mitlonessayfinal - Amy Sexton English 215 11/24/08 Final...

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Amy Sexton English 215 11/24/08 Final Draft: Paradise Lost The Idea of Hell According to the Oxford English Dictionary, ‘Hell’ refers to “the infernal regions regarded in various religions as a place of suffering and evil; the dwelling place of devils and condemned spirits; the place or state of punishment of the wicked after death.” Hell is also conceived as “a place, state, or situation of wickedness, suffering, or misery.” John Milton frequently refers to this “place, state, or situation of misery” in his book, Paradise Lost . Milton carefully dissects the idea of hell and illustrates a place of pain and suffering where individuals and demons travel when they have fallen from the grace of God. In Paradise Lost , Milton depicts Hell as a specific location, a state of mind, and a situation that individuals stumble upon after falling from God’s grace. Heaven and Hell are understood as two separate entities, or locations. Hell is created by God {the Father} once the revolting angels had fallen. In Book I, “The Argument”, Milton depicts Satan’s and the other revolting angel’s fall into Hell. “Which action passed over, the poem hastes into the midst of things, presenting Satan with his angels now fallen into Hell, described here, not in the center,” (I. The Argument) Milton specifically locates Hell on an Earthly map, the center of the Earth. It is worth noting that the center of the Earth is quite hot, the hottest point being the core or center. Milton further depicts this particular heat in his description of the Lake of Fire of which Satan and the Fallen Angels descend after God has casted them from Heaven. He also refers to the cosmos when describing the particular area of Hell. “In utter darkness, and their portion set/ As far removed from God and light of Heav’n/As from the center thrice to
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th’utmost pole./O how unlike the place from whence they fell!” (I.72-75) Milton depicts Hell as being thrice as far as the distance from the center of the Earth to the “outermost sphere”. (Footnote (5) 74) This places Hell in a position within the realm of Heaven and Earth, a location. Milton also uses the word “fallen” to describe Satan’s downcast from
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mitlonessayfinal - Amy Sexton English 215 11/24/08 Final...

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