Paradise Lost

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One of Milton's strengths used in his epic Paradise Lost is his vivid imagery. He uses imagery not only for visual impact but also for reinforcing themes and characterization. Many of the images used pertain to light and dark, which help to convey his main purpose of justifying the ways of God to man and illustrating Hell. Milton justifies the ways of God to man all throughout his story. Line twenty-two explains to man that God can make the darkness in one's life go away by bringing "light" to his situation. This is exemplified when Milton writes "What in me is dark Illumine what is low raise and support," which means that God can pick up those who have fallen or who are not sturdy, as well as improve misfortunes in one's life. Milton also uses imagery to display the power of God and characterizes Hell. "Him the Almighty Power hurled head long flaming from the ethereal sky with hideous ruin and combustion down to bottomless perdition," illustrates that God is very powerful and how He cast Satan into Hell. Milton goes on to show the reader, with images of light and dark, that Hell is "A dungeon horrible, on all sides round as one great furnace flamed, yet from those flames no light, but rather darkness visible." With his use of imagery, Milton is able to let the reader into another world and can see what God can do for mankind and see what Hell looks like.
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