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Light & Darkness in Paradise Lost

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Mide B

on 23 November 2014

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Transcript of Light & Darkness in Paradise Lost

How does Milton use light and darkness to establish a co-dependence between that which is good and that which is evil ?
Dark/Evil Side
Light/Good Side
by: Mide Biobaku
Milton uses vivid imagery of light and darkness to express the codependency of opposites in Paradise Lost
Eg: Heaven & Hell ; God & Satan
He also shows this conflict in his establishment of the
felix Culpa
"Hail holy light, offspring of heaven first born.../co-eternal beam" (3.1)
"God is light" (3.3)
"author of all being/Fountain of light" (3.374-75)
Milton describes hell as
"The seat of desolation, void of light"
"This horror will grow mild, this darkness light" - Belial (2.220)
(Belial, Molloch, Mammon)
... he views The dismal situation waste and wild, A dungeon horrible, on all sides round as one great furnace flamed, yet from those flames No light, but rather darkness visible Served only to discover sights of woe... (1.59)
Milton's Involvement in this Dichotomy
Milton was blind for most of his life
Although he can not see worldly light he communicates that he can see heavenly light
In this quote, he calls upon God to let his celestial light shine inside of him to grant him the power to see and tell "pf things invisible to mortal sight"
So much the rather thou celestial light
Shine inward, and the mind through all her powers Irradiate... that i may see and tell
Of things invisible to mortal sight (III.51-55)
Felix Culpa
"O goodness infinite, goodness immense!/That all this good of evil shall produce,/And evil turn to good" (12.469-71)
“..full of doubt I stand,/Whether I should repent me now of sin/by me done and occasioned, or rejoice/Much more, that much more good thereof shall spring,/To God more glory, more good will to men..” (12.473-77)
→Felix Culpa, the fortunate fall is itself the central paradox of Paradise Lost
Bad things bring forth good things emphasizes the co-dependence of light and darkness

Although the expulsion is the direct result of sin, the outcome of the Fall is essentially for the good of humankind. →

Meaning that because of the fall, Jesus Christ could save humankind and if this fall had not occurred then humankind would not be able to experience a higher sense of happiness

: "...that God is light and in him is no darkness at all..." (1 John 1:5 RSV
In 'Paradise Lost', Milton uses imagery of light and darkness to express the co-dependence of opposites in the book
The idea of darkness not being able to exist without light and vice versa because they give each other meaning
As a result of this, we see darkness being juxtaposed in terms of light as well as light being juxtaposed in terms of darkness
This causes conflicts because God and Satan are opposites but they give each other meaning, heavenly power is not much without the contrast of hell and this is a prevalent theme throughout the novel.
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