Paradise lost

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John Milton

Name: Carolina Silva P.
British Studies II

Santiago, October 15th 2009

Paradise Lost

1- Consider the verse itself. Milton was aware that in writing in blank verse, rather than in pairs of rhyming lines, he was out fashion. In a prefatory note he defended his use ofblank verse. Here are some verses by a later poet (John Dryden) on a theme close to that of Paradise Lost. Dryden is speaking of a religious truths that are beyond the rational understanding of man:
Thus man by his own strength to Heaven would soar
And would not be obligated to God for more.
Vain, wretched creature, how art thou misled
To think thy wit these godlike notions bred

Comparethese lines whit the angel Michael’ speech in section IV, lines 18-31. Dryden’s couplets are neat and precise. But what qualities do you find in Milton’s unrhymed lines that are not present in Dryden’s line

Even if John Dryden writes in a more precise form, his writing does not achieve expressing himself as Milton does. I think that having tried to rhyme verses, these lack of some elementscompared with the Milton’s unrhymed lines. Dryden can not express himself in a complete way because of that, and his poem might not reflect what he did want to say. I believe that Dryden lacks of what Milton has: writing in a free form. On the other hand, as Dryden’s poem lacks of vocabulary, Milton’s is not determined by a certain structure using unrhymed lines and irregular forms of writing(because he writes in blank verse); in that way, Milton has more freedom to express himself, his inspiration and ideas. In spite of the fact that they write similar topics, they use different styles of writing. While Dryden’s poem was written following rigth structures, Milton does in a complete free way.

2- Milton frequently mingles allusions to Greek and Roman mythology with allusions to the Bible.The practice raises difficulties for those who have not read – as Milton and the educated men of his times had- the literature of Greece and Rome. What kind of dimension does this mingling add to the poem? What does it suggest about the importance if Milton’s subject? What does it suggest about the time in which his event occurred?

Milton’s references to Greek and Roman mythology add toParadise Lost a traditional nature. Biblical allusions also add a certain empirical and transcendental nature to his work. In addition Milton shows in his poem a true love and respect for ancient poets from Greek and Roman culture, this is because they have influenced him at the moment of writing Paradise Lost. Moreover, as we read the poem, we can notice that Milton uses his religious beliefs tosupport his work. This kind of themes have been spoken since ancient times. So, this type of topics are durable. Nobody deny these because they are based on the Holy Bible, which contains historical facts. It is known that this epic poem is a kind of interpretation of religious and politicas issues. We have to remember that Milton existed in the problematic period of the English Civil War andCromwell’s Republic in 1660.

3- Many readers have felt that no character in the poem is so grand and so large as Satan. How do you chacterize his speech in Part I? Do you hear any large gesture of defiance in it? Explain.

Satan admits that God is higher than him and also more powerful but in spite of that he would never subjugate to his authority. As we read Paradie Lost we can notice that Satanis presented as ambitious and defiant. Besides he is also contradictory as he is a kind of mixture between fear and envy of God.
I think that Satan has a defiant attitud for the fact that her will never show himself as repentant or obedient.

4. Now consider the temptation scene. How does Satan’s disguise here contrast with his bearing as he speaks in part I ? What verb does Milton use to...
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