Cosmology in Milton's Paradise Lost

2810 Words May 23rd, 2013 12 Pages
The Oxford English Dictionary defines "cosmos" as "the world or universe as an ordered and harmonious system," from the Greek, "kosmos," referring to an ordered and/or ornamental thing.
When God created the world he had this in mind. To have a harmonious system in the universe where everything can live in peace and free of all worry. God was on top and everything was peaceful. Until the angles in Milton's Paradise Lost had a fight. After the fight God banished these bad angels and had the last part of his universe created, hell. This completed a very complex picture of Milton's vision of the universe in the beginning.

The encyclopedic writers of the early Middle Ages communicated a modest assortment of basic cosmological information,
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Universal agreement of such magnitude emerged not because the educated felt compelled to yield to the authority of Aristotle, but because his cosmological picture offered a persuasive and satisfying account of the world as they perceived it. Nonetheless, certain elements of Aristotelian cosmology quickly became the objects of criticism and debate, and it is here, in the attempt to flesh out and fine-tine Aristotelian cosmology and bring it into harmony with the opinions of other authorities and with biblical teaching, that medieval scholars made their cosmological contribution.

But the most interesting point about Milton´s cosmology is this: why, when he knew of the discoveries Galileo had made with his telescope-as Book VIII clearly proves-and must have accepted the validity of the Copernican cosmology, wich our planetary system revolves, did Milton base his universe upon the Ptolematic pattern? The answer lies in the literary advantages of accepting the older though erreoneous concept: it was known, and Copernicanism was strongly resisted and only slowly accepted; the Ptolematic system was orderly, it laid down limits within wich Milton found it easier to work, and it made God and man the two ends of a chain-man can ascend, onward and ever
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