Milton’s Paradise Lost – From My Point of View

Literature is great. Spending time with a good book or some poetry is one of the best ways to end a day, or week, or month. Literature, whether novels, non-fiction work or poetry, can teach us a lot about the world. 

Poetry is often harder to decipher than novels and other works of art that have more words. Poetry is difficult because it has rhythm and fewer words. The fewer the words, the more meaning each of them has.

John Milton’s Paradise Lost is an epic poem, written from 1656 and 1674. It took quite a long time to be written, but the result is something we analyze to this day.

Here is what I found in Paradise Lost to be very interesting.

Free Will

Free Will is a very common topic in many works of art. Whether you watch the Matrix (the first one) or simply the world around you, you will find free will as one of the most popular topics. 

In Paradise Lost, it was through free will that Adam and Eve got into the situation that they were in, cast out from Eden, bringing all sorts of trouble to humankind. The first of the humans made errors, but they made them by being able to exert free will.

Without free will and the ability to make decisions, we would be slaves. Slaves of the mind, we would not have any creativity or ability to produce novelty. 

With free will comes choice, to do good deeds or bad ones, but it is through choice that we can make. 

In Milton’s Paradise Lost, Satan’s choice was obviously not the right one and has had consequences, so there is a limit as to how far you can push your free will.

God’s Mysterious Ways – Explained

Death is a pressing subject and many of us are afraid of it. It comes eventually but most people are not happy about it, rather, they are terrified. Milton wanted to explain how God’s ways work but that topic still remains a debate to this day.

How can the world have a loving ruler when all this madness takes place? One of the explanations is that free will gives us the right to choose good or bad. By choosing good and being virtuous, we defend what we stand for. When one of us does bad deeds, however, it is like all of us are guilty.

That does not seem fair, but in the end, choice was given and we once more get back to free will. God allows choice, but also punishes when bad choices are made. Any stricter and we are dealing with a tyrant.

Knowledge

The Tree of Knowledge was problematic, or rather, eating fruit from the tree. The reason for that is that eating from the tree represents overreaching. Learning patiently, under God, would yield the same results, albeit one would have to wait longer. Reaching too far gets one’s wings burned, Icarus.

Milton’s Paradise Lost is a great poem which can be analyzed for centuries and still have more to tell us. This was just another addition to the many.