There is no reason to apply modern theories to Milton if we do not care whether
Milton remains alive. However, if we wish him to be more than a historical
artifact, we must do more than just study him against the background of his time.
We must reinterpret him in light of the germane thought of our own age.
The Unfolding God Of Jung and Milton
Images and allusions to sex and death are intermingled throughout John Milton's
Paradise Lost . The character of Satan serves as not only an embodiment of
death and sin, but also insatiated sexual lust. The combination of sex and lust
has significant philosophical implications, especially in relation to themes of
creation, destruction, and the nature of existence. Milton, in Paradise Lost,
establishes that with sex, as with religion, he is of no particular hierarchical
establishment. However, Milton does not want to be confused with the
stereotypical puritan. Milton the poet, seems to celebrate the ideal of sex; yet,
he deplores concupiscence and warns against the evils of lust, insisting lust
leads to sin, violence and death.
From the beginning, Satan, like fallen humanity, not only blames others; but
also makes comic and grandiose reasons for his evil behavior. Yet, despite his
reasoning to seek revenge against God, "his true motivation for escaping from
hell and perverting paradise is, at least partly, something more basic: Satan
needs sex" (Daniel 26).
In the opening books of the poem, Satan is cast into a fiery hell that is not
only is miserable, but devoid of sex. As Satan describes when he has escaped to
Eden, in hell: "neigh joy nor love, but fierce desire, / Among our other
torments not the least, / Still unfulfilled with pain of longing pine" (Book IV,
509-11). The phallic implications of "pain of longing pine" is quite clear. In
this metaphor, Milton expresses... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(1999, 10). Paradise Lost: Milton's Approach to Lust, Sex, and Violence. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 10, 1999, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Paradise-Lost-Milton%27s-Approach-To-Lust-4664.html
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