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In Milton’s Paradise Lost, particularly the publications that deal with Adam and Eve’s life before and after the fall, for each other, Milton proves to be more Arminian than Calvinist. The reason being that, grace is suggested for the entire human race, and in supplement to that Man is to blame for the drop, not a predetermining or causal God. Milton summarizes up his contradiction with God in his Doctrine of Christianity. Milton’s God answers to Man’s anticipated rise and fall by his design of grace, and it are by this activity that we realize more apparently Milton’s contradiction with Calvinism. Milton’s concept of elegance is not “tempting,” but “restrictive” upon Man’s alternative to recognize or deny it. For Milton, Man does not have the “will” to save himself, but can select to be “saved” by a will that can save him. This of course only points out to Adam and Eve after the incident of fall from grace and not before that. Milton’s theological attitudes can be said “to have been first Calvinistical, and after, possibly when he started to despise the Presbyterians, to have tended in the direction of Arminianism.” This term paper is a try to realize in Milton’s writings, interior confrontation between his poetic awareness and his theological beliefs? Furthermore, would a farther enquiry into this confrontation propose an response to if Milton really subsequent in his life did wander in the direction of an Arminian theology? Lastly, I will enquire how his concepts about free will and necessity then announce his outlook of the human status before and after the drop in Paradise Lost.
Had Calvinism or Arminianism leveraged Milton and his work? This thesis will pursue a concise enquiry to be verified right or wrong. If we address the context of Adam and Eve before the drop, it appears that Milton presents them with a perfect will. However, if Milton’s alternative to direct so carries Calvin’s concept that after the drop Man’s “will” became impure, so much that he could not even make an acquainted alternative to be kept, is not a theology that Milton charmingly accepts. In Book IX, before Eve and Adam are cheated into “serving necessity,” Adam recalls to Eve that “But God left free the will, and reason he made right” (351-2).
When we analyze Eve being enticed by the serpent, we may discover a coherent answer. Eve says:
But of this Tree we may not taste nor touch;
God so commanded, and left that Command
Sole Daughter of his voice; the rest, we live
Law to ourselves, our Reason is our Law (651-4)
As an outcome of Eve’s alternative to comply the serpent (necessity) rather than of God, a dualistic environment evolves inside the school of human Reason. Here in this route, Reason and the Serpent’s lies amalgamate, since the Serpent’s persuasive phrases rung and were “impregned / With Reason, to her appearing, and with truth.” (Walker p. 14)In supplement, when she subsequent explains her awkward proceed to Adam, she reports Adam that she sensed a change occur inside her that directed her from the condition of “Reasoning to Admiration…that I / Have furthermore savored, and have furthermore found” (IX. 872-874) what the serpent has establish. That is a change in the school of Reason. And if Reason and fraud have amalgamated, then the human status is no longer the identical as in the Garden of Eden.
Eve’s lie does not assure Adam absolutely. He is “amazed / Astonied stood and bare, while repugnance chill” likely because he is cognizant that his wife has been transformed. After recognizing that she could not “Reason” “Against his better Knowledge,” since he is not yet “divided,” she holiday resorts to her feminine groundwork gut feeling to win him over:
She gave him of that fair enticing fruit
With liberal hand: he scrupled not to eat
Against his better knowledge, not deceived,
But fondly overcome with female charm (IX.996-99)
Juxtaposed here are two distinct procedures in which humans try to explain their problems; one is by Reason and the other, human instinct. Adam’s better information is set contrary to the power of Eve’s feminine charm. But he is not misled. And, as we have been granted the opening to glimpse the serpent’s procedure to mislead Eve, we are now revealed the procedure that a person will use contrary to another. Eve in managing so becomes Satan’s follower, who is now utilized by Satan to guide her married man to his tragic end, as Satan had finished to her. And while Satan asked to Eve’s yearn for rank, Eve requests to Adam’s intimate desires, and one time Adam has been mislead by gut feeling, he like Eve will also separate.
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