Event Title

Paradise Still Lost: Milton’s Timeless Insights of Humanity

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies

Honors Thesis Committee

Peter Judge, Ph.D.; Jack DeRochi, Ph.D.; and William Naufftus, Ph.D.

Location

Barnes Recital Hall

Start Date

20-4-2018 2:04 PM

Description

John Milton’s epic poem, Paradise Lost, offers a portrayal of the Christian story of the fall of mankind in a manner complex and artful enough to raise a great deal of conversation surrounding the possible meanings and interpretations that the reader might derive from this poem. This paper takes historical context and autobiographical influences into consideration in its endeavor to uncover Milton’s insights about humanity and its relation to its Creator. Additionally, my research synthesizes key points and passages from the poem itself, along with the interpretations of critics from Milton’s time up until the present. The particular areas of focus dealt with here surround the main characters (Satan, God, and Mankind) within the space and setting in which we find them (Hell, Heaven, and Eden). Such a study uncovers dynamics of power and free will which, in turn, offer a sort of commentary on the way these concepts pertain to the realities of government on a large scale, but also the way we govern our individual lives on a smaller scale. Despite the differing viewpoints and readings of Milton examined here, any study of the account of the fall of Man leads us to important and valuable truths about human nature and our relationship to our world, to good and evil. Therefore, I hope that this study of Paradise Lost has uncovered some of Milton’s theological stance within his broader Puritan background in a way that reveals the valuable insights about human life that this poem holds within the context of religious experience.

Course Assignment

RELG 495 – Judge

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Apr 20th, 2:04 PM

Paradise Still Lost: Milton’s Timeless Insights of Humanity

Barnes Recital Hall

John Milton’s epic poem, Paradise Lost, offers a portrayal of the Christian story of the fall of mankind in a manner complex and artful enough to raise a great deal of conversation surrounding the possible meanings and interpretations that the reader might derive from this poem. This paper takes historical context and autobiographical influences into consideration in its endeavor to uncover Milton’s insights about humanity and its relation to its Creator. Additionally, my research synthesizes key points and passages from the poem itself, along with the interpretations of critics from Milton’s time up until the present. The particular areas of focus dealt with here surround the main characters (Satan, God, and Mankind) within the space and setting in which we find them (Hell, Heaven, and Eden). Such a study uncovers dynamics of power and free will which, in turn, offer a sort of commentary on the way these concepts pertain to the realities of government on a large scale, but also the way we govern our individual lives on a smaller scale. Despite the differing viewpoints and readings of Milton examined here, any study of the account of the fall of Man leads us to important and valuable truths about human nature and our relationship to our world, to good and evil. Therefore, I hope that this study of Paradise Lost has uncovered some of Milton’s theological stance within his broader Puritan background in a way that reveals the valuable insights about human life that this poem holds within the context of religious experience.