Paradise Lost

Divinity of Angels as Seen in Paradise Lost College

In Paradise Lost, John Milton endows angels with magnificent qualities, both positive and negative. Through symbolism, he shows their greatness. In a meaningful shift from earlier ideas of his time, Milton’s angels are shown to possess full free will. This capacity makes them creatures of choice, rather than a definite force of good or evil. They are shown to be superior to humans in some ways, but very similar in others, including their yearning to unify with God in a sexual, but not lustful manner. Three texts in particular explore these aspects and more of the divinity of Milton’s angels: Milton’s Angels by John Andrew Himes, Desiring Angels: The Angelic Body in Paradise Lost by Karma DeGruy, and Milton’s Warring Angels by William Kolbrener.

Milton employs symbolism throughout Paradise Lost to convey truths, but this is specifically explained in Milton’s Angels by John Andrew Himes, who analyzes the nature of both righteous and fallen angels in terms of Milton’s symbolism. This symbolism depicts great things- the worst of the sins and the best of the virtues of the world. These ideas show the reader both the meaning which the symbolism works to portray and the significance of all of the angels. Himes begins his argument by...

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