The Use of Celestial Machinery in Paradise Lost

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In Milton’s Paradise Lost, the prominence of “celestial machinery” cannot be stressed enough. The divine figures in Milton’s epic play central roles to shaping the destinies of Adam and Eve. Where God gives man free will Satan exploits this and corrupts man, resulting in their downfall. Milton adapts celestial machinery to his epic poem through God and Satan. In this way, when God gives man the power to think for themselves, it is in fact the first instance that a divine figure has played an active role in determining the fate of humans. The story is well known enough; God created man in his image and likeness and as an act of divine providence – gave them free will. Milton incorporates this into his epic as a part of a mechanism called celestial machinery. The fate of mankind was changed irreversibly when God gave man the power to act upon their own accord. God justifies this by saying that his angels have free will, and in fact it is the reason why those who are loyal to him remain loyal and those who fall have done so freely. Paradoxically, God plays an active role by not actively making sure that Adam and Eve do not under any circumstances eat from the Tree of Life. Milton’s incorporation of celestial machinery first involves God playing the active role of the benevolent Lord who though omnipotent gives man the privilege of free will. God is certainly the only cog in celestial machinery. Where there is good there is also evil. In Paradise Lost, Satan acts as a major driving force that moves the plot along. This would be common sense because in order for there to be a plot there must be a conflict of some sort, in this case good vs. evil. However, Milton adapts Satan to play a much more active role in shaping the fates of Adam and Eve. In Paradise Lost, Satan could reasonable be classified as a Romantic Hero, except in truth he does not actually play the part of hero. To elaborate, Satan possesses the characteristics of a Romantic Hero without being one....
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