LIT 231/LIT 230
Prof. G. Steinberg
Response Paper: Paradise Lost, Books V, IX-X
Choose one of the following areas as the focus of your response
- What does Milton do to the story of the creation and fall of human beings
that appears in Genesis? Obviously, he adds a lot to it.
What kinds of things does he add? Why might he have added those
things? What is he trying to tell us about his values and his
understanding of the world?
- Who is the hero of Paradise Lost? Homer, Virgil, Dante,
and Ariosto all focused their poems on a hero who represented or symbolized their
values in some way (i.e., Odysseus, Aeneas, Dante the Pilgrim, and Ruggiero,
respectively). Does Milton focus on one hero in Paradise Lost?
If not, why not?
If so, who is it? What do we learn about Miltonís values from that
hero (or lack of hero)?
- Why does Milton tell the story of Abdiel in Book V? How does
the story of Abdiel relate to the story of the fall of Adam and Eve?
God sends Raphael to Adam to ďadvise him of his happy stateĒ and to ďwarn him
to beware / He swerve not too secureĒ (V, 234 and 237-238). Raphael in
turn tells the story of Abdiel.
What light does Abdiel shed on the situation of the first humans and on the
course of action that they should take under the threat of Satanís
- When Adam and Eve argue in Book IX about whether they should stick
together or separate, who is right? Whose fault is it that they fall
to Satanís temptation? Is it all Eveís fault? Is it both
their faults? Is it Satanís fault? Is it Godís fault?
How does Miltonís understanding of sin and human frailty compare to
Danteís, Homerís, Virgilís, and/or Ovidís?
Click here to go to the syllabus.