Essays on paradise lost book 1

The sun was now low beneath the horizon. Darkness spread rapidly. None of my selves could see anything beyond the tapering light of our headlamps on the hedge. I summoned them together. "Now," I said, "comes the season of making up our accounts. Now we have got to collect ourselves; we have got to be one self. Nothing is to be seen any more, except one wedge of road and bank which our lights repeat incessantly. We are perfectly provided for. We are warmly wrapped in a rug; we are protected from wind and rain. We are alone. Now is the time of reckoning. Now I, who preside over the company, am going to arrange in order the trophies which we have all brought in. Let me see; there was a great deal of beauty brought in to-day: farmhouses; cliffs standing out to sea; marbled fields; mottled fields; red feathered skies; all that. Also there was disappearance and the death of the individual. The vanishing road and the window lit for a second and then dark. And then there was the sudden dancing light, that was hung in the future. What we have made then to-day," I said, "is this: that beauty; death of the individual; and the future. Look, I will make a little figure for your satisfaction; here he comes. Does this little figure advancing through beauty, through death, to the economical, powerful and efficient future when houses will be cleansed by a puff of hot wind satisfy you? Look at him; there on my knee." We sat and looked at the figure we had made that day. Great sheer slabs of rock, tree tufted, surrounded him. He was for a second very, very solemn. Indeed it seemed as if the reality of things were displayed there on the rug. A violent thrill ran through us; as if a charge of electricity had entered in to us. We cried out together: "Yes, yes," as if affirming something, in a moment of recognition.

Eve is the second human created by God, taken from one of Adam's ribs and shaped into a female form of Adam. Far from the traditional model of a good wife, she is often unwilling to be submissive towards Adam. She is more intelligent and curious about external ideas than her husband. Though happy, she longs for knowledge and, more specifically, self-knowledge. Her first act in existence is to turn away from Adam and look at and ponder her own reflection. Eve is extremely beautiful and thoroughly in love with Adam, though may feel suffocated by his constant presence. In Book IX, she convinces Adam that it would be good for them to split up and work different parts of the Garden. In her solitude, she is tempted by Satan to sin against God. Adam shortly follows along with her.

John Milton published the first edition of Paradise Lost in 1667. Literary critics for over a hundred years afterwards interpreted the fall of Satan along the lines of traditional Christian theology. They took Satan to be the villain and Adam the hero. They read the poem as consistent with what I am calling the “religious theme”: Man must submit to God as the absolute authority; God’s actions are beyond scrutiny. For example, John Dryden (the first literary critic to comment on Paradise Lost ) in 1697 criticized the poem for having the villain take center stage and defeat the hero (214).

It appears to me that there is a hidden meaning, which is the most obvious and commonly stated one: that Milton was a gnostic and Paradies Lost is an exegesis of his gnostic thought. The mysteries in the subtext identified by the author here seem best explained by the gnostic idea that God is in fact the evil demiurge that created the world, while Lucifer is the true force of good who brings enlightenment and wisdom to the poor people who are as prisoners in the evil world created by God. To be sure, this is not a view I hold to, but I recognize it exists, and it seems the most logical meaning of Paradise Lost.

Essays on paradise lost book 1

essays on paradise lost book 1

It appears to me that there is a hidden meaning, which is the most obvious and commonly stated one: that Milton was a gnostic and Paradies Lost is an exegesis of his gnostic thought. The mysteries in the subtext identified by the author here seem best explained by the gnostic idea that God is in fact the evil demiurge that created the world, while Lucifer is the true force of good who brings enlightenment and wisdom to the poor people who are as prisoners in the evil world created by God. To be sure, this is not a view I hold to, but I recognize it exists, and it seems the most logical meaning of Paradise Lost.

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