Summary Of ' Paradise Lost ' A Lesson On The Human Condition '

1758 Words8 Pages
Jeremiah Starke
English Lit
Dr. Lobo
17 October 2016
The Sin of Forbidden Knowledge in Paradise Lost: A Lesson on the Human Condition
Milton’s Paradise Lost poses an interesting argument on why knowledge is a bad thing, through clues given in the dialogue between the angels, Satan, Adam, and Eve we can get an idea of which aspects of knowledge makes it sinful and why it is discouraged against by God. A good place to start is understanding the significance of the tree of knowledge of good and evil which possesses this forbidden knowledge because its meaning changes the perspective in which we see knowledge. One possible interpretation is that it implies that there is this dimension of good and evil attributed to knowledge, and it is knowledge that separates humans from God. Another important factor to consider, is the nature of consciousness, and Milton uses its definition to show us how it leads us to sin when Adam and Eve acquire forbidden knowledge. consciousness is defined in the Oxford dictionary as “directly perceptible to and under control of the person concerned”. In other words, consciousness is limited to what we can directly perceive based on prior knowledge. That is what becomes problematic for humans when attaining forbidden knowledge of God. This is because it shows us that the pursuit of knowledge is not bad in itself but rather our capacity to comprehend it is the problem. This is aspect of human consciousness is what differentiates the way we think verses

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