Creator Creation Relationship In Milton’s Paradise Lost: Analytical Essay

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In Milton’s Paradise Lost, the ultimate model of the relationship between creator and creation is demonstrated in the relationship of God and Man. Milton refers to God as Heavenly Father declares His omnipotence. (Leila and Mohammad 55). God is a masterful creator and as and as Psalm 24:1 says, “The earth is the LORD'S, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it” (New American Standard Bible). In Paradise Lost and the Bible alike, God gave man “free-will” and reason to understand and make a choice between good and evil. God made Adam and Eve out of His own image and Milton expresses this when writing: “my thoughts associated with them in surprise and disbelief. I can love them, for they have such a strong divine likeness…” (Milton). The essence of humanity is a combination of God and man. In Paradise Lost, readers see the role of God as creator in His creation of Adam and Eve. When Adam and Eve gave in to their temptation from Satan and sin, they are cast out of the Garden of Eden. Sin is born and though God is angered, readers see that God is graceful and just. Adam councels Eve and they approach their creator in humble contrite prayer. They sincerely repent of their sin in an act that brings about their reconciliation with God (Urban 107). Their contrition is theologically pure and is met by God’s mercy and justice as their sins are forgiven. The creator creation relationship in Paradise Lost provides readers with the assurance and understanding of God and His ways. As David Urban said in his journal article, “The Falls of Satan, Eve, and Adam, in Paradise Lost…”, “sincere repentance paved the way for their renewed theological sincerity, an integrity of belief that will be safeguarded by a life of sincere obedience” (107-108).

A secondary relationship explored through Paradise Lost is the relationship between God and Satan. Satan falls both through his refusal to worship God’s son and through the angelic rebellion he leads. As a result, Satan attempts to portray himself as God’s victim. Instead of repenting to God as Adam and Eve did, Satan instead chooses to live a life of rebellion. This is evident when Satan tempts Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. As David Urban wrote, “ As his conscience reminds him of his lost glory, Satan recognizes the perpetual Hell within himself” (96). While Satan may believe that he is all powerful as God is, in Paradise Lost, Satan admits that he was created by God. This admission demolishes “Satan’s ontological grounding for rebellion against God and reveals his claims as fallacious and insincere” (Urban 96). In addition, Satan admits that God was good and fully worthy of his praise and obedience, the motives behind his rebellion, and his role in his followers’ downfall. However, Satan is prideful and rejects repentance and disdaining submission to God. He considers himself a “patron of Adam and Eve, who can save them from their wicked master” who “has imposed upon them” “conditions of ignorance” (Milton 69).

Another example of the role of creator and creature can be examined from Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein through the characters of Victor Frankenstein and the Creature. Frankenstein brings to life a “hubristically conceived” Creature with no regard for his life or the consequences of abandoning him (Shohet 160). At the sight of his creation Frankenstein instantly is taken aback by its appearance. “I had desired it with an ardour that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart” (Shelly 35). Frankenstein, unable to sympathize with the being he created abandons the creature. He sought to “measure the formal logic of equality and reciprocity” by determining whether his own rights out weighed the “small portion of happiness” he could offer. Unlike Milton’s God, Frankenstein was not just and implicitly recognized the influence his own power would have on the Creature (Hustis 850). As a result, the creature is left to figure things out on his own with no direction of who he is. When the Creature discovers Milton’s Paradise Lost, the Creature reports, “excited different and far deeper emotions… it moved every feeling of wonder and awe, that the picture of an omnipotent God warring with his creatures was capable of existing” (Shelly 116). Here we see that the Creature’s knowledge is gained by this book as it enables him to understand his position in the world and the similarities found with his own life. At the notion that his creator has no regard for him, the Creature realizes he’s alone. The Creature says:

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“He had some come forth from the hands of God a perfect creature, happy and prosperous, guarded by the especial care of his Creator; he was allowed to converse with, and acquire knowledge from, beings of superior nature: but I was wretched, helpless, and alone” (Shelly 117).

The Creature recognized his solitude and looked for companionship with society, however when he’s met with horrified rejection a shift in personality changed as he began to no longer identify with Adam from Paradise Lost, but rather Satan. Victor Frankenstein demonstrated a lack of responsibility and compassion for his creation which ultimately resulted in a life of fear for the revenge he knew he had coming. As Harriet Hustis writes, “ Frankenstein, fails to exercise such moral responsibility for the single life he creates because he regards creativity as an abstraction” (853). Perhaps if Victor had demonstrated qualities of God in Paradise Lost his life would not have ended in murder.

Numerous references to Paradise Lost in Frankenstein are made throughout the work. Frankenstein’s creature finds a number of books in the woods, among which is Paradise Lost. Paradise Lost provides the creature with a means to understand his existence and under both humans and Satan’s fall from paradise as Victor Frankenstein abandons the creature at the very moment brought to life 'But Paradise Lost,' the Creature reports, 'excited different and far deeper emotions . . . it moved every feeling of wonder and awe, that the picture of an omnipotent God warring with his creatures was capable of exciting' (Shelly 116) The monster of Frankenstein perceives the parallels among himself and Milton's characters. Being deserted by his maker, the creature finds himself in a world he doesn't comprehend. The creature connects himself and thereafter consistently interprets his own experience with the characters in Milton's Paradise Lost to make sense of his own condition. “I often referred the several situations, as their similarity struck me, to my own. Like Adam, I was apparently united by no link to any other being in existence . . . [yet] many times I considered Satan as the fitter emblem of my condition' (Shelly 116–17). As a result, he associates Frankenstein to Milton's God to understand the relationship between creature and creator. Unlike God presented in Paradise Lost, as Harriet Hustis wrote, “Frankenstein is interested in the principle of “life” only as an abstraction” (848). This realization is confirmed with Frankenstein’s willingness to sacrifice precision for speed. Life is of purely theoretical interest to Frankenstein and enables him to avoid the moral and physical complexities of life (Hustis 849). The God we see in Paradise Lost in contrast, views creation as an “associative or nurturing act” (Hustis 855). It is the creator’s responsibility to recognize the inherent capabilities of their creation and make sure it is most suitable for development and success. The difference between the two creators of God in Paradise Lost and Victor Frankenstein in Frankenstein are evident.

In Paradise Lost, “Milton portrays Satan as magnificent and inspiring in the expectation that his readers will sympathize with the demon, and then turns on the reader and, speaking through the narrative of the epic, condemns him for fulfilling this very expectation.” It is clear that Satan, who commited a supreme act of blasphemy, deserves to be shunned from his creator God. Shelly does a very similar thing in Frankenstein when she “replicates Satan’s development in the unlucky but fundamentally blameless Creature.” As a result, Shelly draws an association of the Creature with Milton’s Satan both implicitly, through the Creature’s actions, and explicitly, through the words of the creature himself. A clear parallel emerges between them as both Satan and the Creature were created in the hands of another. At the time of their creation, both figures are pure and good. They become evil when they doubt the affection of their creators. While they were both driven to sin, their reasons to do so came from their very different origins. Like all humans, Satan and the Creature could exercise free will and ultimately chose evil, but for distinct reasons. The Creature desired to be loved, had hoped and aspirations, and have a relationship with his creator, Victor Frankenstein. However, the world could not get past his physical appearance which in turn led to his demise and evil nature. The creature transgresses after he learns of his creator’s aborrence of him. With this rejection from his creator and mutliple rejections from other humans, he decides to murder Victor Frankenstein. In contrast, Satan did not become a fallen angel because of physical rejection, instead because of his desire to be greater than God and his immoral ideals that he wished to oppose upon others. While some chose to follow him, the majority did not leading to his fallen status and desire to cause misery on others that obeyed God. Both rejected creators commit acts of retaliation through a different lens of context and motivation. Satan doesn’t benefit from his crimes, other than the satisfaction of causing pain in his creator. In contrast, the Creature is driven to evil for a desired outcome. We see that the Creature like Satan is left at the end of the text with imminent doom. Satan and the Creature conclude alike “Evil be thou my Good” (Milton 114). The Creature refers to himself as Satan: “the fallen angel becomes a malignant devil” (Shelly 188)

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Creator Creation Relationship In Milton’s Paradise Lost: Analytical Essay. (2022, December 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 15, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/creator-creation-relationship-in-miltons-paradise-lost-analytical-essay/
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