Milton's Epic Paradise Lost Comparison Term Paper

Download this Term Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Term Paper:

Eve's dream is full of classical syntax and references to Classical mythology of goddesses, while Adam's dream has a more homely and humble status, and its beauty is of nature rather than divine images -- it seems, additionally, more consistent with the vision and character of the man, despite his protestations, unlike Eve who seems to directly dream Satan's dreams of light and lordliness over all the world and all the heavens.

Thus, the different qualities of male and female dreaming indicate not only the different ways in which men and women dream of power but also the greater ability of women to be impinged upon in their brains by evil. Adam's dreaming vision is more concrete, while Eve's is located in a lesser sense of physical reality, and lies in the highfalutin syntax and discourse of Satan's twisted mind. Eve experiences her dream almost as if her brain is being raped or impinged upon by outside forces, and her husband experiences outrage and this violation of his helpmate's consciousness much as if it were a sexual act. Adam does not relate his more humble, yet still disturbing, dream to Eve in the same immediate fashion, although he too describes dreaming to himself as a kind of impingement from the outside, rather than a psychological or internal manifestation of his own consciousness, although his dream is more along the lines of a gardener or farmer enjoying the fruits of his labor in an especially intense way, in the way he sees nature around him.

Milton's use of dreaming prefigures what will transpire in the poem's narrative later on, and this may be one reason that the characters of Adam and Eve have a sense of being impinged upon by others -- Milton makes Satan's devious plans quite clear as a kind of foreshadowing, and Eve is the first to dream and the first to fall. In particular, the stress upon divinity in Eve's dreams suggests her greater grip in the hand of evil. She is more subservient and susceptible to the fantasies of Satan than is Adam because she has a weaker female soul, although Adam still loves her and she seems like a fundamentally 'good' person, as viewed by her helpmate in Eden Adam.

The use of dreaming in the poem also serves an important form of foreshadowing, to create narrative suspense. All of Milton's readers would have known what was going to happen at the poem's end. The suspense lies in how the poet will relate this, and how the different characters of Adam and Eve will enter into temptation. The characters of the two are revealed through dreams, the psychology of Satan as manifested in the male and female mind, and lastly the climax of the tale is hinted at, and rendered suspenseful even to the most knowing reader.

Giving forth what will transpire in the form of a dream may have an additional theological component for the poet Milton. If Adam and Eve know what will happen, and are told, despite their expressed fears, that they will fall from Eden, then their fates must be predetermined, despite the generally accepted Catholic interpretation of humanity's fall as an act of Free Will, rather than of determined moral logic. Milton, however, was a Protestant and a Puritan, and viewed human history in the soul not as a tale of Free Will but in a far more predetermined fashion, although he was not an out and out determinist and Calvinist. Eve's purity and innocence, as stressed by Adam, and her mental and moral encroachment by Satan makes her a far more sympathetic character than she is in the Genesis account, viewed against the Catholic doctrine of Free Will and absolute moral responsibility for Original Sin. Thus the use of human being's dreaming imagination and fancy, in "Paradise Lost" has an additional theological component of determinism, as one is impinged upon in one's will by outside, evil forces, and also that of a narrative component, as it prefigures what will occur in fact and reality, in Eden.

Work Cited.

Milton, John. "Paradise Lost." 1687. Available online 17 November 2004 at[continue]

Cite This Term Paper:

"Milton's Epic Paradise Lost Comparison" (2004, November 17) Retrieved October 25, 2016, from

"Milton's Epic Paradise Lost Comparison" 17 November 2004. Web.25 October. 2016. <>

"Milton's Epic Paradise Lost Comparison", 17 November 2004, Accessed.25 October. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Paradise Lost Book the

    459). Such an encounter is the mainstay of Book 9 since both Eve and Adam are chastened by God and are forced to reason with Him in order to confess to their sin and accept the punishment required in order to 'multiply and replenish' the earth as they had been commanded. They knew the reason behind such a commandment, and they also knew that in the long run, what

  • Is Satan a Hero in John Milton s Paradise Lost

    Paradise Lost The poem by John Milton is written in the style of literary epics; it starts not the beginning but in the middle of the story. Still, right away the reader knows that there is a war between good and evil, between Satan and Heaven (or God Himself), and that Satan was an Angel before he fell into disfavor with God. Since Satan had been an angel, in the reader's

  • Milton and Shakespeare

    Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" with Milton's "Paradise Lost" Comparison of the two works: Shakespeare's Twelfth Night and Milton's Paradise Lost are two examples of great works that seemingly have little in common. The differences in subject, approach, language and style contrast greatly but these works also share many common themes. Although Twelfth Night is a romantic comedic work and Paradise Lost is an epic poem that deals with a much heavier subject

  • American Literature Allen Ginsberg s Epic

    Ginsberg in fact spent some time in a psychiatric ward and his poem Howel makes the implication that his and his contemporaries madness is caused by the madness of society which, due to its infatuation with technology, has become a demon far worse than any found in humanity's collective mythology. Jung argues that in modern society, mythology has not actually disappeared, it has just taken a less noticeable form in

  • William Black and John Milton

    John Milton and William Blake John Milton wrote work of poetry during the late 17th century. William Blake wourld write at the end of the 18th century and at the beginning of the following century. One lived during the tail end of the Restoration period and the other lived in the time of the Romantic poets. At a first glance, it would seem that the two poets John Milton and William

  • Fall to Spring s Sprouting The

    The Aeneid Taking a character from The Iliad and setting him on his own journey, the Roman Virgil's epic The Aeneid necessarily contains certain parallels with the earlier Greek text. The overall story of this lengthy poem in and of itself reflects many of the same basic understandings of mankind's place in the universe, its relationship to the gods, and the relationships that exist within society and between men that are

  • Account Studying the Characters of Adam and

    Account Studying the characters of Adam and Samson reveals that they have many things in common but it seems totally out of place to compare them with Jesus. Adam and Samson typify men who are on a godward journey while Jesus is the way and also the end of the road. John Milton the poetic legend of the seventeenth century is well-known for his deep belief in providence and divine judgement.

Read Full Term Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved