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
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...