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John Miltons Paradise Lost - Essay Example

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A number of critics and book reviews homogeneously assert on Milton's Paradise Lost as greatly associated with images reflecting on several verses in the bible. As a matter of fact, there are numerous situations in Paradise Lost that resemble biblical happenings and scenarios…
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John Miltons Paradise Lost
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Download file to see previous pages Milton's view on the first acts of disobedience by Adam and Eve sounds critical and defensive worrying that universal despair and death will appear inadequate and incommensurate with the violation of a single dietary prohibition. This is in line with the concluding two ignored scriptural verses that say: "Anyone who examines this sin carefully will admit, and rightly, that it was a most atrocious offense, and that it broke every part of the law. For what fault is there which man did not commit in committing this sin He was to be condemned both for trusting Satan and for not trusting God; he was faithless, ungrateful, disobedient, greedy, uxorious; she, negligent of her husband's welfare; both of them committed theft, robbery with violence, murder against their children (i.e. the whole human race); each was sacrilegious and deceitful, cunningly aspiring to divinity though thoroughly unworthy of it, proud and arrogant. Correspondingly, Eccles. vii.29 states that "God has made man upright, but they have thought up numerous devices, and in James ii.10 states that "whoever keeps the whole law, and yet offends in one point, is guilty of all. Such verses where referenced by Milton's Paradise Lost saying that Adam and Eve become manifold in sin with their disobedience of one law. The primal act is death's equivalent of the original single cell from which all life is said to have derived, fertilized in a flash of lightning as the earth cooled, leaving traces of itself in all its varied progeny. Milton exploits the Preacher's choice of adam for "man" in the Hebrew text of Ecclesiastes 7:29 as well as his shift from singular to plural in the second clause. This rabbinic interpretation of texts rewrites the verse in an Edenic context and adds Eve as a sinner by means of binary fission. Rashi elucidates and expounds adam in the verse ("God created Adam perfectly upright"), and both Rashi and the earlier Midrash Qoheleth Rabbah explain the use of the plural "they": "when Eve was created from the body of Adam, he became two people" (as cited in Rosenblatt 1994).
The concluding verse of the paragraph from James emphasizes the strictly permanent and unbreakable unity of the Pentateuchal law, ultimately a rabbinic idea, although its most famous formulations occur in the letters of Paul, who appropriates and transforms it. Taunting the Jewish Christians, less pious than the Pharisees, who yet refuse to ignore the ceremonial law, Paul insists that if they adopt Jewish law they must perform it all (Sifra, Kedoshim 8b; Sabbath 31a). Paul always views the law's unity negatively, as in Galatians 3:6-14, which attempts to illustrate that the law is impossible to keep in every detail and that only faith can save (Segal 1990). Milton mentions not Paul but rather the noticeably unProtestant and un-Pauline James, whose assumption of the law's unity strengthens his positive declaration that works must go along with faith. The law in Milton's Eden was just, efficacious, and easy to keep. The long list of sins in De doctrina constitutes a complaint against Adam and Eve, not against the law itself, and so Milton appropriately cites James's positive rather than Paul's negative view of the law's unity.
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