Death In Paradise Lost

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Death In Paradise Lost

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Title: Death In Paradise Lost
Author: Tesdal, Luke
Abstract: This thesis is an examination of the role that death plays in Paradise Lost. I argue that Milton's conception of death is a unified presentation of a complex but singular theological idea. My analysis examines the ways in which Milton's construction of death interacts with the traditions and interpretations of his contemporaries and with the theological views he explains in De Doctrina Christiana. Essential to my analysis is the connection between the monstrous form that Death takes in his physical appearances and the comforting promise that redemption offers by the end of the epic. These two representations are often viewed as contradictions but I conclude that they are two sides of the same entity. I make the distinction between personified Death and conceptual death as a method of keeping the two presentations clear; however, I argue that Milton does not present them as separate representations of death but as interrelated and equally valid parts of the fall of mankind. Death's role as evil is intrinsic because of his infernal birth: in Hell as on Earth no good can come from Sin. In Milton's system only the divine mercy of God alters, but doesn't remove, the punishment for transgression.
Date: 2009-09-16
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