John Milton 's Paradise Lost Essay

1782 Words Dec 5th, 2014 8 Pages
In what is considered one of the most ambitious works in literary history, John Milton uses the retelling of the Christian creation story as an allegory for what it means to be truly human. Focalized in this endeavor is man’s movement from inception, through the pursuit of knowledge, to the fulfillment and execution of free will. While Christian ideology (in other words, popular ideology) bases itself in the belief of Adam and Eve’s fall acting as man’s first sin and initial disobedience to God, Milton contorts this famous myth to justify God’s allowance of the fall despite his omnipotence and “eye [which] views all things at one view” regardless of place, time, or subject (Paradise Lost 2.189-190). Conveniently, Milton’s exploration of knowledge and free will in the form of allegory in Paradise Lost closely parallels and is assisted by two of his major works of prose, Areopagitica and Of Education. In these respective treatises, Milton vehemently combats the English Parliament’s Licensing Order of 1643 and the lacking 17th century education system. To summarize, Milton delivers one of history’s first and most ardent defenses of the freedom of expression through writing with Areopagitica, denouncing the English Parliament’s decree that all texts must receive approval and licensing before printing. Additionally, Milton’s Of Education lays out his personal take on an ideal education system that develops the tools of the self like reason and conscience needed to tackle problems…

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