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

Essay by paulkimCollege, UndergraduateA, March 2004

download word file, 6 pages 3.0

Downloaded 121 times

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...