Paradise Lost Essay

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In the following essay, the critic examines Milton's

Paradise Lost for indications that it includes references to and thoughts on the colonization of the American continent by Europeans at the time it was written.

In his comprehensive study of the North Atlantic world, K. G. Davies remarks that "no major English literary work of the seventeenth century comes to mind that breathes an Atlantic air or takes the American empire for its theme." The purpose of this essay is to suggest that Paradise Lost constitutes at least a partial exception to Davies's generalization. Milton's epic, I believe, interacts continuously with the deeply ambivalent feelings which the conquest of the New World generated in seventeenth-century English culture. Like its closest classical model, theAeneid, Paradise Lost seems to me to be, among other things, a poem about empire.

Certainly, there were many reasons for pondering the colonization of America as...

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This section contains 3,634 words
(approx. 10 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Paradise Lost Study Guide
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Epics for Students
Paradise Lost from Epics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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