Paradise Lost is an epic poem in blank verse by the
17th-century English poet John Milton. It was originally
published in 1667 in ten books, with a total of over ten
thousand individual lines of verse.
The use of language is supreme and sublime.
The language he uses in War like speeches of Satan is
another feature of epics.
. Through these speeches, the poet actually explains the
background and the scenery, the characters themselves
speak fully explaining their thoughts, feelings
and motives. 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 . In Book-1
the language he uses in Satan first speech shows
his leadership qualities.
“What though the field be lost, all is not lost,The
unconquered will ……… immortal hate”
The use of similes, metaphors and allusions are
another ingredient of epic writing and„Paradise Lost‟
is the best blend of this quality. Especially Book-I
can aptly be declared as one of the best example of
Milton‟s skill in using similes and metaphors
says “we must remember that
Milton poetical style has a greatness
and sublimity hardly attained by any
other English poet.”
Arnold says “ Milton of all our English
race is by his diction and rhythm the
one artist of highest rank”
objective is to prove that
how the use of language and
literary devices by Milton
makes his work a master piece
of English literature.
Milton "Corrupt our
How much is important the
role of language in paradise
What role literary devices
plays in Paradise Lost?
have used both methodology
qualitative and quantitative.
have taken the data from
Book 1 of paradise Lost.
Milton wrote Paradise Lost in dignified, lofty,
melodic English free of any colloquialisms and
slang that would have limited the work's timeliness
Milton writes in a very elevated, allusive, and dense
Milton is often not satisfied with one meaning from
a word, but will make it do double duty. Words
derived from Latin served this double purpose. To
the ordinary reader they convey one meaning and
to the scholar they suggest another. This gives a
suggestive power to Milton's language
The use of similes, epic similes, imagery and
allusions are ingredient of epic writing and
'Paradise Lost‟ is the best blend of this quality.
Paradise lost is an epic poem “ an epic is a long
narrative poem in elevated style about the
exploits of superhuman heroes”
one of most characteristic device is his use of
similes (; refers to the practice of drawing
parallels or comparisons between two unrelated
and dissimilar things, people, beings, places and
“ as when a prowmling wolf ,
hunger drives to seek to hunt for prey…”
A striking feature of Milton's style in Paradise Lost is
his use of epic similes. These go far beyond the
limits of comparison, and are expanded to draw
complete pictures. Satan's huge bulk is compared
to the huge Leviathan, who may be mistaken for an
created hugest that swim the ocean stream Him,
haply slumbering on the Norway foam
The pilot of some small night-foundered skiff.
Milton imagination embrace the whole universe.
The world of Paradise Lost is the supernatural
world peopled by God, the angles and the devils .
Even the adam and Eve, being the inhabitants of
These supernatural beings best suited to Milton
imagery than human beings.
An essential quality of Milton's poetic style is its
allusiveness. He, no doubt pressed to the service of
his poetry all that he observed in life and nature; but
his vision was often coloured by his knowledge.
Classical and Biblical allusions are most abundant.
Dr. Johnson called attention to the peculiarity of
Miltonic diction saying that it is so far removed from
common use that an unlearned reader when he first
opens the book, finds himself surprised by a new
language . T.S. Eliot points out, “it is not based
upon common speech or common prose, or direct
communication of meaning. It violates the accepted
rules of English grammar and syntax, so much so
that Dr. Johnson said that he "wrote no language".
Many modern critics have condemned Milton's style
However, there are many critics who defend Milton
against these charges. C.S. Lewis maintains that
the essential requirement of an epic style is
continuity. Milton produces this stylistic continuity
and in order to do this the idiom and rhythm of
normal speech have to be altered.
A sane critic is justified in giving these remarks;
“There is nothing in English literature, but Paradise
According to Matthew “ Milton is the supreme
master of the Grand Style”
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
John Milton ,Paradise Lost Book 1, New Kitab
Mehal Publications. 2007.Print.