Paradise Lost

Light and Sight in Paradise Lost

In Metaphysics, Aristotle creates a series of dualities which are intrinsically "male" or "female." Included in this original set of oppositions are light and darkness and good and evil - the former of each duo being inherently associated with the male, and the latter associated with the female. In many of his works, including Paradise Lost, John Milton not only draws from these opposing dualities but creates a relationship between them. In his first Prolusion, "Whether Day or Night is the More Excellent," Milton clearly associates light with both God and goodness: "I regard Day as Heaven's first daughter, or rather as his son, whom he is said to have begotten to be the consolation of humanity and the terror of the deities of hell" Day is not only a relation to Heaven, but also terrorizes the "deities of hell," such that day (and therefore light) must be good, as opposed to Night (and therefore darkness), which must not only be bad, but also related to Hell's occupants. In Paradise Lost, Milton expands upon this relationship between light and good and darkness and evil to include the human faculty of sight as it relates to the first humans' relationship to good and...

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