Paradise Regained

by John Milton

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Last Updated September 5, 2023.

It can be argued that there are two core themes to Milton's poem Paradise Regained. The first is that of reversal, negation, and undoing of fate. The title of the work itself modifies that of its prequel, Paradise Lost, by introducing a negation. Within the text, Milton often juxtaposes antonymic words in his syntax that repeatedly cancel each other out, suggesting that the work itself serves to restore humanity's spiritual ambition or hope that was originally "lost."

The second theme is that of hunger. Milton repeats references to both bodily and spiritual hunger by tracking Jesus's meanderings through the desert for forty days and nights as he looked for bodily sustenance and religious restoration. Satan focuses on hunger in the literal sense by constantly trying to entice the fallible human version of Christ with food. Ultimately, Jesus refuses Satan's temptations and is able to end his own spiritual hunger.

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