ABSTRACT

In Paradise Regained, Milton employs biblical allusions in several significant ways. Through the very words and phrases of Scripture, he draws into the poem essential details of the encircling framework of Christ's total career and teaching, and he thereby puts the particular episode of the temptations into a biblical perspective. Many allusions recall biblical passages which emphasize Christ's humanity—his diligence in the study of the Scripture, his compassion for all men, and his passion and death. Other allusions serve to point up the superior exegetical principles which enable Christ to make Satan appear foolish in his misinterpretations of the Scriptures. Throughout the debates between Christ and Satan, allusions to the epistles of Paul and to the book of Revelation also provide a structural tension between the restraint and self-discipline needed in this world which are stressed in the Pauline allusions in the poem's early books and the eternal reward or punishment of the next world which is stressed in the allusions to Revelation, which increase near the poem's conclusion. Through his manipulations of biblical allusions, Milton alerts his readers to important nuances of Christ's victory and of the poem's meaning.

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