Paradise Lost Questions and Answers
by John Milton

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In what ways could Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost be read as an allegory on the "paradise" of Interregnum Britain that he and other supporters of Cromwell had lost?  

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Thanh Munoz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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While there is no way one can "prove a negative" (in other words, to demonstrate beyond question that an author did not intend a certain meaning) with regard to this issue or anything else in the history of literature, I would tend to doubt that Milton had this idea in mind in writing Paradise Lost.

Regardless of how great Milton and others may have considered Cromwell as a religious and political leader, to view him on the same plane as God would have been heresy, even to them. The Paradise of the Bible is a state in which God's newly-created earth has not yet been corrupted by evil. By contrast, the English Commonwealth came after a period of civil and religious conflict. In other words, the "devil" (if this is how Milton and others on the Puritan side would have regarded the king, Charles I) had already been in power, was executed, and was replaced by a form of government in which the "true" form of Christianity, according to its adherents, was finally empowered. And England during the...

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Robert C. Evans eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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