Milton's Santanic Hero as a Political Allegory

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Paradise Lost is known to date as John Milton’s most important and well known piece of literature. It is an epic poem that is comprised of twelve books telling the story of the fall of the angels from heaven and the fall of humankind in the Garden of Eden. Full of allegory, symbolism, and deep, thoughtful explanations of the characters within, it is one of the most complex works of literature that still sparks debate to this day. To understand the debates that are ongoing about Paradise Lost it is important to know a little of Milton’s background as well as the political events of the day. John Milton, born in London in 1608, was raised with a strong religious base, as many were in England at the time. His grandfather was a Roman Catholic, whom later disowned his own son (Milton’s father) for being a Protestant. His schooling took place at St. Paul’s school, and later at Christ’s College, Cambridge, where he completed his degree in preparation for becoming a clergyman. During this time Charles I was in rule along with The Church of England, both with which Milton was very dissatisfied, leading him to continue his schooling instead of joining the church ( ). Civil war broke out and a Puritan man named Oliver Cromwell took control as the monarchy was overthrown. In the beginning Milton fully supported Cromwell and the Puritan ideals, taking a break from writing poetry that spanned nearly twenty years to put forth all his efforts on Puritanism ( ). Cromwell intended to make a government that was both monarchy and democracy to give a voice to the people through parliament, and to some he was a great ruler, known as the “Protector of England” ( ). To others his pride and hunger for power took control, making him a cruel ruler and borderline genocidal. Cromwell died while still ruling and his son took over, though not for a very long reign, as the people decided they
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