Monday, October 21, 2013

Celebration and Life, The Beauty of The Creation

While reading books 7 and 8, I was just blown away by the beautiful imagery and personification that Milton uses to bring the Creation to life (pun intended). Something I really noticed was the active role that all the elements of creation played, such as the earth, and the choirs of angels. I particularly like the way Milton personified the sun, the moon and the earth. It was interesting because they obeyed and responded to the words of God. For example, when God wishes to create living things on the earth he commands and the earth "obeyed and straight / op'ning her fertile womb teemed at a birth / innumerous living creatures, perfect forms." It was interesting to see how these elements worked with and obeyed God to create living creatures. 

Something else that interested me was the exultant celebration of the angels as God and Christ are creating light and dark, sun and moon, earth and water, etc. For some reason, I always pictured the Creation as just God and Christ, working by themselves in an almost solemn affair. But according to Milton, the angels are looking on and singing "with joy and shout / the hollow universal orb they filled / and touched their golden harps, and hymning praised / God and his works; Creator him they sung." In a strange way, Milton portrays the Creation as some sort of spectator event. It's a time for celebration and singing and music and dancing. It's a little different from what I'm used to seeing with the Creation. 

However, when I think about it, it makes a lot of sense. Why shouldn't the angels be rejoicing? Why shouldn't they be singing praises to God and playing music and dancing? After all, God and Christ are creating the universe and the earth from Chaos, which is a beautiful and remarkable feat. It's the beginning of the Plan of Salvation for the children of God. I feel that we sometimes don't give as much thought to the Creation as we should. When we really stop and contemplate it, the Creation truly is an incredibly mind-blowing event. Everything we see now and everything we are is a direct result of that great Creation. It's wonderful to think about, and I guess that's what Milton was trying to portray; the wondrous magnitude of an event that tends to be overlooked by us all. 

1 comment:

  1. The idea of the obedience of matter is kind of interesting. In the Popul Vuh, a Mayan creation myth, it says that the gods, Tepeu (the Maker) and Kucumatz (the Creator) commanded the heavens and the earth and light and darkness and animals and everything else and then *waited* until they obeyed. In some sense, then, our mortal life is just the period wherein God (the Maker or Architect) and Christ (the Creator or Builder) wait "to see if [men] will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them."