Essay about John Milton 's Paradise Lost

1185 Words Sep 22nd, 2016 5 Pages
The idea of an encyclopedia is similar to the advice the archangel Raphael gives Adam in John Milton’s Paradise Lost. An encyclopedia holds more information than humans are capable of knowing, or even find necessary to know, just as Raphael conveys to Adam that all knowledge of God’s creation is beyond him to comprehend. The boundaries of knowledge and the capacity for humans to know is limited in Paradise Lost because only God is omniscient and there is no need to comprehend the entirety of the creation story because it is not practical, or of use to Adam. However, humans, by nature, are curious and have a desire to know more than they are told they should. Adam and Eve’s curiosity proves to be detrimental when they disobey God and fall from paradise. The want to know or to gain knowledge is compared to an appetite in Paradise Lost. Milton says, “knowledge is as food and needs no less her temperance over appetite to know, in measure what the mind may well contain, oppresses else with surfeit and soon turns wisdom to folly” (216). Adam persists on questioning the archangel Raphael because acquiring knowledge is like eating food, and humans need food to survive. Therefore, the desire to know more is inherent and it is just as essential to humans as it is to eat. It is difficult for Adam’s curiosity to be fulfilled because it is in his nature to constantly aspire to know more. This inherent need ultimately leads to the disobedience and fall of Adam and Eve since they go…

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