Human Suffering in "Paradise Lost" Term Paper

  • Length: 3 pages
  • Sources: 1+
  • Subject: Mythology - Religion
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #49235988
  • Related Topics: Snakes, Monarchy

Excerpt from Term Paper :

With the combination of Adam and Eve both giving into temptation, Adam eats the fruit. As described at the start of the work, this disobedience "Brought Death into the World, and all our woe" (Milton I 3). This shows that human suffering results from being disobedient to God. At the same time, it shows that disobedience occurs due to people's weaknesses where they are tempted to do evil. The challenge for people is to overcome temptation, not give into their own weaknesses, and choose to do good despite any temptation to do otherwise. In the end, human suffering is the result of choosing evil over good and not obeying God.

The same idea is expressed in Dante's "Inferno." In this work, Dante is living in a world that has lost its way. Dante decides that he needs to find the way to heaven and he sets out on this quest. To reach heaven, Dante has to travel through all the levels of hell. As Dante travels towards heaven, he journeys through the ten levels of hell. Each level represents different sins and contains different sins. Most importantly, the sinners are being punished for their sin, with their punishments fitting to their crimes. For example, the individuals who have sinned via wrath are attacking each other, those who took their own lives must spend eternity as trees, while the thieves are turned into vipers. In every case, the people who have sinned are being punished in a way that is fitting to their crime. This shows that human beings are responsible for their own suffering, where the wrongs they do leads to the way that they suffer. This is also seen when Dante enters hell via the gate that leads to hell. On this gate, the following words are inscribed, "Through me the way is to the city dolent; / Through me the way is to eternal dole; / Through me the way among the people lost. / Justice incited my sublime Creator; / Created me divine Omnipotence" (Dante III 1-5). These words explain that God created hell as a form of justice for the people who have lost their way. Justice means that people are punished in a way that is fitting to their crime. This shows that people suffer because of their own actions. Since the sins Dante describes all are based on God's law, this also means that people suffer because they are disobedient to God. Overall then, human suffering is caused by people's disobedience to God.

In considering both "Inferno" and "Paradise Lost," it is seen that both show the same cause of human suffering, which is that people choose to be disobedient to God. The suffering that occurs is a consequence of making this choice and a punishment for disobeying. Overall, this shows that human beings are responsible for their own suffering, with suffering occurring when they give into temptation and choose evil over good.

Works Cited

Dante, a. "Inferno." The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces. Eds. Sarah Lawall and Maynard Mack. New York W.W. Norton & Company, 1999: 1293-1409.

Milton, J. "Paradise Lost." The Norton Anthology of…

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited

Dante, a. "Inferno." The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces. Eds. Sarah Lawall and Maynard Mack. New York W.W. Norton & Company, 1999: 1293-1409.

Milton, J. "Paradise Lost." The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces. Eds. Sarah Lawall and Maynard Mack. New York W.W. Norton & Company, 1999: 2197-2256.

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