Patriarchy In Paradise Lost

Superior Essays
Milton’s Theodicy
(A Critique of Milton’s Theodicy) There are essentially three parts to the triangle regarding theodicy. One is that there are terrible, gruesome things that happen in the world from a day to day basis; it’s horrible, awful stuff happening to people throughout the world. Another side of this symbolic triangle is a God who is all powerful. Furthermore, the final side of the triangle is the same God who is all loving. He wants what’s best for all of us and is all merciful. Well then, this obviously raises the question of why bad things happen to good people. If there is a deity who is all powerful and all merciful, then why on earth wouldn’t he be able to remove the heartache and pain that we are going through each and every
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Milton ultimately creates the patriarchy with the fall of Adam and Eve as he deals them their punishments for disobeying him. Williamson describes the multiple purposes God has in mind with these consequences, stating, “In Milton’s strategy the didactic element is intended both to motivate and to amplify the tragic consequences of the fall of man” (Williamson). The fact that men would have to labor for the rest of their lives to provide for their families was meant to motivate them to work hard and also increase the punishment for deliberately disobeying God. Eve is punished in the way that she along with all other women will go through a great amount of pain during childbirth. She will also have to submit herself to Adam, thus creating the patriarchy. This directs us back to theodicy, and the question of why God would make the world this way if he knew it would cause pain and suffering. Why would God want to put all of his beloved daughters through a painful physical experience to have children? Why would he make them live under their husbands, having to feel of less worth than them? Milton explains that all is lost as soon as Eve partakes of the fruit, saying, “Earth felt the wound, and Nature from her seat sighing through all her works gave signs of woe that all was lost” (IX 780-784). Perhaps God decided to create the patriarchy in more drastic terms because of Eve’s disobedience. Maybe God had the patriarchy system all lined out before any of this ever

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