Suggested Essay Topics
1. Satan is often seen as an attractive character in Paradise Lost. In what way could he be perceived as attractive? Discuss Milton’s involvement with the character of Satan. Does he identify with Satan? What statement is Milton making about the fallen archangel? Cite examples from the poem to support your answer.
2. Milton declares that his poem will pursue “Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme.” Discuss these words in light of the subject matter of the poem. Why did Milton consider his poem superior to those of Homer and Virgil? Discuss the superiority of his subject matter. Use examples from the poem to support your ideas.
1. Commentators have compared the debate in the devilish council to sessions of the Council of State in Milton’s day. In what way do Moloch, Belial, Mammon, and Beelzebub portray human characteristics? Compare and contrast their points of view. Do they all have one common goal? Support your answer with examples from the poem.
2. Satan volunteers to go on a journey that entails innumerable hazards. What can he hope to gain from this supposed act of self-sacrifice? How is this act typical of his character? Why does he choose to go alone? Why would another volunteer spoil his plan? Give examples from the poem to support your view.
1. The poet...
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