Justify The Ways Of God In Paradise Lost By John Milton

Improved Essays
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…
Milton uses his God to explain that he wants his people to have the freedom of choice. In Paradise Lost God is quoted saying that he made his people, “...just and right, sufficient to have stood, though free to fall,” (Book 3, Lines 98-99). In those lines Milton explains that God will not prevent the movements of evil so that his people have the freedom to choose. When Satan enters Edan God does not try to stop him with his full force. He aims to test Adam and Eve’s strength by allowing Satan to inflict his deception on them. Adam and Eve both fail the test and that saddens God, but it also shows that the couple were not loyal to him. Biblical writers support this idea by saying, “genuine love cannot exist unless freely given through free choice to accept God’s love or to reject it,” (McDowell) and thus God allows evil to exist and enter Edan. Milton finally allows readers to understand his purpose for writing Paradise Lost, and his passion for it.
Milton had written Paradise Lost to justify the ways of God to men, and did so poorly. His inability to involve God in the story more affected the readers ability to connect with the ruler. Milton’s other shortcomings paint God in a negative light and creates a cold feeling radiating from God himself. The only area in which Milton successfully defends God is with the idea that he intends for all his people to have free will, and the choice to fall if they wish. Overall Milton failed to achieve his goal, and instead made God appear to be the antagonist of his

Related Documents

  • Superior Essays

    Authority In Paradise Lost

    • 1423 Words
    • 6 Pages

    It can be interpreted that from this pride, the fallen angel’s depiction of God’s authority is no more than an exaggeration, an attempt to demonize God as a tyrannical figure. It further establishes Satan and God as foils of one another – not only being on the sides of evil and good respectively, but also as Satan’s desire for free will contrasts with God’s implementation of absolute authority. But conversely, Satan also addresses that not all is perfect under God; he addresses that the heavenly king has been “proclaiming peace, / yet [men] live in hatred, enmity, and strife] (2:499-500). In the eyes of Satan, God’s demand for respect as a ruler tries to justify the fallen angel’s hatred of…

    • 1423 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The words, “Felix cupla” are used to describe the minister’s actions in the story; this phrase is Latin and means “happy fault”. They continue to support this reasoning of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s character the minister being absurd because the sinner will not integrate his new knowledge and grow on to full maturity. Instead he will have a moral disintegration and alienation, which would be no maturity shown though the realization of his sin. In Hawthorne’s work the minister goes on as being isolated from everyone else not maturing from his realization of his sin therefore leading to his realization of evil as just plain selfish egotistical…

    • 1172 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The judges needed Proctor to create the false confession. Reverend Hale believed God would be more forgiving to Proctor for lying; however, Goody Proctor believed the Devil may say the same thing. If John agreed to compose the false confession, he subjected his further kin to ridicule and shame, and lost his one and only honest piece of what would be left. If your life lay in the balance of telling a lie, how would you…

    • 444 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    This is to remind the reader who at this point may think that Satan is making some good points that Satan is supposed to be the evil one of the text. Or to put doubt into the reader who already firmly believes that Satan is evil. Causing them to second guess themselves and question why Milton constantly is trying say that Satan and God are similar, but that just Satan is being evil. This quote also contains Satan’s justification to himself that his actions are correct, and that what he is doing is correct because of the times God has wronged him. If God and Satan are constantly being mirrored throughout the text, then (Paradise Lost 3.p.757,ll.…

    • 724 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The book of Job starts with a scene in heaven where Satan comes and challenges God that if he is given permission to inflict pain and punish Job, that Job will turn against God and curse him¬. Satan believes that Job serves God only because he protects him and keeps him safe, that is why he wants God’s permission to punish him and prove that Job will turn against God. From here we can see that the story is going to include a major turn of events because God agrees with Satan, given he doesn’t kill Job in the process. I believe that this part raises a question regarding God’s position and his actions. Why did he agree with Satan?…

    • 1451 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    The ones that walked away could be God’s wrath on sinful humanity “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them”(Romans 1 18-19). Even though God was aware that this was going to happen he was still upset because instead of having all humanity suffer he sent his son…

    • 1434 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    It is hard for readers to connect to moral beings like the good angels in Paradise Lost because of the sinful nature of mankind. By presenting the character of Satan, who tempts the readers by struggling with authority and knowledge just as they do, Milton gives his audience a character to relate to. Even though some readers might find Satan to be the hero, the detailed descriptions of the consequences of his actions are to warn people into obeying God. According to one scholar, “Satan...does not, in the end, prevail or achieve his goal,” suggesting that the character of Satan is not a hero to the reader as he fails (Smith). As Satan loses to God after being disobedient, so will any reader who falls in his footsteps.…

    • 1245 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Faustus feels religion offers wider outlooks but does not trust it. He quotes St. Jerome’s bible about man sinning and how it equates to death. “ 'The reward of sin is death. ' That 's hard. 'If we say that we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and there 's no truth in us. '…

    • 1701 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Essay On The Devil

    • 1824 Words
    • 8 Pages

    The Bible as a teaching tool, tells that by worshiping anything but God directly is idolatry. In Exodus 32, when the Israelites worship God through the golden calf, God is so upset that he nearly kills them all for their sin. This is the devil’s plan, to pit his will against God’s will. Since Satan cannot create anything, he realizes that human beings have free will, and he can manufacture items away from God and create his own evil. Because his evil is a big part of the earth, his application of his own pride is the perfect numeric value of 666.…

    • 1824 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    He tells it that he hates its beams because they remind him of what he once was”(III). Satan therefore resolves to be evil because he has no hope or fear. “His self awareness is elicited by the sun’s brilliance, an external that not only recalls a lost paradise but intensifies the darkness of his inner being”(Fields. 396) Satan wants to liken himself to God, he wants to be like God and he believes “that it is better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven, since he tries to ignore, perhaps is already beginning to forget, the…

    • 1503 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays