John Milton 's Paradise Lost Essay

1155 Words Mar 21st, 2016 5 Pages
Perhaps the most admirable quality of a poet is his or her ability to develop and combine ideas, images, metaphors, and symbols while uniquely interpreting these literary devices to reflect character’s individual perspectives. The seventeenth-century author, John Milton, emerged as a crucial and contemporary innovator of the epic genre with his poem Paradise Lost. Milton’s epic is “preeminently a poem about knowing and choosing—for the Miltonic Bard, for his characters, and for the reader” (Lewalski, 460). Principally, Paradise Lost embodies the subject of free will by exemplifying the opposition and incorporation of morality, discernment, and rigorous judgment; Milton truly prompts the “education of readers by exercising them in religious judgment, imaginative apprehension, and choice…involving a critique of values associated with those other heroes and genres” (Lewalski, 460). Two characters, in particular, hold analogous yet contrary perspectives on free will. Of this uniqueness and distinction, the depictions and connotations Milton instills into the characters of Satan and Beelzebub are the ones that lead the fallen angels into complex controversies, establishing Milton as a prestigious figure of seventeenth-century epic poetry. Satan and Beelzebub play the leading roles in launching war against God and embody the universal subject of free will. Yet, although these two characters embody a common subject, they signify two opposing perspectives within the subject itself.…

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