Paradise Lost


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Paradise Lost

  3. 3. INTRODUCTION  Paradise Lost is an epic poem in blank verse by the 17th-century English poet John Milton(1608-1674). It was originally published in 1667 in ten books, with a total of over ten thousand individual lines of verse. A second edition followed in 1674, changed into twelve books. It is considered by critics to be Milton's "major work", and the work helped to solidify his reputation as one of the greatest English poets of his time.  The poem concerns the Biblical story of the Fall of Man: the temptation of Adam and Eve by the fallen angel Satan and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Milton's purpose, stated in Book I, is to "justify the ways of God to men"
  4. 4. INTRODUCTION Paradise Lost is about Adam and Eve—how they came to be created and how they came to lose their place in the Garden of Eden, also called Paradise. It's the same story you find in the first pages of Genesis, expanded by Milton into a very long, detailed, narrative poem. It also includes the story of the origin of Satan. Originally, he was called Lucifer, an angel in heaven who led his followers in a war against God, and was ultimately sent with them to hell. Thirst for revenge led him to cause man's downfall by turning into a serpent and tempting Eve to eat the forbidden fruit. 
  5. 5. JOHN MILTON John Milton (9 December 1608 – 8 November 1674) was an English poet, polemicist, a scholarly man of letters, and a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell. He wrote at a time of religious flux and political upheaval, and is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost.  Got blind at early age and wrote Paradise Lost in complete blindness.  As a blind poet, Milton dictated his verse to a series of aides in his employ. 
  6. 6. SUMMARY The story opens in hell, where Satan and his followers are recovering from defeat in a war they waged against God. They build a palace, called Pandemonium, where they hold council to determine whether or not to return to battle. Instead they decide to explore a new world prophesied to be created, where a safer course of revenge can be planned. Satan undertakes the mission alone. At the gate of hell, he meets his offspring, Sin and Death, who unbar the gates for him. He journeys across chaos till he sees the new universe floating near the larger globe which is heaven. God sees Satan flying towards this world and foretells the fall of man. His Son, who sits at his right hand, offers to sacrifice himself for man's salvation. Meanwhile, Satan enters the new universe. He flies to the sun, where he tricks an angel, Uriel, into showing him the way to man's home. 
  7. 7. SUMMARY  Satan gains entrance into the Garden of Eden, where he finds Adam and Eve and becomes jealous of them. He overhears them speak of God's commandment that they should not eat the forbidden fruit. Uriel warns Gabriel and his angels, who are guarding the gate of Paradise, of Satan's presence. Satan is apprehended by them and banished from Eden. God sends Raphael to warn Adam and Eve about Satan. Raphael recounts to them how jealousy against the Son of God led a once favored angel to wage war against God in heaven, and how the Son, Messiah, cast him and his followers into hell. He relates how the world was created so mankind could one day replace the fallen angels in heaven.
  8. 8. SUMMARY Satan returns to earth, and enters a serpent. Finding Eve alone he induces her to eat the fruit of the forbidden tree. Adam, resigned to join in her fate, eats also. Their innocence is lost and they become aware of their nakedness. In shame and despair, they become hostile to each other. The Son of God descends to earth to judge the sinners, mercifully delaying their sentence of death. Sin and Death, sensing Satan's success, build a highway to earth, their new home. Upon his return to hell, instead of a celebration of victory, Satan and his crew are turned into serpents as punishment. Adam reconciles with Eve. God sends Michael to expel the pair from Paradise, but first to reveal to Adam future events resulting from his sin. Adam is saddened by these visions, but ultimately revived by revelations of the future coming of the Savior of mankind. In sadness, mitigated with hope, Adam and Eve are sent away from the Garden of Paradise. 
  9. 9. DEFINITION OF EPIC “An Epic is a highest form of poetry i.e. a long narrative poem in which characters and actions are of heroic proportions. It is written in an elevated style with a serious theme at least of national or international level.” 
  10. 10. CHARACTERISTICS OF EPIC 1. The hero is a figure of great national or even cosmic(huge) importance, usually the ideal man of his culture. He often has superhuman or divine traits. He has an imposing physical stature and is greater in all ways than the common man. 2. The setting is vast in scope. It covers great geographical distances, perhaps even visiting the underworld, other worlds.  
  11. 11. CHARACTERISTICS OF EPIC  3.The action consists of deeds of valor or superhuman co urage (especially in battle).  4.Supernatural forces interest themselves in the action and intervene at times. The intervention of the gods is called "machinery."  5.The style of writing is elevated, even ceremonial (traditional).
  12. 12. CHARACTERISTICS OF EPIC 6. Additional conventions: certainly all are not always present)  Opens by stating the theme of the epic.  Writer invokes a Muse. The poet prays to the muses to provide him with divine inspiration to tell the story of a great hero.  Main characters give extended formal speeches.  Use of the epic simile. A standard simile is a comparison using "like" or "as." An epic simile is a more involved, ornate comparison, extended in great detail.  Heavy use of repetition and stock phrases. The poet repeats passages that consist of several lines in various sections of the epic, short, recurrent phrases used to describe people, places, or things. Both made the poem easier to memorize.
  13. 13. PARADISE LOST AS AN EPIC In literature, an epic is a narrative poem on the grand scale and in majestic style concerning the exploits and adventures of a superhuman hero (or heroes) engaged in a quest or some serious Endeavour. The hero is distinguished above all men by his strength and courage, and is restrained (reserved) only by a sense of honor. The subject-matter of epic includes myth, legend, history, and folk tale. 
  14. 14. PARADISE LOST AS AN EPIC  It is usually set in a heroic age of the past and embodies its country's early history and expresses its values. Battles and perilous journeys play a large part, as do gods, the supernatural, and magic; scenes are often set in the underworld or in heaven. The high sounding, bombastic and ornate language, war like speeches, ancient and mythical references and the use of supernatural machinery are some of the main features or essential ingredients of the epic writing.
  15. 15. Characteristics of Paradise Lost as an Epic   Aristotle described six characteristics: "fable, action, characters, sentiments, diction, and meter" most important elements of epic. Fable: Fable or story is the basis of the epic. The subject of the Paradise lost concerns with not only a nation or a particular country, rather the destiny of the whole mankind is associated with it. In this particular sense, Paradise lost excels others epic as its action is contrived (manufactured) in hell, executed on earth and punishes by heaven. Theme: The first conviction (certainty) of epic writing is that it carries a serious theme at least of nation or international level. The theme of an epic, according to Aristotle, must be “probable and marvelous”. Milton, however, makes some changes in choosing theme as in the very early lines he declares that his aim was to attempt, “Things unattempted yet in Prose or rhyme”
  16. 16. Characteristics of Paradise Lost as an Epic   Characters: The characters in the epic, like other classical epics, are of high status rather more high and noble than ancient heroes of Homer and Virgil. The characters in Milton’s Paradise Lost are the most sublime that human beings can conceive. They are God, Christ, the good and evil angels, and Adam and Eve, the Parents of whole human race and their status enjoying heavenly life. Episodes: Like the classical epic writers, Milton succeeds in lending “Paradise Lost” with perfect unity of plot. Everything even in the poem leads up to or flows from it. The plucking of the fruit of the tree of knowledge, the war between God & Satan, followed by the fall of Satan, Long descriptions of hell and heaven and seduction scene all these events are closely woven and seem a single and a compact action.
  17. 17. Characteristics of Paradise Lost as an Epic   Diction & Style: War like speeches is another feature of epics. Milton once again seems at the top, while presenting the war like speeches of Satan, who emerges as a giant leader with all heroic qualities inspiring all the readers.The whip of words works and all of the fallen shrubs rise and whole dark hell resounds with their slogans and flashes with blazing swords and shields. Integrity: The use of similes, metaphors and allusion (reference) are another ingredient of epic writing and ‘Paradise Lost’ is the best blend of this quality.
  18. 18. Characteristics of Paradise Lost as an Epic   Machinery: The classical writers set another tradition i.e., the use of supernatural machinery, which develops the plot and solves its complications. John Milton’s skill once again excels other poets in exhibiting the superb usage of supernatural machinery in the poem. Sentiments: As Paradise Lost primarily deals with supernatural powers and agencies, there is very little scope for the expression of human sentiments. But the real greatness of Milton lies in the fact that he has rendered supernatural powers as human beings and ascribed to them human sentiments.
  19. 19. PARADISE LOST 1-13 Of Mans First Disobedience, and the Fruit  Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal tast  Brought Death into the World, and all our woe,  With loss of Eden, till one greater Man  Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat,  Sing Heav'nly Muse, that on the secret top  Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire  That Shepherd, who first taught the chosen Seed,  In the Beginning how the Heav'ns and Earth  Rose out of Chaos: Or if Sion Hill  Delight thee more, and Siloa's Brook that flow'd  Fast by the Oracle of God; I thence  Invoke thy aid to my adventrous Song, 
  20. 20. PARADISE LOST 14-26 That with no middle flight intends to soar  Above th' Aonian Mount, while it pursues  Things unattempted yet in Prose or Rhime.  And chiefly Thou O Spirit, that dost prefer  Before all Temples th' upright heart and pure,  Instruct me, for Thou know'st; Thou from the first  Wast present, and with mighty wings outspread  Dove-like satst brooding on the vast Abyss  And mad'st it pregnant: What in me is dark  Illumin, what is low raise and support;  That to the highth of this great Argument  I may assert Eternal Providence,  And justifie the wayes of God to men. 
  21. 21. SUMMARY 1-26 Milton opens Paradise Lost by formally declaring his poem’s subject: humankind’s first act of disobedience toward God, and the consequences that followed from it. The act is Adam and Eve’s eating of the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, as told in Genesis, the first book of the Bible. In the first line, Milton refers to the outcome of Adam and Eve’s sin as the “fruit” of the forbidden tree, punning on the actual apple and the figurative fruits of their actions. Milton asserts that this original sin brought death to human beings for the first time, causing us to lose our home in paradise until Jesus comes to restore humankind to its former position of purity. 
  22. 22. SUMMARY 1-26  Milton’s speaker invokes the muse, a mystical source of poetic inspiration, to sing about these subjects through him, but he makes it clear that he refers to a different muse from the muses who traditionally inspired classical poets by specifying that his muse inspired Moses to receive the Ten Commandments and write Genesis. Milton’s muse is the Holy Spirit, which inspired the Christian Bible, not one of the nine classical muses who reside on Mount Helicon—the “Aonian mount” of I.15. He says that his poem, like his muse, will fly above those of the Classical poets and accomplish things never attempted before, because his source of inspiration is greater than theirs. Then he invokes the Holy Spirit, asking it to fill him with knowledge of the beginning of the world, because the Holy Spirit was the active force in creating the universe.
  23. 23. SUMMARY 1-26  Milton’s speaker announces that he wants to be inspired with this sacred knowledge because he wants to show his fellow man that the fall of humankind into sin and death was part of God’s greater plan, and that God’s plan is justified.
  24. 24. CONCLUSION To conclude it would be very apt to remark that “Paradise Lost” fulfills all the requirements and the convictions laid down by the classics and is one of the best epic ever written in English literature. A sane critic is justified in giving these remarks; “There is nothing in English literature, but Paradise Lost”  English literature will remain indebted to Milton for his remarkable and glowing piece of literature for all the ages. Milton following the classical tradition matches his own purpose i.e.“ justifies the ways of God to men” and has transformed the classical secular epic into a theological and universal one. He actually has enriched the epic tradition and it is apt to say that ‘Paradise Lost’ is the best example of the tradition and the individual talent. Therefore, it’s confirmed that the subject of this epic is more ancient, serious and lofty(superior) than any other epic. It promotes a universal view of man’s life. 