The Son may be the most dynamic character (in terms of development and change) in Milton’s great works. Trace the character from his start to his finish (through Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained). How does the character develop, and what might Milton be trying to illustrate through that development?
Milton’s Paradise Lost is grounded in Protestant theology. God’s Son first appears in the poem as the resplendent progeny of God the Father, co-eternal with Him:
Hail holy light, offspring of Heav’n first-born,
Or of th’ Eternal Coeternal beam
May I express thee unblam’d? since God is light,
And never but in unapproached lightDwelt from Eternitie, dwelt then in thee... (Paradise Lost 1)
While in God the Father we see the perfect monarch of the universe, whose main attributes are power, justice, and reason, the Son epitomizes the compassionate aspect of the Godhead, because He is going to become the redemptive sacrifice for humanity. His mercy balances the Father’s judgment. Because of His perfect relationship with the Father, the Son is willing to do the Father’s will to the utmost:
Then with the multitude of my redeemd
Shall enter Heaven long absent, and returne,
Father, to see thy face, wherein no cloud
Of anger shall remain, but peace assur’d… (Paradise Lost 3)
In Book 6, the...
(The entire section contains 583 words.)
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