Paradise Lost

Genesis Revised

John Milton's Paradise Lost is an epic that has influenced the Christian perception of God, Satan, sin, and the origin of mankind for centuries. His poetic account of the creation story, though, clearly expands on several aspects within the most fundamental Christian version of creation, the Genesis story. Milton's development of Genesis particularly addresses the questionable equality between Adam and Eve and the concept of free will versus that of predestination and their role in the ultimate fall from Eden. There is an unprecedented focus placed on the nature of Adam and Eve and on their inherent qualities in Paradise Lost and it is through this focus that Milton expands the Genesis account. As a result, he presents readers with an interpretation of the creation story that both reflects the gender attitudes of his time. In addition, his emphasis on free will enables Milton to justify God's casting of Adam and Eve from Paradise, while also moving readers to recognize the presence of the choice between good and evil in their lives. The epic is not simply a longer and more elaborate version of the origin of humankind, but a revision of Genesis that has ramifications involving the Christian doctrine of free will as...

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