Title

An Alternative to Divine Omniscience: John Milton’s Chaos and Night

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date

April 2017

Faculty Sponsor

Jacky O'Connor

Abstract

Paradise Lost ,written by John Milton, is an epic poem that details the fall of Adam and Eve from the garden Eden. I have chosen the characters of Satan, Adam, and Eve in relation to the other characters Chaos and Night. The latter are never seen interacting with any of the other characters in a physical way, yet their presence is still felt and seen within the narrative. The absence of interaction shows the important roles Chaos and Night play within the poem as representing the “other.” Eve and her particular relationship with God, his rule, and her relationship with Chaos and Night represent a feminized otherness that Eve at times within the narrative wishes to join via suicide. Although Milton presents the options of escape from God’s rule, the “love” the characters have for the ruler and his universe keeps them underneath his control. Chaos and Night are never offered as an alternative outside of God’s rule, and yet they remain as an opposite presence to God and his rule.

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