The Concept Of God In Paradise Lost By John Milton

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In the Year 1652 John Milton went completely blind while trying to write an epic poem that would justify the ways of God to men. The action of writing Paradise Lost was a desperate attempt to draw people back to God as they began to flock towards science. In this attempt Milton tried to explain why God would allow evil to exist, and harm his people. Despite Milton’s efforts to paint God in a good light the readers of his poem have interpreted his writing in several different ways. Some who study Milton create the opinion that God is a cold, merciless, and wicked thing that man created. Others develop the idea that God is a “God of ‘not knowing”, and that man struggles to grasp the concept of an all powerful deity. Luckily for Milton he did …show more content…
The moment the play begins it paints God in a bad light by admitting his absence. The readers don’t actually meet God until book three, and by that time Satan has already been established, in the reader’s mind, as the hero of the story. Unfortunately for Milton, the first words that God speaks in the poem are meant to mock the devils attempt to climb back into heaven. He says, “... 'Only begotten Son, seest thou what rage | Transports our adversary',” (Book III, Line 80). For a man who was already in the shadow of the devil himself this line was not the most thought out. God’s first impression on the reader is that he is a cruel ruler that has no remorse for those below him. Socialist, William Empson, suggests that Milton’s God was failed, and could be interpreted as “...cold, merciless, and tyrannical.” A writer for the website, Darkness Visible, writes that Milton’s description of God makes him appear,”...to be the wickedest thing yet invented by the black heart of man,” (MacQueen). This fact poses a problem for Milton and his intended image of God to his …show more content…
While Milton attempts to make God closer to the people he meets he actually makes him appear to be far away. The number of times God speaks in the poem limits the readers ability to become familiar, and comfortable with him. Heaven itself is described to be, “...Distant so high…” (Book 7, line 87), and that affects God’s ability to come face to face with Adam and Eve. Both factors make it extremely difficult for the reader to connect with Milton’s God, and defeats Milton’s purpose. One Philosopher, Stephen Fall, believes that the factors above lead to Milton’s failure, “...to engage with his goal of helping his readers better understand God.” Each factor that represents God’s distance from Earth and his people creates a feeling among readers that makes him seem out of

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