Monday, September 9, 2013

Why question God in the first place?

          You know, it's fascinating reading Milton's poetry that he wrote when he was younger and comparing it to what most children of that age at this time are writing. Milton might have been a genius. I know that back then, a lot more emphasis was put on learning to write and learning in general... but seriously.

          In the introduction to "On the Death of a Fair Infant Dying of a Cough", it mentions the fact that the questions posed within a few stanzas of this poem open up a recurring theme for Milton's "Paradise Lost": How is God justified in His acts towards man? At first, I hear that question and I kind of feel uncomfortable because God almost doesn't have to be justified for anything He does--He's God for crying out loud! He created who are we to question His acts? But then you have to think...whatever is causing everybody to complain since the beginning of time--literally, beginning with Adam and Eve--there's got to be something "sketchy" about the way God is handling things. At least, sketchy enough for us to question Him.
          Along with the vast majority of people (I hope, at least...) I have yet to answer these questions for myself. And maybe that's why "Paradise Lost" has lasted this long; this question haunts everyone in times of loss and heartache and war. And, let's be honest, no one gets through this life without experiencing any of that.


  1. I think the question is less if Milton was a genius and more how much he was! His God is rather interesting, he's more of a character than most other works I've read.

  2. You've really tapped into something important by observing that God doesn't have to be justified. It raises both religious and artistic questions: why do we feel the need to justify what God does (to ourselves, to others) and how does it matter in which we that we do this (in a sermon, in an epic poem...)? Good start!