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Paradise Lost

4 Pages 915 Words

In Book’s IV and IX of John Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost, I found the themes of obedience, ignorance and inequality in various relationships to be prevalent throughout the work. The ideology that obedience is paramount in certain relationships is expressed continuously, both between man and woman and between man and god. Ignorance is also idealized and obedience without reflection, a form of ignorance in my opinion, is touted as appropriate behavior . The inferior aspect of woman in relation to the male of the species is also expressed throughout the work as is the idea that conversely “Beauty” has incredible power. These views can certainly be seen as a reflection of the times Milton lived in. I see a man clearly questioning authority roles, and perhaps questioning his own wisdom in doing so.
I believe that one reason Milton chose the setting of Paradise for his epic poem was because it was an ideal place to show the dynamics of the relationship between man and his Lord, man and woman and good and evil. Milton uses classical allusions and universal archetypes to express themes of inequality between the sexes, between parent and child and between man and a divine overlord. It is also the perfect place to outline the
power struggle between Satan and God, here we see a battle here between divine beings, between good and evil incarnate, definitely problems in their relationship.
Book IV, clearly shows the opinion that obedience is laudable and “ignorance is
bliss.” The first couple dutifully and unquestionably obey God and as a result of this are happy and in love in the garden of Eden. They are forbidden only the fruit of the tree of knowledge, suggesting that somehow too much wisdom is a bad thing, or that God wishes to keep the pair childlike and himself in a place of power in the relationship. Because after all, death comes with knowledge and or disobedience. I find an interesting allusion here to the fact ...

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