Essay on The First Words Of Paradise Lost
The first words of Paradise Lost states that the poem’s main theme would be of “Man’s first Disobedience.” Milton narrated the story of Adam and Eve’s defiance, explained how and why it happened, and placed the story within the larger context of Satan’s revolt and Jesus’ rebirth. Raphael informed Adam about Satan’s defiance in an effort to give him a secure understanding of the danger that Satan and humanity’s defiance poses. Paradise Lost presented two moral paths that one can take after defiance: the descending spiral of growing sin and dreadful conditions, exemplified by Satan, and the road to improvement, exemplified by Adam and Eve.
While Adam and Eve were the first individuals to defy God, Satan is the first of all God’s creation to disobey. His choice to rebel came only from himself—he was not convinced or motivated by others. Also, his choice to continue to defy God after his fall into Hell guaranteed that God would not forgive him. On the other hand, Adam and Eve chose to repent for their sins and asked for forgiveness. Unlike Satan, Adam and Eve understood that their defiance to God would be amended through generations of labor on Earth. This path is obviously the correct one to take: the visions in Books XI and XII established that compliance to God, even after constant falls, could lead to humanity’s deliverance.
Paradise Lost is about hierarchy as much as it is about compliance. The arrangement of the universe—with Heaven above, Hell below, and…