Paradise Lost

Sin and Death

Describe the birht of Sin, Death and the hellhounds in detail. Why do you think Milton chose this particularly graphic and disturbing imagery to personify these ideas?

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Milton’s allegory of Sin and Death in Paradise Lost—his introducing abstract ideas as agents in the world of his epic—provoked a number of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century critics to claim that these vigorously personified beings have no place in the poem. Most of the debate centers on the interaction of Sin and Death with Satan in Book II, but some readers also question later involvement of the characters as physical beings in the poem—for instance, when Sin and Death travel to Eden after Adam and Eve have eaten from the Tree of Knowledge.