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Freedom in Paradise Lost by Milton and Cain by Byron - Essay Example

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Freedom in Paradise Lost by Milton and Cain by Byron [Name] [Date] Introduction To be free or not to be free…This rhetoric question is often raised by the contemporaries. Actually, the individuals from different epochs wondered about the necessity of being free…
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Freedom in Paradise Lost by Milton and Cain by Byron

Download file to see previous pages... Both of them develop their argument on the basis of the well-known events from the Bible. Human creatures of God experience their devoted Christian faith, whereas their minds are looking for freedom. There is a common thread between Milton’s and Byron’s creative heritage. Both of these two authors are exploring freedom and constraint as fasteners of a human existence. It is impossible to live without longing for freedom. Lucifer in Byron’s Cain says that “‘Nothing can / Quench the mind…”1. Freedom is interpreted as a feature of mind. To think freely means to live without any constraints. To be guided by reason and not by impulses means to be free. From another perspective, Adam and Eve were looking for freedom in their ability to think beyond moral and religious templates. Freedom of choice was their final goal. They were excluded from heaven, but they did not complain that their exclusion was the highest price for their freedom. Cain paid much for being free, but their longing for freedom were ever lasting and worth being strived for. Milton’s opposition: freedom of mind vs freedom of choice At first, Milton depicts Eve and Adam as devoted followers of God. They are driven by his constant power and they are driven into temptation to eat the forbidden fruit by Satan. It is rather paradoxical that such kind of behavior occurs between these two beloved and devoted Christians:  But of this Tree we may not taste nor touch; God so commanded, and left that Command Sole Daughter of his voice; the rest, we live Law to ourselves, our Reason is our Law2.   For Eve reason is not her law. A command of God is beyond reason of Eve and Adam. They blindly believe in God and follow his commandments. Milton questions the limits of God’s command; he tries to find out whether it is unreasonable or whether it is an act of his will only. Freedom of Eve and Adam can be found in their faith and not in their reason. Freedom is not only to accept the laws of God, but to follow those laws as well. There is a hint about the Christian Doctrine and the way the Christians consider God to be “a beneficent and omnipotent deity who is always to be obeyed and free to believe that he is an envious oppressor, obedience to whom results in unhappiness and self-debasement.3” These beliefs of Adam and Eve are contrasting with the beliefs of the Christian doctrine. A failure of Adam and Eve can thus be found in their failure of reason. An act of faith and an act of freedom are contrasted in Eve’s considerations about her eating of the forbidden fruit. Her fall is the result of her spontaneous actions and escape from her faith. Moreover, not only Adam and Eve make their decisions tearing about freedom of faith and freedom of reason, but also all other human beings, who are driven into temptation by their seducers. An inner freedom should be exercised independently from reason. At the same time, freedom of mind is freedom of existence. First, free your mind and you will be free. In the book 9, where the fall of Adam and Eve is discussed, Milton claims that: "the crucial matter is what they think of God's words-that is, of how they conceive them-which is finally, of course, a question of how they conceive him"4. There is no doubt that Milton correlates the issue of freedom with the issue of God. These two concepts are inseparable in his epic poem. A free choice of faith is an ability to choose God you want to follow. These words can be read between ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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