Paradise Lost By John Milton Essay

1515 Words Apr 11th, 2016 null Page
Paradise Lost is an epic poem written by the Puritan poet John Milton (Vogel 19). Paradise Lost was initially Milton’s attempt to emulate “his beloved classical epic poets, Homer and Virgil” (Vogel 20). Milton’s poem chronicles the fall of Lucifer and mankind, and the poem ultimately manages to transcend many of the traditional guidelines used for writing epics (Greenblatt 1944). One interesting deviation from the traditional epic format is Milton’s decision to cast Adam and Eve as his epic heroes (Greenblatt 1944). The Eve of Paradise Lost is an unexpectedly dynamic female character. Milton expands her temptation scene from one Bible verse (Genesis 3:6) to a scene that encompasses many pages (Vogel 19). Milton adheres to many of the 17th century philosophies concerning women, but he also incorporates forward-thinking notions about gender roles throughout the epic. Milton was influenced by contemporary debates and Biblical ideals as he wrote Paradise Lost. One analysis of Paradise Lost notes that “Milton’s early readers may have been surprised by the fullness and complexity of Eve’s character and the centrality of her role” (Greenblatt 1944). There are many scenes in Paradise Lost where Milton chooses to characterize Eve in a negative light, but his motives were not entirely misogynistic.
It is clear that Eve cannot simply be classified as an antifeminist or feminist character. Author Jeanie Grant Moore offers an illuminating explanation for the disparate nature of Eve’s…

Related Documents