Saturday, October 12, 2019
Paradise Lost by John Milton :: sin, death
The family reunion that takes place with Satan, Sin and Death foreshadows the fall of man. Sin and Death are personifications against broken heavenly laws: narcissism, incest and lust. Satan becomes enamored by his own creation because he sees himself in her image; "...who full oft/Thyself in me thy perfect imageÃ¢â¬ ¦" ll. 763-764. However, he goes on to commit two other sins as he lusts and goes off "in secret" with his own daughter. Sin, in turn, gives birth so painfully, she describes it as such, "breaking violent way/Tore through my entrails". The sins within the family are further compounded by Death who rapes his mother. Sin in turn give birth to howling dogs that forever cause her pain. Milton's allegorical representation here works with the rest of the poem because it is the most poignant example of Milton's misogynic attitude. His attitude towards women is sprawled though out the poem as depicts Eve, thus there is a parallel between Sin and Eve. Milton represents both of them as inherently evil. Aside from the fact that Sin was created from Satan's twisted thoughts, she commits no offenses against God's laws. For example, Sin gave in to her father's sexual advances and ran in fear from her son's. One can arguably say that she, as Satan's daughter acted "appropriately" submissive to her father's command. To add, she feared the vileness of her son's advances. Milton gives ample indication of Sin's unwillingness to have sex with her son when he says, " I fled, but he pursuedÃ¢â¬ ¦and swifter far,/Me overtook his mother all dismayed,/And in embraces forcible and foul" (ll. 790-793). Yet, the punishments for these vile sexual encounters are su ffered only by Sin. The latter advance being so vile that she suffers it incessantly as she experiences the painful births of the dogs over and over again, "hourly conceived/And hourly born" (ll796-797). This gross imagery foreshadows what Eve will soon experience after the fall of Eden. It is also important to note that Sin carries the entire burden of her family's vice within her womb as would Eve and all of her daughters. According to Milton, the original sin of procreating via sex began in the non-mortal world, and the woman suffers it by painful births.