Paradise Lost Themes/Quotes

Kirsty S
Mind Map by Kirsty S, updated more than 1 year ago
Kirsty S
Created by Kirsty S almost 5 years ago


Paradise Lost

Resource summary

Paradise Lost Themes/Quotes
1 Form
1.1 Poem
1.1.1 Epic poem Battle of Good v Evil "Heavenl'y muse" Milton is giving himself authority by crediting his work to the Holy Spirit Classical reference
1.1.2 Uses poetic conventions Book 3 lines 55 - 79 11/2/11 - two lines about love directly sandwiched between pure nature and corrupt nature Milton is implying that pure love seperates corruption and purity Similar patterns used throughout "Of man's first disobedience and the fruit of the forbidden tree" the f alliteration draws attention to those three words - emphasis Creates a second sentence; "first fruit forbidden" - double dissonance
1.1.3 Makes use of symbols eg. Heaven/God = light Hell is "far removed from God and light of heaven" Out of the light and out of God's favour
1.1.4 The reader is plunged straight into the action as Satan wakes up on the lake of fire Sensationalised tale
2 Hell Mirroring Heaven
2.1 Hell has similarities to heaven, but usually displays them as warped
2.1.1 Satan has 12 main followers - reminiscent of the twelve disciples of Christ but once again corrupt
2.1.2 Similar topography to the Earth itself (and Heaven) but chaotic/corrupt
2.1.3 More like a democracy then Heaven but Satan is still "king" Beelzebub sarcastically calls him "Prince of Hell"
2.1.4 Hell still has hierarchy of angels Satan's followers are angels, but they have been grotesquel disfigured by their fall
2.2 "Unholy Trinity"
2.2.1 Satan / Sin / Death Borne from lust Hideous Milton's personal view highlighted - lust negative This is also present after Adam and Eve eat from the Tree of Knowledge and have sex driven by lust (it is implied by the conversations between Raphael and Adam that they had previously been itimate; but this is different and part of their fall.) Parallels God (the Father) / The Son / The Holy Spirit Personifying concepts was a common tool Earlier : Faerie Queene Kind of subtle Later: The Pilgrim's Progress Blatant
3 Political Implications
3.1 Critics believe that within the council of hell there are many subtle references to politicians of the day
3.1.1 Would require more knowledge
3.2 Anti-Catholic
3.2.1 Temple of Satan book 5 is a reference to St Peter's Catheral in Rome -- centre of Catholic Church Sin and Death build bridge between Hell and Earth to allow themselves and Satan to travel between - as well as welcome Man "wondrous Pontifice" Used in Reference to Catholic Pope - Milton commenting that Catholicism is basically path to Hell
3.3 Satan's Democracy vs God's Monarchy
3.3.1 Satan believes that he was "serving" under God, and himself holds parliament and discussion within Hell but the outcome is evil God is an autocratic ruler but is shown very positively Milton feelings about Charles' execution? - examplifies that right actions done for the wrong reasons (eg. pride/greed/vanity) or carried out irrationally are not right.
3.4 "paradise of fools" between earth and heaven
3.4.1 Calvinism?
4 Satan
4.1 Some critics believe that Satan is the central character / protagonist of the poem
4.1.1 Especially during romantic era
4.1.2 Satan is a charismatic leader who hides his manipulation well God - "Man will hearken to his glozing lies" "Better to reign in Hell than serve in heaven" "Make a heaven out of Hell"
4.1.3 Portrayal onwards of book 4 begins to sour his image Laments his loss upon seeing Adam and Eve Consistantly changing form to lesser beings - Cherub / Toad / Snake Has become true monstrosity by the end of the poem - moral decay
4.2 Was second to God - felt that he should be God's equal and felt affronted to be expected to bow to The Son
4.2.1 Staged a three day revolt that saw him expelled from heaven "Fall" image will be ongoing throughout the poem Adam and Eve realise that they wll be able to redeem themselves by pleasing God voluntarily Satan does not believe that he will be better off in Heaven so stubbornly refuses to accept his fate -- fixates on displeasing God further
5 Good vs Evil
5.1 Obvious
5.2 "Justify the ways of God to men"
5.2.1 Milton is exploring the tale of the Fall of Satan/Mankind and also the cosmic battle of Good v Evil
5.2.2 Book 7 Raphael explains that man were created to work their way into Heaven
5.3 The devils' conversations
5.3.1 Moloch Go to war on God "victory is yet revenge"
5.3.2 Belial God would not kill them, why not stay in Hell and accept their fate and perhaps be forgiven
5.3.3 Mammon create and equal force
5.3.4 Beelzebub None of these will work - they will never be true rulers of Hell - far from God but still part of his control, war will not suceed as Heaven is stronger and submission will not yield forgiveness The only true revenge they can have is upon earth; but corrupting God's creation man Milton suggests that good and evil are only equal within people and that is the only way evil can triumph
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