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gills essayDaniel Piszczatowski                         Paradise Lost Tremendous Essay        In an exceptional epic poem, John Milton draws upon Biblical stories and classical mythology to explore the meaning of existence with inaugurating an interpretation of “Man’s first disobedience”. By neglecting to obey an authoritative figure, Milton symbolizes death and all woes in mankind from a fruit from the forbidden tree. As a result from taking a bite out of the apple that was instructed not to be eaten, the apple became a symbol for knowledge, immortality, temptation, the fall of man and sin. Milton strategically uses an abundance of literary devices to show the understanding of disobedience in “Paradise Lost”; two significant devices out of the many are as follows: External Conflict and Allusions. Throughout this entire epic poem, Satan attempted to defeat God- revolting against the hierarchy of God’s universe-  where conflict motivated Satan to take action under any circumstance. Satan, who was already damned to hell, undertakes to corrupt God’s new, beloved creation, humankind and this conflict and his bitterness to manipulate humanity leads to the climax where another conflict arises: eating the forbidden fruit. Another literary device used was Allusions; Milton referred to hundreds of other great works, people, and events- many came from the Bible- that ultimately all came together to create a prodigious allusion to the Book of Genesis. By using External Conflict and Allusion, John Milton was able to describe the theme of “Man’s first obedience” throughout the whole epic poem, “Paradise Lost”.        One literary device that was acknowledged in Paradise Lost was the External Conflict between Satan and God. In the poem, Satan was thrown out of heaven for rebelling against God and all that is good; he believed he was the greatest angel and questioned why he had to serve under God, so this jealousy and selfish pride caused powerful tensions between the two immortal figures. This resulted in John Milton dividing the characters into two sides, one side that was Good which was represented by God, and the other side was evil which was led by Satan. In his own desire to not be alone in the choice he makes,he entices and exploits others and himself onward in disobedience to God’s law. Satan convinces a third of heaven’s angels to rebel with him- as he established a mindset that it “was better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven”- leading to a civil war in Heaven that caused massive destruction eventually leading the rebels to be casted into Hell due to their defeat. However, this did not stop Satan’s motives, it only made him have more pursuit to effect God negatively as he directed his speech, “comforting them with hope yet of regaining Heaven; but tells them, lastly, of a new world and new kind of creature to be created, according to an ancient prophecy…” (1, 3) Instead of constantly fighting with God and the Angels, Satan found a new approach later on in the epic poem which was to visit the Garden of Eden and deceive the first humans created: Adam and Eve. Much of Satan’s reliance on accomplishing certain tasks was through the use of lying and trickery- the devil made evil appear good in Paradise Lost- so he concealed his true self by hiding in a serpent’s body. As a “mere serpent in appearance, forth was come” ( IX, 413) Satan seduced and made Eve curious to know what kind of power the apple from the Forbidden Tree holds for her beauty. Even though, “God expressly hath forbid…. Not keeping strictest watch, as she was warned. Seek not temptation, then, which, to avoid” ( IX 345-370) Eve became extremely tempted and took a bite. This conflict between right and wrong led to Satan convincing the first man and woman to disregard the instructions and commandments of God; Adam and Eve were the first humans to disobey God.        In the epic poem, “Paradise Lost”, there was an abounding amount of allusions that were taken out of the bible, for instance, “Noah and the Flood (found in Book 1 Line 195) or the Messiah. All of these allusions are a connection between the characters and the historical events, since “Paradise Lost” was a controversial religious battle between the higher immortals that Christianity follows. The entire poem however was based off the Garden of Eden- the Biblical first man, Adam and woman, Eve, lived in a beautiful paradise with one law being followed: not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. By disobeying God in Book IX, Adam and Eve later on seek forgiveness for their sins and understand that their disobedience towards God will be corrected through years of toil and hard work. This is a solution to why life on planet Earth is never meant to be easy; there is always a great amount of conflicts and stress that dictate our lives. However, if a human tends to create more disobedience towards God, they will ultimately be punished and put through Hell as Stan successfully deceived them, just like they did with Adam and Eve. This does not mean that every human has to be perfect, because no one is, but with all the allusions that were referenced, there is tremendous meaning behind this poem.        Humans tend to disobey obedience a numerous amount of times in their lives, however the significant impact between their actions is that they do not intend to disobey on purpose. There are several reasons that connect to each other to why a human may disobey. One reason is the use of free will; Adam and Eve had the ability to choose, think and act voluntarily which led them to their downfall. They had freedom to get influenced by Satan, which resulted in them having motivation to do what they wanted to do. God stated in Paradise Lost that “I formed them free and free they must remain Till they enthrall themselves. I else must change Their nature and revoke the high decree, Unchangeable, eternal, which ordained Their freedom: They themselves ordained their Fall. ( Book 3, Lines 124-128) This freedom demonstrated that obedience to God can lead to humankind’s salvation. The free will to choose between right and wrong symbolizes that even if humans do choose wrong, they can morally grow afterwards. Adam and Eve chose the wrong path, but their punishment made them learn the importance of the Tree of Knowledge- it must be not eaten from.To conclude, by using External Conflict and Allusion, John Milton was able to describe the theme of “Man’s first obedience” throughout the whole epic poem, “Paradise Lost”. Disobedience was shown as a traumatic idea from John Milton that changed the way humans were meant to live life which all started from Satan himself. His selfish pride and jealousy led him to revolt against God and since he knows God will never forgive him, he continues to disobey. Satan is a very seductive kind of evil that made the readers of this epic poem actually feel bad for his character. His diabolical strategies led the first humans ever created to disobey God himself. That does not mean that they have lost the battle; God was able to forgive them with hardships that made humans learn from their mistakes