The Fallen Angels in John Milton's Paradise Lost Essay example

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The Fallen Angels in Paradise Lost



The fallen angels are Satan's minions and the voices by which

Milton may express a variety of opinions and views, showing the diversity

and intricacies of Hell, and the immorality of their actions and proposals.

Whilst we are often impressed by the skill with which the individual

leaders perform their tasks and speeches, we are never left in any doubt as

to the truth of G-d, and the futility of their debates. By examining the

angels as a group, Milton is able to leave the infernal dungeon, to take a

flight throughout history, giving his own point of view. It is thus that

Books I and II of "Paradise Lost" are so unique, as the alternative, and
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What is made clear throughout, is the fact that these

civilisations are tainted by their neglect of the true G-d, in favour of

these idols, which leads to their resultant downfall. First, we meet the

icons to which Solomon sinfully built temples, and failed in his duty to

the Lord. Moloch, the sun god, is the embodiment of wrath, demanding

bloodthirsty human sacrifice from the Ammonite children; Chemos, god of the

Moabites, and the Baalim, the Palestinian gods. The history behind these

gods is noted carefully by Milton, and their mention does have significant

meaning - when destroyed by Josiah, Solomon's temple to Moloch was known as

either Tophet or Gehenna: other names for Hell. The angels, who "can

either sex assume" may also take up the form of goddesses, whether the moon

goddess Ashtaroth or Astarte; the universal nature of these counterfeit

gods demonstrates the far-reaching effects of Satan's evil; that every time

and place has been touched by this false reverence. We move geographical

location, as Milton cites the sun god of fertility, Thammuz, lover of Venus,

frantically worshipped every year in Babylon; the Philistine fish god Dagon,

and the Syrian sun god Rimmon. Indeed, the angels have manifested

themselves in other ages, as the "bleating" animal gods of Egypt that

Milton scorned so - who "with monstrous shapes" are the renewed Olympian

gods in "brutish…

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