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Universally accepted as one of the world's foremost epics, John Milton's "Paradise Lost" traces the history of the world from a Christian perspective. This paper deals primarily with how Milton uses the word 'hands' as metaphors or metonymies (parts for the whole) to represent Adam and Eve's physicality and emotions. Hands represent physical work, light heartedness, joy, seduction, deceit, despair, equivocation, supplication and companionship. The paper describes how Milton also uses 'hands' effectively to represent the deep chasm between good and evil. he Son of God who intercedes on behalf of the first couple; and, is destined to die so that the Paradise lost may once again be regained is on the right hand of God. Satan, on the other hand, is on the left. Satan is condemned to 'grovel and eat dirt' like the serpent he purported to be.
From the Paper:"After both have eaten of the fruit, innocence is lost. Once again, the hand characterizes the transformation from pure love to carnal lust. One can see in the language where post-Fall Adam grabs Eve's hand and pulls her to their bed, where before it was Eve who gently took Adam's hand. Milton uses explicit metaphors. The hands of Adam and Eve mirror their personalities, souls and their emotions.
Shame and revulsion overcomes Adam and Eve. Here Milton demonstrates a marked difference between the falls of Satan and the fall of Mankind. When Satan is cast into Hell, along with his minions, he plots revenge. Satan along with Death and Sin are forced into Hell where Satan is forced to grovel like the serpent he wanted to be. Faced with eternal damnation, Eve, weak as usual, wants to commit suicide "take her life by her own hands." Adam who is complicit is perplexed. He is not sure how, "That from her hand I could suspect no ill (X-141), And what she did, whatever in itself." "
Cite this Poem Review:
"Paradise Lost" (2003, January 13) Retrieved September 23, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/poem-review/paradise-lost-22871/
""Paradise Lost"" 13 January 2003. Web. 23 September. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/poem-review/paradise-lost-22871/>