In the era after Shakespeare, through the confusion of Puritan Revolution in Britain, a great poet John Milton lived. It is surprised that he was blind when writing Paradise Lost. It is based on Genesis, and he largely expanded it by means of his own creative imagination which we can find everywhere in it. my professor said, when we drank together, that the first marital quarrel is written down here — it is quite interesting that that story is Milton’s original one which is not written in The Old Testament. It is impossible to show clearly here to what extent we should be careful about the differences between both of them, but you might need not to know everything but the fact that it was written in terms of his criticism towards the British government during Puritan Revolution.
Paradise Lost is filled with lots of themes to scrutinise so that I’ll present how good and evil of humans are perceived in it. Following passage is in Book V.
“God made thee perfect, not immutable;
And good he made thee, but to preserve
He left it in thy power, ordained thy will
By nature free, not overruled by Fate
Inextricable, or strict necessity[.]”
This is very interesting understanding. The angel tells triumphantly that human beings are inherently good, which has been conveyed in Europe for more than hundreds or thousands years, as a matter of course. In other words, if humans did something wrongly, it was caused by something wrong, thus everybody must be saved by God. Acknowledging that, they began to kill others, make war, get familiar with every kinds of evil without reflecting on God’s favour because it’s going to be given necessarily. Milton strongly criticises it.
“O shame to men! Devil with devil damned
Firm concord holds, men only disagree
Of creatures rational, though under hope
Of Heav’nly grace[….]”
Such denouncement might be prepared against the domestic state in tumult as well. It is uncertain whether humans are given inherent goodness or not, at any rate, it is obvious that “moralistic reproach” supported by their religion fills everywhere in English literature. This rhetoric, particularly noticeable as a ironic sense in the nineteenth-century, might be firmly convincing in European culture sprung from the Bible.