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Reflections Of Milton In Paradise Lost And On Having Arrived

1149 words - 5 pages

Reflections of Milton in Paradise Lost and On Having Arrived

 

     At a young age, John Milton was convinced that he was destined for

greatness.  He thought that he "might perhaps leave something so written to

aftertimes as they should not willingly let it die"(Text 414).  For this

reason he thought that his life was very important to himself and to others.

 He often wrote directly about himself, and he used his life experiences as

roots for his literature.  In Paradise Lost and in a sonnet entitled "On

His Blindness," Milton speaks indirectly and directly of his loss of vision.

 Also in Paradise Lost, he uses ...view middle of the document...

  He asks to

be granted the power to work through his blindness.  He obviously thinks of

his blindness as a major weakness.  Later in the text, he describes Hell as

having "no light, but rather darkness visible"(Hndout 270).  It is Milton's

way of almost subliminally implying that his condition is comparable to

being damned to the underworld.  His blindness was something that he

constantly had to deal with and he managed to include it in most of his

works.

 

     At the prime of Milton's life, the political situation in England was

very unsteady.  Charles I was overthrown, and the Puritan dictator Oliver

Cromwell installed himself as the "Lord Protector."  Being a Puritan

himself, Milton supported this new government, and he even held a job

within it.  But, England became tired of the strict Puritan rule, and

Cromwell's son was defeated, and hastily replaced by Charles II.  Everyone

who supported Cromwell and the civil war was sentenced to death. Because

of his standing in the community, Milton was allowed to retire in peace.

As punishment he lost everything he had including his reputation.  He would

use the events of his life to help him form the story for book one of

Paradise Lost.  In his greatest work, Milton begins with a civil war in

Heaven during which Lucifer and Beelzebub are defeated and banished to Hell.

This event parallels the civil war within England with the Puritans as

Lucifer, and the rest of England as God.  The Puritans tried to take over

England, but they were defeated after a number of years.  Most of the

Puritan's were killed, Milton was banished from society.  Lucifer was

banished to Hell, and he would forever lose his reputation as an archangel.

These similarities lead scholars to believe that Satan is Milton. Lucifer

says that they should make a "Heaven of Hell"(Hndout 280).  This line shows

that Satan had the will to work through the bad times and make the best of

it.  Milton acted the same way with his blindness.  Milton seems to be a

part of Satan's character.

 

     In book nine of Paradise Lost, Milton tells the...

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