• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In what ways and to what effect, does Milton use comparison in Paradise Lost Book II?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Paradise Lost is one of the greatest epic poems of the 17th century, written by John Milton. This is a poem of twelve books describing the fall of man in blank verse, in a manner that is at par with Virgil's Aeneid for the Romans and Homer's Iliad for ancient Greece. Milton has several ways of using comparison, which he uses profoundly throughout Book II. Allegory, allusions, contrasts, the comparison between heaven, earth and hell, and the different arguments in the book are the most significant and prominent in his poem, and both pertain to his grand style as well as his motifs. Towards the end of book II, Milton presents an allegory of the two figures Sin and Death at the gates of hell who represent their respective abstract ideas and principles, which he develops throughout the entire poem. As they are abstract ideas, they cannot be visualized, thus Milton gives them physical attributes to further allude to the ideas they represent. Sin is described as "... woman to the waist, and fair, But ended foul in many a scaly fold Voluminous and vast, a serpent armed With mortal sting." ...read more.

Middle

This can be noted in "What can be worse Than to dwell here, driven out from bliss, condemned In this abhorred deep to utter woe; Where pain of unextinguishable fire..." (II.85) and a few lines later he states "He from Heaven's higth"(II.190) Contrasts like these are important because they help us to further extend our understanding of Milton's paradigms of food and bad, and from this, we can deduce that the absence of light in Hell and in Satan symbolize the absence of God in all his glory. Milton's contrasts of light and dark, and high and low to convey good and bad are also used to contrast Heaven, Hell and Earth. Milton presents a hierarchy based on the proximity to God. Heaven is at the top of the hierarchy where "Heaven's high Arbitrator" (II.359) sits, and the primary quality is light. Hell is at the very bottom of the hierarchy and is portrayed as the antithesis of heaven, which is primarily dark. "As he our darkness, cannot we his light"(II.269) Is a phrase which best portrays the strong contrasts between the two places. Earth is depicted as the young, vulnerable middle-ground connected to both Heaven and Earth. ...read more.

Conclusion

The reason Beelzebub's proposal is agreed upon is because Milton believes that Earth, and therefore Mankind, is the neutral, middle-ground between Heaven and Hell, Angels and Devils, as well as good and evil. It therefore serves as an effective battleground for good and evil forces on earth, as well as in the souls and consciences of mankind. The effect of these comparisons gives us further insight into the beliefs of the philosophical and theological elements in Milton's time period, as well as the relative forces of good and evil, and how they effect the lives of mankind. In conclusion, there are various ways that Milton uses comparison in Paradise Lost, which each have different effects that range from the introduction of multiple interpretations, to simply extending our understanding of the story through vivid imagery. The comparisons that Milton uses are so complex that they are all connected in some way or other, and this alone gives us an even deeper understanding of the theological and philosophical messages conveyed in the poem. Ultimately, Milton's intension was to tell the story of Man's fall, and with his comparisons, he has managed to do much more than just that. Words: 2069 In what ways, and to what effect, does Milton use comparison in Paradise Lost Book II? 1/23/11 11:39 PM 1/23/11 11:39 PM ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Languages section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate Languages essays

  1. an evil spirit

    On the other hand, that spiritualism emphasizes the unavailability of her and impossibility of receiving a response from her. He continues emphasizing that impossibility in love by using personifications. "beauty" is personified in the first line as it "haunts" him still.

  2. Commentary in an extract from the book "Brave New World" by Aldeous huxley

    the reservation in New Mexico where John grew up has huge appreciation for God. Thus, the issue of religion along history is being portrayed by constantly introducing the word God. The mentioning of religion along the book is also a direct consequence of the novel�s topic; the way in which religion has been abolished due to the advance in science.

  1. In what ways do obsessions or fixations affect writers, speakers or characters in Heart ...

    The claim that the Europeans were dominating Africa to civilize it is contradicted by Conrad's use of the phrase, "the fascination of the abomination" (20).

  2. A Modest Proposal

    of French people said that they felt sympathy or supported these strikes. Out of these 70%, we count approximately 50% supporting us, the rest of whom sympathize. We can now safely say that we have a majority of our nation supporting us, and if we are oppressed, more people shall

  1. A Comparison between An African Sermon and Roman Fever-

    He becomes more experienced. "I bet you could tell me a thing or two about Africa. I bet you could teach me something." Douglas becomes more familiar with the fact that other people saw things differently to how he saw the world. He had always seen things outlines in certainties, in bright stories with a clear moral theme.

  2. Sight and Blindness

    Teiresias continuously tries to warn Oedipus by foreshadowing what will happen if the truth were to be revealed but instead of listening to him and thinking carefully about what the meaning of the prophet's words he makes rash decisions that cost him his throne.

  1. Long Days Journey Into Night

    This is curious because it is perhaps the most impartial opinion expressed by one of the characters, and entirely without blame on any one of them. This perceptiveness of Edmund and the ability to reflect 'from a distance' on what is going on is perhaps due to the fact that he is acting as the author's representation of himself.

  2. Articles of VN War

    phai tr�n tr�nh cuc kh�, nhoc nhan d� khoi bi bat di qu�n dich. R� l� ho chi vi�t theo tr� tuong tuong, nhung hieu bi�t m� mo, hoac theo loi k� vu vo mo h� d�u d�. Nh�n vi�n giao su vu lenh dac biet cua t�i cho Trinh

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work