Hierarchies of Importance in Paradise Lost

1774 Words Sep 4th, 2012 8 Pages
Hierarchies of Importance in Paradise Lost A hierarchy is any system of persons or things that are ranked above one another and can be found throughout all natural environments and different aspects of life. Hierarchies provide structure and prevent chaos because there is an overpowering authority at the very top of the chain that makes sure every rank below stays in line. Through the epic poem Paradise Lost, it is apparent that John Milton believed that all of creation was built on the foundation of hierarchies and authoritative power. This idea is emphasized by Milton’s description of the spiritual existence of the universe and incorporation of the natural chain of being where God is placed at the top of both structures. Multiple …show more content…
Even though Satan is cast below all of God’s prior creations, he acquires his fellow angels to follow him in order to corrupt mankind. This proves to be significant to the idea of hierarchies because it demonstrates how they must exist in order to execute a plan and keep structure within a society. Many small hierarchies exist within a large, dominant one. Satan continues to wreak havoc on God’s hierarchy by tempting Eve to deliberately disobey God’s word in an attempt to better herself, causing God to realign the ways of mankind in order to maintain structure. At the end of the story, Eve must make the extremely hard decision of whether or not to eat the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. Satan approaches Eve while she is in the garden and catches her off guard by appearing as a talking serpent and showering her with compliments. Satan uses these methods to his advantage and convinces Eve that the forbidden fruit gave him the power of speech and will transform her from a human to a cherub. This unnerving thought leads Eve to indulge in the apple, making her disrupt the social hierarchy by attempting to jump social stature while also explicitly disobeying God’s command. This scene is considered the climax of the poem because it parallels Satan’s initial act of disobedience, yet on a larger scale because

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