Monday, November 11, 2013
Milton's Vengeful God
For example, Milton makes it seem that God created mankind to show Satan that he is replaceable and not missed. Later, in Paradise Regained, Milton explains that Satan has even been allowed into heaven at times, as shown by his accusation of Job. Of course, we all know how well that went for Satan. God seems to have simply let the challenge happen for the sake of showing Satan that he really doesn't have nearly as much power and influence as he may have previously thought.
It seems to me that God's love for his children has always been a main tenet of Christianity, though not necessarily emphasized as much as it is in our understanding of deity. Still, Milton's God seems extremely vengeful, especially towards Satan. Was Milton trying hard to recreate the God of Genesis, who certainly comes across as a stronger advocate of justice than mercy? I think the direct relationship between God and Satan is one that is rarely addressed in scripture, so Milton would have quite a range of creative liberty when illustrating their interactions. Do you feel as though Milton successfully 'justifies' to men God's apparently harsh ways to Satan?