused by the serpent, which was Satan, who led the angels in revolt against God and was cast into hell. The scene then opens on Satan lying dazed in the burning lake, with Beelzebub, next in command, beside him. Satan assembles his fallen legions on the shore, where he revives their spirits by his speech. They set to building a palace, called Pandemonium. There the high ranking angels assemble in council.

    In Book IX of Paradise Lost Satan returns to earth, where he chooses the serpent as his best disguise. Next morning, when Adam and Eve go forth to their gardening tasks, Eve suggests they go in separate directions. With great reservation, Adam finally consents. The serpent finds Eve alone and approaches her. She is surprised to find the creature can speak, and is soon induced by him to eat the fruit of the forbidden tree. Adam is horrified when he finds what she has done, but at length resigns himself to share her fate rather than be left without her, and eats the fruit also. After eating, they are aroused with lust and lay together, then fall to restless sleep. They waken to awareness of their nakedness and shame, and cover themselves with leaves. In their emotional distress, they fall into mutual accusations and blame.

    In Paradise Lost both books are derived from biblical root, they offer interpretations of of man’s fall through Eve’s motives, her attitude toward Adam, and her attitude toward her sin. When Eve was trying to decide whether or not to share the apple with Adam, one of her reasons for not sharing was so that she could be his equal, if not his superior. Eve still stumbled by believing Satan even though he lost his radiance that he displayed so well while he was in heaven. Adam and Eve where extremely ashamed of their actions. Adam was especially ashamed of their sin.

    As Adam and Eve left Eden, they wept for the loss of their innocence, but were hopeful for their new lives. Eve reached conclusions through the traits that she perceived in Adam. He was strong and had a brain designed to dream and mold. In Eve’s opinion he was designed for fiercer things and lustier worlds.

    In conclusion, their can be many different interpretations of the same biblical story that be a result of the large time span between the stories. Milton’s Paradise Lost was written in a more religious time in which the fall of man would seem to be a great sin. In today’s world we see that worldly knowledge is more important than the spiritual ideas of the past. Both books in Paradise Lost present the biblical story through a more human point of view.


    Literature Review of Paradise Lost by John Milton. (2019, Mar 09). Retrieved from

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