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The Decentralization of Morality in "Paradise Lost"
Jarod K. Anderson
Rocky Mountain Review
Vol. 64, No. 2 (FALL 2010), pp. 198-204
Published by: Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/29765445
Page Count: 7
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This article explores the notion of "otherness" in Milton's Paradise Lost. Arguing that the true source of moral complication in the poem lies in the struggle between Milton's need to uphold the authority of God while simultaneously legitimizing opposition to the will of God, this analysis proposes that Milton employs otherness—elements that are literally or figuratively outside of God's created system—in order to create a legitimately questionable but ultimately beneficent God. The article further asserts that the presence of otherness makes God's position and moral authority relative; this, in turn, provides Milton with the proper context in which to justify the ways of God to man.
Rocky Mountain Review © 2010 Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association