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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Eve on the Stand

Adam has been compared many times to many characters in fiction and reality, but Eve has been unnoticed. Eve gave up innocence and purity for knowledge. She has walked with God and learned much just as Adam has, but then Satan pricks her pride and gives her a thirst to know what God knows, to be a goddess herself. This is much like Dr. Faustus in The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus. He had studied many things and because of his insatiable appetite for knowledge sold his soul to the Devil. Both were warned, both though it would be best in the moment, and both regretted their actions. Eve repented when faced with the consequences and Faustus when faced with death and Hell. The difference is found in the fact that Faustus had no hope. In hopelessness he sold his soul to the Devil, whereas Eve was given hope after being forgiven. She was given hope for redmption.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Forshadowing the Fall

Milton foreshadows what is going to happen in Book Nine earlier in Paradise Lost. When Eve is brought before Adam after being told that she was made for him, she turns away, not in sin, but just seeking to be won, he then pursues and follows her allowing her to take the lead. It is also hinted at in book nine as Eve persuades Adam into splitting up in order to get more work done. In these instances Adam’s willingness to follow for love’s sake is shown. Milton is trying to show why Adam fell, for he knew what had gone on before and also knew that Satan was going to attempt to make him and Eve disobey God. After Eve sins, Adam disobeys God and follows Eve into sin for the sake of love once again.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Satan - Hero or Rogue

In the first book of Milton’s Paradise Lost Satan is introduced as a fallen hero , he almost seems likable to a certain extent. The flesh seeks to make him misunderstood and forgivable like an enraged Achilles. The fallen Lucifer is the end result that we without Christ are capable of attaining. We feel empathy for Satan because we, ourselves, seek resolution in our own lives without God and, as Satan did, reject God in order to gain glory for ourselves. As Christians, we can see Satan for the charlatan he is and is later revealed to be in the book. He twists the truth to make it seem that God made a mistake in glorifying Christ. He makes it seem like he was cheated by God. The falsehood of this is obvious. Satan seems heroic, but is the snake he morphs into.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Areopagitica Applied

In the last part of the Areopagitica Milton reminds us that even when a country does not follow God, God raises up men to speak out and write about the corruption and evil of the nation. God will reform the nation. At the time that God reforms nations there will be those who seek to lead others astray, but it is then that God will raise up men to stand up. America’s rights are being surpressed. We are like the “noble and puissant” nation who are ruled by those who steal from the people and expect them to buy back their own goods. Our leaders are beginning to steal our rights away and punish us for exercising them. A country cannot remain virtuous with these types of leader. America does not need change, she needs a miracle and change in leadership.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Living with pupose

Every year as spring arrives it brings with it renewal. Flowers blossom, trees bloom. We are so focused on the renewal we forget that the beauty of spring can only come with the death of the previous life. It is a passing from one stage to another.

Our culture calls us to live for the moment because life is purposeless. We are told it is a dog eat dog world where the one who dies with the most toys wins and the one with the gun makes the rules. Lies, all lies.

I have heard every speech, talk, and funeral sermon on death and I could quote Bible verses from Genesis 3 to Revelation 22 on it, but I think that the important thing to remember is what we say about death does not effect the dead, it is what we do with that knowledge of what is to come, how we live our lives in light of it.

We know, as Christians, we have a purpose in life, to glorify God with our lives. Death brings a transfer from a place where we can only do this partially to a fulfillment of this goal. We need to live our lives, so this transition is not drastic.

In conclusion, I hope that I can learn to live my life so that if I died today everyone I know could say without even thinking about it that I lived wholeheartedly for God. This post hasn't been as deep or as analytical, but I think there is still just as much truth in it as can be found in Donne or Cervantes. Our future is not certain, but eternity is. How are you living your life?

Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for, though art not so
For those whom though thinkest thou dost o'erthrow
Die not, poore death, nor yet can'st though kill me ...
And better then thy stroake; why swell'st thou then;
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.
- John Donne

Monday, March 15, 2010

Donne on Death

After John Donne was converted to Protestantism he wrote his Holy Sonnets. In “Death, be not proud” he wrote that death itself shall die and have no victory over men. Men themselves control death with murder, justice, mercy, and other actions that can end in or prevent death. Death holds no fear for any man because it is a short and temporary separation of the body and the soul and the end result is heaven. Death itself is destroyed and defeated in a theoretical death when Christ rose from the dead.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Nobility of the Nobles

In the Winter’s Tale nobility is a huge theme. There is the contrast between the king, Leontes, who is a noble, but does not act nobly and his daughter, Perdita, who is a raised as a shepherds daughter, yet still maintains nobility in her character. Nobility is commonly defined as being born of high rank or social class, but true nobility is acting in the was a true king would act, having mercy, justice, love, kindness, and an ear for the truth. Leontes pushes away all these things when he falsely convinces himself of Hermione’s infidelity. Once convinced he is immovable and sentences his wife to death, this is both unjust and listening to lies. Perdita’s actions, on the other hand, show nobility. All the other shepherds can see her natural nobility because her actions and character betrays a more noble birth.