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Paradise Lost, Book III, lines 227-253

Page history last edited by MariuszAndrukiewcz 8 years, 8 months ago

1. Summary

     In this passage, Jesus Christ, God's son volunteers himself as the sacrifice needed for the atonement of sin. Something needs to be done to repair the damage done, and Christ decides someone worthy must offer themselves to pay for man's sin. God gave man the free will to choose right from wrong, and instead of punishing mankind for their actions he offers them his only son.  At the beginning of the passage, Christ explains that “Grace” and in other words mercy and redemption, no human will ever see, “He her aid can never seek once dead in sins and lost”(232-33) Christ refuses to let this happen and offers himself “Behold me then, Me for him, Life for life/ I offer.” (236-37). Toward the end, he explains that he will give up the glory and comfort of being by God’s side, and pay the debt that is owed to “Death”. He will give up all of him that “can die”, and through his resurrection he will give the ultimate death blow to death itself. By becoming mortal and offering himself to death he is giving salvation to the human race and allowing God to defeat hell.

 

2. Importance to Larger Work

      This passage is important to the larger work, because it is the moment that man is saved and given an opportunity to rejoin God and not be permanently dammed. But it is also important because it shows, the actual moment or rather the actual words that make it up. In this passage we are provided with a depiction of the greatest salvation ever known to man, it is as crucial as it gets in Christianity as well as the plot. It shows the reader that ultimately, there will be salvation and man will be redeemed. Which in turn, shows the reader that try as he might, Satan will never truly be successful at his mission of turning man against God. By offering man his only son he gives them a chance at redemption. Those who have faith in the son of God will be redeemed and assend into heaven, while those without faith will be dammed to hell. Christ will be given the power to judge mankind. By watching over man and seeing that Satan is trying hard to destroy his creation, he knows that he has created man strong enough to overcome Satan's deception. By Christ offering himself he gives man a chance to reedeem themselves, and show their loyalty to the lord. Man used his free will in disobedience of God's word, and with this sacrafise he has faith that man will rise from their fall. Finally, it showcases the power that God has, through himself as well as through Christ. Death itself, is of no match for the lord.

 

 

3. Produced Meaning

      There is a strong emphasis on Christ, and his decision to volunteer. Through the use of repetition, it is repeatedly stressed that Christ is the one who made the decision to save man. Between lines 236 and 238, Jesus refers to himself 5 times, “Behold Me then, Me for him, life for life/ I offer. On Me let thine anger fall. Account Me man.”  By the end of the passage he refers to himself 8 more times. This repetition is used to highlight the core meaning in the passage, which is that Christ gave up his own divine being and luxury to come down to earth and get persecuted, and murdered. I think the emphasis is to point out that it was Christ who gave man the second chance, while God along with the other angels seems to have lost hope. Milton here, could be emphasizing the importance of Christ in in the plot of “Paradise Lost”, as well as his importance in Christianity in general. With this emphasis on Christ volunteering, I think it also sets up Jesus as a new enemy of Satan. And ultimately a new barrier to Satan’s revenge. In, addition to his use of repetition, Milton uses personification. In this passage Milton personifies death, in doing this he is giving Christ a being to overcome. Milton writes "On me let Death wreck all his rage!/Under his gloomy pow'r I shall not long/Lie vanquished." (241-243). Here Milton shows personification of death by capatilizing the word and later referering to "his gloomy pow'r". In this passage and throughout paradise lost Milton's writing seems very biblical, being that his material is closley related to the bible. His style however is very unique and stands out to readears to be very regal. Stylistically, Milton uses inversion when he begin's several lines with "On Me". He writes "On Me let thine anger fall" (237), instead of "let thine anger fall on me".  Inversion is used here to put stress on the word "Me", showing Christ's contribution to man not only through repetiton of the word me put by emphasizing it.

 

 

4. Questions 

     A. With Christ volunteering himself, (in the midst of no other suggested or offered help), what is to say for the angel's initial attitude toward man?

     B. By Christ sacrafising himself for man, is justice damaged, or does man deserve a chance at redemption after disobeying the lord?

Comments (1)

MariuszAndrukiewcz said

at 5:30 pm on Mar 6, 2012

Rephrase, beef up, and add whatever you want. I'm sure you can add a lot with your take on it, theres a few other things to tackle, like diction in the passage. I have a research paper to work on tomorrow night, and I didn't want to take the chance and have only half-done. But we still have some time, so add whatever. If not, I'll add a few things before class on Thursday.

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