Stuart Curran

in The Oxford Handbook of Milton

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199697885
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature


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The God of Paradise Lost exists, first and foremost, as a character, and a highly problematic one for many readers. It appears to be the contention of twenty-first-century critical revisionism that John Milton deliberately accentuates the paradoxes as a means of freeing Christianity from externally imposed sectarian dogma or critics striving for authority through authoritarian tactics. The most striking aspect of Paradise Lost, one that Milton not only does not gloss over but rather accentuates, is that the events it recounts, whatever the sanction of the Bible, did not have to happen. Milton claims his connection to God on the same principle on which God posits his creation, by his own accepted martyrdom, which, from this point, establishes the pattern of his self-representation in the subsequent poems in Books 7 and 9.

Keywords: God; Paradise Lost; John Milton; Christianity; Bible

Article.  4715 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (1500 to 1800) ; Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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