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

Discuss the presentation of Hell in Book One of ParadiseLost.

Extracts from this document...


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. ...read more.


Additionally the similes used by Milton to describe Satan also make us aware that we do not know the size of anything in Hell, for example not the burning lake, the hill, Pandemonium, or the fallen angels themselves. Milton's strange and self contradictory description of Hell in lines 50-83 acts as a contradiction which symbolizes the chaos of Hell. Milton also presents Hell through Satan and his speeches, the first reference Satan makes to Hell is when he contrasts it with Heaven, the 'happy fields' of Heaven and the 'infernal world' of Hell. Throughout Book One of Paradise Lost Hell is presented as a physical place but Satan also portrays it as a mental, psychological state. Not only Hell but also Heaven are mental states to Satan: "The mind is its own place, and in itself / Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven." ...read more.


Beelzebub is also used by Milton to present Hell, in his speech he tells of how Satan is affected by Hell. 'Torrid clime/ Smote on him sore besides, vaulted with fire' suggesting to the reader the Satan is painfully affected by the scorchingly hot climate under the fiery roof of Hell. Milton's presentation of Hell in Paradise Lost Book One was largely affected by his own politics and religious believe Milton expressed his political ideals in the many pamphlets he wrote. He believed that power corrupts human beings and distrusted anyone who could claim power over anyone else. Milton believed that rulers should have to prove their right to lead other people. Milton despised the corruption he saw in the Catholic Church, repeatedly attacking it in his poetry and prose and Milton's individual view of Christianity makes Paradise Lost simultaneously personal and universal. These are significant factors which contribute to Milton's overall presentation of Hell. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Milton 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 University Degree Milton essays

  1. Paradise Lost Books IX and X "Discuss the development of the characters of Adam ...

    Milton suggests that pleasure without restraint is a sinful, prelapsarian bliss whilst postlapsarian life has momentary peaks for sensual immoral pleasure followed by long periods of unhappiness and guilt. We observe from Adam a complete transformation at the end of book nine until the serpent that we have encountered with Eve becomes almost recognisable in his language.

  2. The Dualistic Genesis of Paradise Lost

    The two prevailing figures in Paradise Lost are those of God and Satan. Aside from being the two main characters in the poem, and spiritual entities, what else could these figures be signs of? Their depiction are signs of state of mind of the depictor, and, as John Milton's

  1. 'Paradise Lost' - "Our Flesh is An Eve Within Us"[1]- The Presentation of Eve ...

    If this is the case - and I do not necessarily believe this to be true - then the God who created her and gave her to Adam to be "fit help"(VIII: 450),10 would be, as the fallen Adam claims, baiting a trap.

  2. “Ideology represents the imaginary relationship of individuals to their real conditions of existence” (Althusser). ...

    indelibly stamped upon the consciousness of Christian and, more importantly, Western Civilisation as a whole. This added depth of characterisation which permits the readers to engage with the main protagonists is essential to the greatness of this text and without it the poem would not be regarded as such an important milestone in English literature.

  1. In order to be able to discover the relevance Milton and Paradise Lost still ...

    Milner (1981) also brings to our attention that "the world of Paradise Lost is then a world of rational individuals, each in possession of free-will, which is hierarchically ordered according to the principle of promotion according to merit, with the exception of God."

  2. By means of what textual strategies does Milton seek to 'justify the ways of ...

    The opening sixteen lines are concerned with the beginning and ending of human history, as decreed by the first and second Adam's. The second ten lines are on God's creative actions in history and the poet's desire to explain the implications of those actions in a human context.

  1. A Study of Traherne's Metaphysical Poetry

    to in his Selected Writings on Thomas Traherne .5 Davis contrasts Traherne's poetry with the work of one of his contemporaries, George Herbert. The latter often uses allegory and tends to focus on objects in the more customary metaphysical tradition, while Traherne's work is characterized by abstract ideas and a constant feeling of restlessness.

  2. How does Milton use generic systems in Paradise Lost?

    Lewalski understands genre in the Miltonic landscape therefore as a product of literary custom and common interest in subject matter, with emphasis on stylistic constructions. She differentiates between 'genre' or 'kind' and 'mode', examples of which she lists as 'pastoral, satiric, comedic, heroic, elegiac, and tragic', and which she identifies by 'attitude, tonality and motifs ...

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