John Milton 's Paradise Lost

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A few years prior to writing Paradise Lost, John Milton lost his vision. In fact, Milton does not hide the reality that his “eyes, that roll in vain…find no dawn”(Paradise Lost, 3.22-23). The light that Milton refers to, however, is not just physical, but it is also spiritual. There is a third type of blindness that Milton addresses, blindness from knowledge. Milton is concerned with this form of blindness in a number of works, perhaps most notably Areopagitica. The acquisition of knowledge plays a vital role in Paradise Lost: the fall of Adam and Even relies on their attainment of knowledge; the decision to eat the fruit is blasphemous because Adam and Eve know that it is forbidden to them; Adam embarks on an educational mission as he asks Raphael questions in an attempt to gain more knowledge about the world around him. However, not all knowledge can be attained by Adam and Eve, which complicates the justice of the fall. As John Milton explores the nature of knowledge in Paradise Lost, the validity and visibility of this knowledge lead Adam and Eve to an unjust fall. With the exception of God, knowledge is limited for all the characters in the text. When Adam asks Raphael a number of questions concerning his creation and his duties towards God, Raphael readily answers. However, when Adam inquiries about the cosmological universe, Raphael provides an answer but quickly reminds Adam that this knowledge “from Man or Angel the great Architect/Did wisely to conceal, and not

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