Paradise Lost

Catastrophe of human in Paradise lost and their change in love.?

Paradise lost by John Milton

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The freedom of the will is associated with freedom of choice; yet freedom implies responsibility, and the freedom to choose brings with it the responsibility to choose correctly. It is reason which gives humans the ability to choose between obedience and disobedience and, after the fall, between good and evil. Thus, "Against his will he can receive no harm. But God left free the Will, for what obeys / Reason is free..." (IX.350-52). The Fall, then, is the consequence of failing to choose wisely. The events which follow are the logical consequences of the choice which Adam and Eve make when they choose "knowledge" over obedience. The full consequences of the Fall are made clear in the final vision of the future which Michael shows to Adam: the political upheaval, strife, toil, and anguish which result from being cast out of Eden, but also the redemption of humankind, which only the Fall makes possible.

The human condition is thus the condition of fallen humanity, knowing not just "good and evil," but the inseparable nature of the two in a fallen world. Yet, humankind was created in the image of God, and still retains this innate characteristic. It is reason which is most fully the image of God in humankind, reason which enables humankind to choose between good and evil, reason which both establishes and preserves free will. Fallen humanity is thus characterized still by reason, but it is an impaired reason, for although God created humankind perfect, they are not immutable and the most obvious consequence of the Fall is indeed change. Even reason impaired, however, is still reason which need not fail, and Milton's final word is one of hope. Michael's revelation of God's redemptive purpose brings Adam to a new understanding of the proper role of obedience and virtue in a fallen world, reconciling him to his expulsion from Paradise and enabling him to possess "a paradise within, ... happier far"


Paradise Lost, BookRags