Comparative Analysis Considering John Milton’s Views of Love and Companionship within Marriage: Paradise Lost and The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce| |
Comparative Analysis Considering John Milton’s Views of Love and Companionship within Marriage: Paradise Lost and The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce.
In just about any religion that a person could find, marriage is considered a sacred institution. It is labeled as a bond between man and woman in addition to perhaps the longest standing tradition that modern people, as their ancestors alike, participate in. The most familiarized example of this union is given in the bible with the telling of Adam and Eve. John Milton retells this story in his own version entitled Paradise Lost. Milton’s account gives great insight as to how the author ideally envisions a holy marriage to stand, and how it should be situated. This is of stark contrast to Milton’s The Doctrine and Disciplines of Divorce. It is the first of four tracts he wrote within 1643 to1645 in support of divorce within Canon law, which he believed was contrary to the true meaning of Scripture and the Gospel. If a marriage was not working it was to the good of both sexes for it to be dissolved. His argument, stated in the doctrine, was that “unsuitable unions of couples chained unnaturally together” should be broken on the grounds of incompatibility, a radical idea in its time (18). It more than shocked his contemporaries according to historians. The purpose of this paper is to compare the ideas of love, friendship, and marriage within the two texts, in addition to how Milton’s own personal experiences affected them. Divorce in 17th century England was against the law. You married for life, a holy bond that only God could break by calling one of the parties home. If the union was contentious it was still a marriage to the death. Milton had a stake in the...