Milton’s God to man and to show

Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost aims to justify the ways of God to man by emphasizing the theme of knowledge and the fall of man. He expands on the Genesis’ story of Adam and Eve’s creation, their eventual loss of Paradise, and Satan’s plan to defeat God in order to warrant the presence of evil in the Universe. Numerous scenes in Paradise Lost depict God as the driving force behind evil, but God is only permitting evil to become relevant, thereby allowing evil to impose differing degrees of harm, in order to use this harm for the purpose of redemption. In his attempt to explain God to man, he concludes that through faith and decency man has the ability to overcome the evil that God allows to perpetuate the Universe. Pope’s Essay On Man is a philosophical poem that attempts to vindicate the ways of God to man and to show that man’s belief that he alone is the center of the Universe is not only false, but due to man’s own pride in himself. Essay On Man strives to indicate that regardless of how flawed, complicated, demanding, and full of sin God’s Universe appears to be, evil does function in a rational way, according to natural laws. He concludes that man must accept his fate because the Universe is a perfect work of God and without evil His perfect world not be whole. Although Milton aimed to vindicate God’s ways to man and Pope aimed to justify God’s ways to man, together Paradise Lost and Essay On Man, indicate that the purpose of evil in a world presumed to be the creation of a benevolent and omnipotent God is necessary for the redemption of man in God’s flawless Universe. In Spenser’s Faerie Queene, the theme of good and evil is at the forefront. Spenser details the journey of the Redcrosse Knight, the knight of Holiness, and his quest to defeat both the theological error and the dragon of deception in order to free the parents of Una, who represents truth. Spenser shows how evil acts as a privation of good while simultaneously acting as a distortion of evil. God created the Universe with holy intentions but he knew Adam and Eve’s actions would lead to their own demise, therefore intermingling good and evil for eternity. Good has the ability to exist without evil, but evil fails to exist without good due to its self-destructive nature. Since evil is essentially spoiled goodness, it still has the power to harm both good and itself. But even if evil triumphs over goodness, it still terminates its own existence through the destruction of its own creator. The allegorical journey of the Redcrosse Knight is used to explain evil in Universe by illustrating how the concepts of good and evil work as a pair because evil is a mere product of goodness. Although Milton and Pope’s combined explanations of evil differ from Spenser’s, each author either employs the use of allegory or philosophical morals within their writing. The combined use of allegory and philosophy in all three literary works and Spencer’s explanation of evil, in comparison to that of Milton and Pope, is significant because it aids in justifying why evil can never triumph. Milton’s use of allegory to support his claim that evil paves the way for redemption is strengthened by Spenser’s allegorical explanation of evil as an untriumphant counterpart to good by demonstrating that sinful actions and an unwillingness to repent leads only to the collapse of evil. The allegory used in illustrating a woman as Sin and the resemblance of Sin to the Dragon of Errour creates a comparison between The Faerie Queene and Paradise Lost. This comparison demonstrates the reasons allegory is used as a literary device and indicates the similarities between the two allegorical characters. In Book Two of Paradise Lost, Sin, the corrupt creature, aims to stop Satan and his journey to Earth. The likeness of Sin is portrayed as a “woman to the waist and fair/But ended foul in many a scaly fold/Voluminous and vast, a serpent armed/With mortal sting” (line 650-653). The illustration of Sin has a striking resemblance to the Dragon of Errour that is described as “Halfe like a serpent horribly displaide,/But th’other halfe did womans shape retaine” (stanza 15, lines 7-8). Not only are there similarities in appearance between Sin and the Dragon Errour, but both beings are found living in either a “darksome hole” (stanza 14, line 3) or the grim depths of Hell. The Faerie Queene’s explanation of evil demonstrates why Satan is not defeated by God or goodness alone, but by his own self-destructive nature through Spenser’s illustration of how the Dragon of Errour assisted in her own demise rather than being slain by the Redcrosse Knight alone. The Redcrosse Knight’s journey begins with his quest to defeat the Dragon of Errour. Upon entering a cave, the knight encounters the dragon and their battle ensues. A the beginning of their duel the Redcrosse Knight is at an advantage by blinding the dragon with his armor allowing him to slice her shoulder. As the Dragon of Errour’s rage increases she traps him with her tail, but in her effort to strangle the knight, she simultaneously binds herself:”Tho wrapping up her wrethed sterne arownd, Lept fierce upon his shield, and her huge traineAll suddenly about his body wound, That hand or foot to stir he stroue in vaine:God helpe the man so wrapt in Errours endless traine.” (stanza 18, line 5-9) The Redcrosse Knight’s impulsive pride only assists in being wrapped in her tail, just as the dragon’s impulsive decision to wrap her tail around herself, in order to bind the knight, leads to her decapitation. Although the allegorical message appears complete after the knight slays the Dragon of Errour in Canto I, Spenser uses her vile offspring to demonstrate how evil is not only able to reproduce itself but also self-destruct. Before her battle with the knight, the dragon’s depraved offspring are shown suckling poison from her, which will eventually lead to the end of the succession of Errour indefinitely. The dragon’s offspring are representative in how evil is able to reproduce itself, but also assist in the line of Errour’s endless defeat. After the slaying of their mother, the offspring hover around her carcass while they, “sucked up their dying mothers blood,/Making her death their life, and eke her hurt their good ” (stanza 25, line 8-9). This illustration shows how the offspring’s suckling of the evil blood from their beheaded mother causes the end of their succession which demonstrates evil’s tendency to self-destruct. The illustration of the Dragon of Errour and her offspring as representations of a self-destructive evil that can never triumph is comparable to Satan’s own demise by way of inflated pride in himself during his attempt to defeat God. Pope’s claim to man that the Universe was created perfectly according to the divine plan of God, who is holy and virtuous, even though evil still remains in accordance with natural law, is strengthened by Spenser’s explanation of evil as a product of goodness. Spencer’s justification aids in explaining to man why he should not question the concept of evil within God’s world for mankind due to evil’s inability to triumph over good and it’s innate self-destructive behavior. Essay On Man’s first epistle describes man’s place in the universe and emphasizes that all things are fated in accordance to God’s divine plan. Pope explains that everything happens for good reason, and man should not attempt to question God’s greater idea or the relationships between His creations, which man cannot necessarily come to understand because he is a part of it. When evil strikes upon man, man is left to question why these things happen. But the things that man sees as different are all “but parts of one stupendous whole, / Whose body nature is, and God the soul” (line 267-268) and “Whatever is, is right” (line 294). Thus every part of the universe, even evil, has complete purpose. The Faerie Queene’s Redcrosse Knight is representative of “man” in Pope’s essay. The Redcrosse Knight is eager to embark on his journey to defeat the Dragon of Errour in order to save the parents of his beloved, Una, but his overzealous self confidence leads him into harm’s way. Upon meeting Duessa, he mistakes Falsehood for Truth by believing her deceitful word and in turn pays for his sins through suffering. But this suffering creates a way for the knight to not only learn virtuous values, but also to redeem himself in the House of Holiness and separate himself from the evil he once fell prey to. The tragic fall of the Redcrosse Knight aids in giving a concrete example to the purpose of evil and demonstrates that through repentance man is able to be resurrected and again become one with goodness. In Paradise Lost, Milton aims to justify the ways of God to man. Many scenes illustrate God as the driving force behind evil, but he only allows evil to become relevant in order to emphasize the power of resurrection. Milton he concludes that through faith and decency man has the ability to overcome the evil that God allows to perpetuate the Universe. In Essay On Man, Pope attempts to vindicate the ways of God. He indicates that regardless of how sinful God’s Universe appears to be, evil does function in a rational way, according to natural laws. Pope concludes that man must accept his fate because the Universe is a perfect work of God and without evil His perfect world not be whole. Together Paradise Lost and Essay On Man, indicate that the purpose of evil in a world presumed to be the creation of a benevolent and omnipotent God is necessary for the redemption of man in God’s flawless Universe. In The Faerie Queene, Spenser uses the allegorical journey of the Redcrosse Knight to explain how the concepts of good and evil work as a pair because evil is a mere product of goodness. Milton and Pope’s combined explanations of evil differ from Spenser’s, Spenser’s explanation of evil aids in furthering their analysis of evil’s purpose in the Universe. The combined use of allegory and philosophy in all three literary works and Spencer’s explanation of evil, in comparison to that of Milton and Pope, is significant because it aids in justifying why evil can never triumph.