Friday, January 22, 2010

Paradise Lost

To me, one of the most interesting things about Milton's Paradise Lost is his depiction of the loneliness of God, and what this loneliness in turn comes to mean for humans. I kept thinking about God's creation of the garden of Eden, and all of the animals he placed there, and then, one day, his desire to create Adam and Eve in likeness of himself, so that they might worship him.

To me it seemed like the lonely kid who wanders out into the backyard, picks out a rock, and then washes it and names it decides it will be his best friend forever and ever. The same kid who gets mad when it ignores him.

The devil is quite like God in his attachment to humans. When he first enters Paradise, he watches them "with wonder, and could love [them], so lovely shines/in them Divine resemblance" (363-4). But, because he knows they will never join him in hell, he decides he must at least tempt them to the fall. If they cannot join him physically, they will at least join him as outcasts.

So, that brings up a whole different question. Is the whole meaning of life to be an interactive pet rock?


  1. I can see your point about the pet rock because it may seem funny that an infinite and perfect God created finite creatures for pleasure. I think, however, that the fact that God grants free will to Adam and Eve shows that they are meant to be more than pets. With their free will, Adam and Eve can exercise a great deal of control over their own lives if they so desire, even turning completely away from God Himself as they do in the Fall. At least, that is how I see it.

  2. Remember this discussion when we read Browning's "Caliban upon Setebos"