The Tragedy of Creaturely Error

Tobias Gregory

in From Many Gods to One

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780226307558
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226307565 | DOI:
The Tragedy of Creaturely Error

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  • Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)


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This chapter deals with John Milton's Paradise Lost. Paradise Lost is closer to the Christiad in its biblical subject and direct approach to divine action, and it restores the relationship between gods and mortals to the central importance it held in classical epic. Divine action becomes an impossibly large subject in the case of Paradise Lost. In the Satanic epic within Paradise Lost, Milton makes his devils appear to do more, and in fact do less, than the active devils of his Renaissance precursors. He negotiates the specifically epic literary problems and also the paradox at the heart of Christian diabolology. He also was a radical Protestant heretic and a fiercely independent intellectual, but he was not a skeptic, a deist, or a latitudinarian. Moreover, he could eliminate the disadvantages of monotheism for epic or justify the Christian God.

Keywords: John Milton; Paradise Lost; divine action; Christian diabolology; monotheism; Christian God

Chapter.  16576 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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