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THEMES AND SYMBOLS IN PARADISE LOST

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Melissa Ramirez

on 25 November 2014

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Transcript of THEMES AND SYMBOLS IN PARADISE LOST

Man's First Disobedience
Satan's
disobedience which gets him kicked out of Heaven.
Adam and Eve's
disobedience which one can say derives from the same concept as Satan.
Choice.
THEMES: SIN/REVENGE
It motivates Satan to corrupt Adam and Eve and thereby subvert God's plans.
Adam and Eve commit the first original sin.
OBEDIENCE AND FREE WILL
Satan has his own goal on becoming his own creator and not live by God's orders. This plays out again when Eve is convinced to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. She, along with Adam, have been told that she can have anything in Paradise as long as they obey God. Of course Eve is convinced by the serpent to disobey
.
SYMBOLS: PARADISE
This can be seen as Adam and Eve wanting the knowledge that God has but that they are forbidden to. In a way they are in pursuit of they own independence.
Although Adam and Eve get kicked out of The Garden of Eden
they can still obtain their own paradise from within. HOW?
By learning to love God through obedience.

In book 12, we learn now that paradise is no longer a place but an
eternal sense of peace or calm that one can derive from following God's word.
Adam's Wreath
The falling of Adam's wreath symbolizes the fall of his love and
attraction towards Eve. He sees now that she has eaten from the Tree of Knowledge and his image of her as a spiritual companion shatters. He no longer sees her as pure.
Social hierarchy of angels, humans, animals, and devils: the Son is closest to God, with the archangels and cherubs behind him. Adam and Eve and Earth’s animals come next, with Satan and the other fallen angels following last.
To obey God is to respect this hierarchy.

THEMES AND SYMBOLS IN PARADISE LOST
PT. 2
Hierarchy
ENVY/VANITY
Arising from Satan's pride, it makes him jealous of God the Son, who is the favorite of God the Father.
It leads Eve to believe-under the temptation of Satan-that she can become Godlike.


The fruit is also a symbol of pleasure, and the big presence of the lexical field of sensations contributes a lot to the feeling of pleasure: words and phrases like "tenderly", "in lust they burn", "tasting", "delicious fare", "inflame my sense", "contagious fire" ... and temptation holds human beings by his sensations and the weakness of his flesh. In Genesis 3 we can see how Satan tempted Eve through her feelings: Eve first saw the fruit. There is this appeal of the eyes that Milton transcribed in the scene where Adam and Eve commit sin.




Milton describes God as a “really bright” that is usually hidden somewhere. With that being said, Milton likes to describe a character’s virtue by how “bright” they are. Satan refers God as the “bright confines” of Heaven.
BRIGHTNESS AND LIGHT
THE FRUIT
FREEDOM
The poem originally focuses on Satan’s view of freedom,
which essentially changes to Adam and Eve’s given free will.
Satan blames God for imprisoning him in Hell, but
in actuality Satan is the one who separated
himself from God first, which makes him a total hypocrite.
Even Satan himself admits that “gratitude to God”
is not the principal burden, but
his pride and ambition that backfired him.




The nakedness of Adam and Eve symbolizes
the fact that in front of God, nothing is hidden.
In both books, Genesis and Paradise Lost, they feel ashamed after the sin is committed and realize their nakedness.
Before the fall, the Bible says in Genesis 2 that Adam and Eve lived naked without feeling any shame, which means that in heaven, their relationship with God was without barrier. But once they fall, the Bible keeps on telling us stories of men hiding from God, hiding their sin. If you read in the Gospel of Luke chapter 19v1-9, you can read the story of Zaccheus. He was a sinner hated by other people and he was hidden in a tree to watch Jesus, but Jesus saw him and told him to come down.

Nakedness
Even though Adam and Eve have disobeyed God, their repentance makes them eligible for eventual salvation.
Repentance
Suicide seems like a reasonable option to Eve, but Milton disapproves of it as the path of despair, Satan willingly leaping into the abyss instead of facing the Son’s wrath. Suicide is a major sin in traditional Christianity and it offers no escape from God, as the human soul is eternal and can still be punished beyond death.
Suicide
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