Uploaded by Ashley Collins

Paradise Lost Essay Assignment

Paradise Lost Critical Analysis Essay - Worth 50 points
Objectives: Select an essay prompt from the provided list or create your own (subject
to my discretion). Using the poem and outside resources, write a critical analysis essay
with the following requirements:
4-5 pages
MLA formatting
Double-spaced, 12-point font
Works Cited page
A. Satan destroys God's creation because he wants to be heard and not ordered. Does
Milton represents God as someone who refuses to listen? Does God oppress Satan and
his followers? Is Satan’s revolt against heaven understandable?
B. Compare Satan and God.
1) Are they both black-and-white representations of good and evil or are they more
2) What is their relationship to each other? Define the nature of their rivalry.
C. Milton wrote Paradise Lost in the 17th Century. Think about the world and, in
particular, Britain during this period and discuss whether the book reflects what was
1) What are the book's themes? Do they relate to Britain's political or social environment
in the 17th Century? If so, how?
2) Is Milton's vision a direct result of what was happening in the world at that time? Or is
the vision more universal and timeless?
D. Why do you think Milton represents Paradise and Hell as he does? Is it more serious
than modern day representations? What sort of tone do these settings give to the
poem? How would this tone change if you swapped Milton's representation for a more
modern day representation?
E. Examine Milton’s personal religious beliefs. How are they at odds with mainstream
Protestant and Catholic views in the 17th century? How does he make his beliefs known
throughout Paradise Lost?
F. Are Milton’s portrayals of God and the Son plausible with Protestant Christian
doctrine, or is Milton creating these versions of the characters to fulfill a literary
purpose? Take into account both Milton’s personal beliefs and literary structures and