Justifying the Ways of God in Milton's Paradise Lost Essay

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Justifying the Ways of God in Milton's Paradise Lost

Through Paradise Lost, Milton ?justifies the ways of God to men?, he explains why man fell and how he is affected by the fall. He shows that although man had a fall it was a fortunate fall, ?felix culpa?. As a result of the fall there are bad outcomes that man and women will endure but it was a fulfillment of God?s purpose. In creating man, God gave him free will; he created him a perfect being but ?free to fall?. In God?s plan man will fall by his own fault. This allows God to show mercy on man and allow man to chose to be obedient and to love God by his own choice and to eventually end up in a better place. If man had not fallen then there would be no coming of Christ the savior, and no redemption, which are apart of God?s plan. When Christ dies for man, he begins the process of redemption leading to the Last Judgement Day and to a new earth and heaven. Although mankind will suffer consequences, they will find grace and mercy through God?s glory and through experience and knowledge they will be able to express sincere love and know true happiness.

Milton begins this epic poem by telling men what is going to happen to man through God?s prophecy. God speaks of the fall and the ultimate outcome. When God created mankind he gave them free will, this free will is what allowed them to fall. God gave them free will because without freedom there would be no evidence that man?s love is genuine: ? Not free, what proof could they have giv?n sincere? (III, 103). God allows Satan to rally his troops and continue on his battle against heaven: ?And high permission of all-ruling-Heaven/ Left him at large to his own dark designs? (I, 212-13). God does this because Sat...

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...ghest victory? (XII, 568-69). Finally Adam expresses that he will never leave Paradise because he will always have it within him: ?but shalt possess/ A paradise within thee, happier far? (XII, 586-87). Adam takes what he can from the fall and makes it to his best ability, a fortunate one. Eve has had the pain of child birthing put on her as a punishment. She takes this a makes it a good thing: ?I carry hence; though all by me is lost,/Such favor I unworthy vouchsafed,/ By me the Promised Seed shall all restore? (XII 621-23). Eve is saying that isn?t even worthy of this gift, ?favor?, creating her own felix culpa out of herfall. Adam and Eve disobeyed God and for that there were punishments, however they both turned it around and made it the best as possible.

Works Cited:

Milton, John. Paradise Lost. Ed. Scott Elledge. 2nd ed. New York: Norton, 1975.

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