Epic conventions are literary devices used to establish the genre of epic poetry or prose. Epic conventions were first created by the poet Homer. In "Paradise Lost," Milton uses epic conventions to help the reader understand the nature and purpose of his work. In the beginning of the poem, Milton calls upon the muses. This is an important conventional technique that gives literary credibility to the work. "Paradise Lost" describes a story familiar to the readers, using characters the readers already know. It explores the relationship between divine characters and human characters. It emphasizes fate over free will, as the characters are powerless to escape their destinies.