Politics in the already lost Paradise.

2018-03-19-16-12-31-7571Oh Holy Father, clear me of all the sins I hereby am going to perform, amen.”- is this what Milton thought before penning down ‘Paradise Lost‘? Oh sorry, ‘narrating’. What made him write an epic on the ethereal fight, a fight that was boundless, and brimmed up with love? Yes, you read it right. Love.

Love and then jealousy- led to the fight that became a treat, for the rest of the being, for as long as there’s existence. Needless to write, Paradise Lost is the socio-political projection of the contemporary English society with the help of the theme of ‘human creation‘ triggering Satan to go against the Almighty and making us, the beings, a witness of the fight that is about to begin. Let’s see how.

The first words of Paradise Lost state that the poem’s main theme will be “Man’s first Disobedience.” Milton narrates the story of Adam and Eve’s disobedience, explains how and why it happens, and places the story within the larger context of Satan’s rebellion and Jesus’ resurrection. Unlike Satan, Adam and Eve understand that their disobedience to God will be corrected through generations of toil on Earth.Paradise Lost is about hierarchy as much as it is about obedience. The layout of the universe—with Heaven above, Hell below, and Earth in the middle—presents the universe as a hierarchy based on proximity to God and his grace.

A fortunate Fall.

As Adam goes on describing the fall as ‘Felix Culpa’, we hereby draw out a very generalised interpretation of justifying God’s action of ”punishing” the mortals with corruption and death. But this in fact leads to the birth of a complete new agenda in the diary of Life. This catastrophe dies in fact shows God’s mercy and benevolence in letting the mortals enjoy grace and salvation, which wouldn’t have been possible otherwise without the disobedience.

 

Politics in Paradise.

Milton’s political views can be seen with particular clarity in relation to the execution of Charles I. Arguments both for and against Charles’ reign exhibit a distinctively legal approach to scriptural exegesis . During his trial, Charles refused to make a plea to the court, claiming that no court could possess the necessary authority to try him.. The belief that the monarch is answerable only to God finds Biblical support in the Old Testament’s records of God’s endorsement of the kings of Israel and Judah, and in the New Testament in Romans 13:1-2.

It is important to recognise that just as Milton’s political writings attain an extraordinary essence through the use of literary devices, his poetry often overflows with political flavour and antagonism, rather anti-heroism.

In attempting to posit Paradise Lost in its political domain we face a particular critical flavour, which rests upon the kind of context which we already have in our subconscious mind while reading it. On the one hand, we can examine the stylistic and argumentative analogies between sections of Paradise Lost and Milton’s more exclusively political writings. On the other hand, Paradise Lost can be read as a political allegory, which is to say that events and characters in Paradise Lost can be aligned with aspects of the political context of the poem’s creation and also the stately affairs. As Satan says:

“Is this the region, this the soil, the clime, […]
That we must change for heaven, this mournful gloom
For that celestial light? “

Satan uses a series of rhetorical questions with progressively more contracted format in order to assert his point in the zenith of his temper. But Milton’s rhetorical aristocracy also allows him to weave subtle indistinguishable flaws into Satan’s own arguments, expressing his corrupted nature at a particularly detailed level and contradicting his own ideals:

“Indeed? Hath God then said that of the fruit
Of all these garden trees ye shall not eat,
Yet lords declared of all in earth or air?”

Satan, on purpose, misunderstands Eve in order to make God’s restriction appear more authoritarian, meaningless, illogical, egoistic and perverse. But more than this, he implies that there is a savage but lame contradiction between Adam and Eve having been created as lords over the self-sufficient world and their being restricted from eating the sacred fruit! The implication is gentle, and avoids direct criticism of God, instead putting pressure on Eve to justify God’s prohibition, indicating Satan’s political efficiency in defeating God, but with proxies. These examples also demonstrate that he can modulate between different kinds of rhetorical and unavoidably political questioning, much as Milton’s works combine both budding interrogation, and the barbed, but deliberate faux-naive attitude which Satan adopts towards Eve.

But the stylistic similarities between passages of Paradise Lost and Milton’s political works are absolutely deliberate and vindicating. They arise in part because the characters in Paradise Lost find themselves in situations which genuinely are political. In directing the Son to create earth, God the Father is conducting an act of rulership, which is inescapably political and hierarchical. Likewise, Satan’s attempts to rouse the fallen angels in Book I really are reminiscent of Milton’s desire to rally support for the Cromwellian government. These broader political parallels lead us towards a more allegorical interpretation of the poem as a whole. We can begin to see how the great debate in Book II might be read as a political satire, mocking the tiresome debates which Milton conducted in his youth. Similarly, the interaction of Adam and Eve is a fascinating study of gender politics, whilst the relationship between God the Father and God the Son presents an obvious ideal of kingship and the delegation of power. But the danger of such readings is that they quickly lose their specificity. The figure of Satan especially accommodates a wide variety of different allegorical interpretations. He can be seen as a false leader to the fallen angels, his enforcement of his own will on the great debate in Book II recalling Charles I’s willful disregard for parliament. But alternatively, he can be seen to represent something of Milton and Cromwell in their revolutionary struggles against the king. At a slightly more general level he can even be seen to represent the failure of any political discourse in this period, and of religious culture which attempts to exist apart from divine authority and biblical revelation. The problem is that Satan is primarily identified as a force of rebellion against God, and Paradise Lost rarely seems to require us to construe him as anything else.

The questions of political organisation that recur in Milton’s work have their parallel in corporate discourse, which  concerns equitable economic distribution, anarchy, collectivism, and the engrossing of power to one or few (monopoly).

It would be no exaggeration to say that the economics of the society Milton inhabited were defined in large part by trade and often organized through the corporation. Economic debates centered on corporations, considering how to increase the general trade by encouraging merchants and evaluating the need for organisation in overseas trade. Moreover, the corporation acted as a definite link between the economic and political.

Closing.

John Milton was a revolutionary who wanted a republic and found the monarchs useless. During the seventeenth century he supported Cromwell and tried to overthrow the king Charles I. Milton believed in rule by merit and was against rule by birth.John Milton’s voice in Paradise Lost is one of the most distinctive and individualistic in English literature and through Satan’s speeches Milton embodies his own political views.

 

You’re my favourite mess.

I’ve a forever rush in my hands..to touch yours.

Take them close to my heart.

Feel my beats..

No, not because it takes your name while it beats but to feel each drop of red it pumps…all the terror, misery and the suprressed wills to look beautiful, it carries.
You were quite a cumbersome thought I had in my mind.

A lot of mess. I don’t want them to crawl down into my heart.

Maybe just because I don’t want to accommodate you in them red drops…

Or the colourless ones..the ones which have the same recipe, but take a different path to flow.

Why do I write?

This is my very first writing on WordPress. I totally believe I’m too damn late to join this website. So, I’ve been writing for the last 7 years now. I started with those stupid short stories that never had an ending🙄 and my second phase consisted of the absurdly predictable funny poems and useless to say, everytime I made sure I put a match between the lines. Match in meaning; too much accuracy in rhyming!!

 

After quite a long gap when I resumed to write again,  this time after coming across Keats, Shelly, Byron, Eliot, Wordsworth and Dickinson, I kind of started leaning away from rationalisation and that’s when I realised I could also be like the intuitive people who are called poets. In my case I took up romance. But I was careful enough to see that I find romance before I write it. And trust me I was lucky enough to find it everywhere, in everyone, in everything.

For me romance doesn’t just include all the conversations and actions made out of love and lust. I started finding romance in a bird’s whistle on a winter afternoon too! These are what made me draw a line between those overrated romance and reality..though they seem bit of an oxymoron but writing about them made me realise they have a connection too.

I’ll be needing this website for showing how I connect reality and romance. And I’d be more than ‘rejoice’ to see you people respond.

Also I make sure I’m not just limited to romance and verses. I’m keen in content writing too. So. Feel free to throw me a topic. Or read mine and start interrogating.

 

-Megha 🙂