ABSTRACT

In Paradise Lost Milton simulates the role of the creator by certain rhetorical aims and techniques: Milton's creation is to aid the replenishment of heaven with true, faithful, and loving spirits by asserting God's great love seen in his eternal providence and by countering the antiheroic element that sees God as unjust and tyrannic. The complexity of Milton's simulated creation of a world is seen in the poem's intricate structures; its philosophical technique is sustained by the literary device of opposites, each of which moves from one extreme to the other and which together create the vagueness of distinction between them which is characteristic of man's thought. His world, like God's, is ever changing: the techniques to emphasize this are the compounding of time, the “harassing” of the reader, the manipulation of language, the structure of the poem, alterations in style. But over all is a persistent threat of truth. The contrast between the first (in man's mind) and the second (in God's mind) is seen in Satan, who is a Steppenwolf wishing to become an Everyman. The world's problems owe much to Everyman's (Adam and Eve's) becoming Steppenwolf. Milton's thesis is: experience is fulfilled in living, not after death, if we accept life as it is.

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