Paradise Lost Questions and Answers
by John Milton

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Examine Paradise Lost as a Renaissance epic.

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Milton's epic shares many of the conventions of earlier epics, such as those by Homer and Virgil. Though Milton wrote in English rather than in a classical language such as Latin or Greek, Paradise Lost, like the earlier epics, starts in medias res (in the middle of the action) and concerns itself with the interaction between gods and mortals. In addition, the poem shares literary conventions with...

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Milton can rightly be called as the child of Renaissance.  And undoubtedly Paradise Lost is the product of Rennaissance in every means of learning, literature and philosophy.  The main characteristics of a Rennaissance in a work of art are the echoes of romance, chivalry, pastoral music and dance.  Milton(though a puritan) dwells upon his love of Pagan learning by providing references and allusions in almost all his narrative and descriptive passages in Paradise Lost.

The description of Eden for example, is rich in the beauty of the medieval world. This could even be seen in the Book IV of Paradise Lost in the description of Adam and Eve.

Another Renaissance element in the Epic is Humanism.  As the creation of mankind is found to be superior in Milton, he provides him with his doctrine of "free will"(through Satan in the Epic)in Paradise Lost.  The part of regarding man as man, retaining his own dignity and worth is too can be noted through Satan from his indomitable spirit of free will.  Independence, thirst for knowledge, adventures are the only goal of a Renaissance man and the same spirit is expressed through Satan. Thus we could positively regard Paradise Lost as an Renaissance Epic.