PARADISE LOST OR AGONY FOUND?
John Milton, a very highly acclaimed poet of the Renaissance Period, is most noted for his works which carried emphasis on the Bible. The most heralded of these works, "Paradise Lost", revisits the very first story of the Bible. Milton attempts to justify his religion and his beliefs by going into further detail with the story and making it a lot more user friendly. With the use of themes, symbols, and motifs Milton creates a highly entertaining and explanatory story.
Milton's first plan of business is to establish his theme. As one can clearly see from the first four words of this story, "Of man's first disobedience", this story's theme is the definition of disobedience of God and the result of that disobedience. There are two main instances of disobedience spoken about in this story. First, is seen as we revisit Satan's disobedience of God as Rafael tells it. The second and most obvious disobedient act is when Eve eats the forbidden fruit as shown in the line "
her rash hand in evil hour, Forth reaching to the fruit, she plucked, she eat." Not to be the only disobedient one, she goes and shares the fruit with her beloved Adam. Though these are both disobedient acts against God, there are two slight differences. Satan's act is punished for eternity, without a chance for redemption. There is not salvation and refuge for him, as he is doomed to spend his eternity in Hell. Mankind, through God's love and compassion, can seek repentance for their sins and still be accepted into heaven as an eternal reward.
Milton also uses symbols in his story to help convey his message. A wreath is used throughout the world in ceremonies to demonstrate the circle of love and life. It is used here to show not only Adam's love for Eve but to also represent his loss of love for her. As he brings her the wreath, it symbolizes his continuing love for her and their eternal life in paradise. Once he sees that she has eaten the forbidden fruit, "From...
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