Paradise Lost Paper Assignment
Through the conception of Sin and Death, along with Satan, Milton creates somewhat of an Unholy Trinity, juxtaposing the Holy Trinity of God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This juxtaposition of characters allows Milton to employ strategies such as utilizing the actions and appearances allegoric characters to represent and reveal hidden concepts. The manifestation of Sin and Death allows Milton to reveal concealed aspects of Satan’s character, exposing both flaws and fallacies, while the creation and abstract qualities of Sin give rise to a lasting impact on the post-lapsarian humanity.
Upon seeing Sin and Death guarding the hell gates, Satan fails to initially recognize his own daughter and incestuous grandson. The idea that Satan cannot recognize Sin, his own creation, is strange because, much like how Zeus created Athena, Sin was sprung from Satan’s head, created in his own image (Milton, 2.752-758). This incongruity can be clarified by considering when Sin was created. Sin was created in Heaven from Satan’s thoughts of revolting against God, meaning she was created in Satan’s image before he had truly fallen. Once created, her likeliness to Satan causes him, enamored by his own image, to seduce her, causing Death to be conceived. Ravaged by Death, her shaped “thus grew transformed” (Milton, 2.784). Since he had fallen, Satan is incapable of accepting the idea that he had changed, a concept reinforced while he was in Paradise. Unable to recognize Satan, Zephon informs him to “Think not, revolted spirt, they shape the same, / Or undiminished brightness, to be known / As when thou stood’st in Heaven upright and pure,” and that he now resembles “sin” (Milton, 4.835-837). Being unable to accept who he has become, Satan is unable to recognize the new form his creation, Sin.
Milton employs Sin as a tangible figure in order to represent abstract qualities throughout the...