Paradise Lost Themes

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Justice

Milton's stated purpose is "to justify the ways of God to man," and he does so by placing responsibility for the fall squarely on the shoulders of the first human pair. They are cast out of Eden because their banishment is necessary to fulfil the demands of divine justice. Their punishment is just, because God placed only one condition upon them and they failed to fulfil it, in spite of the fact that God gave them the means to do so. As Adam warns Eve, God's "creating hand / Nothing imperfect or deficient left/ Of all that he Created, much less Man..." (IX.344-346). By providing them with reason and free will, God gives humankind both the choke to obey or disobey, and the means by which to exercise that choice wisely, for "within himself/ The danger lies, yet lies within his power: / Against his will he can receive...

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This section contains 1,376 words
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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.