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Discuss the presentation of Hell in Book One of ParadiseLost.

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  • Essay length: 712 words
  • Submitted: 22/03/2004
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University Degree Milton

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Discuss the presentation of Hell in Book One of Paradise Lost.

Hell is presented in several ways within Paradise Lost but there are three main techniques used by Milton. These include through his own commentary, through Satan and his speeches and also through Beelzebub. Additionally Hell is also presented through the techniques used by Milton, his structure, style and use of language. Throughout Paradise Lost Hell is presented as a place, but also as a state of mind, which Satan refers to in his speech.

Milton uses many opposites in Paradise Lost, contrasting Heaven with Hell, God with Satan, and good with evil. The contrast between light and dark exists in all of these opposites. The narrator characterizes the angels' physical appearance as full of light, and the devils' as shadowy and dark. Milton also uses light to symbolize God and God's grace. The absence of light in Hell and in Satan himself represents the absence of God and his grace. The opening scenes reveal Hell as a fiery, glittering place that reflects the corrupt souls of the devils. Milton establishes two opposing poles of evil and good, dark and light, and the action

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