Milton’s Justice: Justice and Free Will in Paradise Lost College
Two of the most influential pieces of epic literature ever written—John Milton’s Paradise Lost and Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy— have much more in common than it might first appear. Upon further examination of both the epics, it becomes clear that Milton seems to be engaging upon a sort of mission to create the next great Christian epic and to re-define and renew some of the themes and sacred truths that Dante discussed in The Divine Comedy. One of these prevalent truths was the role of justice, both in the realm of humanity and in the structure of the divine universe.
It’s clear that the two novels have significantly distinct definitions and roles of justice. Throughout Dante’s epic, justice is represented as perfect, divine, and infallible, especially in the realms of Paradiso. Paradise Lost, on the other hand, presents the role of justice as much more diverse and complex in the role of humanity, especially since the book seems to continually present God as a tyrannical, omnipotent figure. If God is so just and so all knowing, the reader asks, then why does he allow man to fall? Or Satan to give in to the temptation of power? To answer these questions, due respect must be paid to one...
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