The human condition is to posses freedom and gain knowledge, and it are those provisions which are the precursors to man's tragic state. John Milton in Paradise Lost used the archetype of all humanity, Adam and Eve, to explicate the tragic nature of the mortal condition. Loosing paradise symbolizes the inability of man to secure "A heaven on earth" (Book 4.208), his failing to reach an ideal state of being. In place of reaching an ideal state, man is given a tragic perspective of reality, condemned. In the quest to find answers to this plight, he was lead to blame the satanic "Hell within him" (Book 4.20). The apple, represents knowledge (in particular sexual knowledge), man's greatest curiosity, and the reason for his fall, because he was refusing to accept the reality God gave him. Satan's fall is also attributed to his inability to accept the reality of God by imagining he has the freedom to be independent of God. Satan's direct testament against God's reality can be seen in book one line 246 where Satan proclaims, "He who now is sovran can dispose and bid what shall be right: farthest from him is best." His condemnation is his realization that he looses free will submitting to the reality of God. In Satan's eyes God is an absolute tyrant, through his ears God's voice is less appealing than his inner rebel voice. He resists by imagining he has the freedom to be independent of God, which leads him to create an appealing yet inner voice but God's voice at the beginning of book 3 corrects the satanic voice with less appealing truth. I meet a similar struggle when trying to reconcile my materialism beliefs with free will. I take reality as being solely comprised of the physical, that there is no more to the mental than the physical mind. However, if this is true then I am forced to believe that I do... [continues]
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