The purpose of Paradise Lost by, John Milton, is to "justify the ways of God to men." Milton uses the Bible as evidence to support his claim and explain the natural understanding of life as it is seen by many people. He uses Satan and Adam and Eve's life journey to explain the ways of God. To begin Paradise Lost, Milton tells of Satan's banishment from Heaven. He and his brigade have plotted war against God and are now doomed to billow in the fiery pits of hell.
Milton says that one will "dwell in adamantine chains and penal fire" if he defies God. This is exactly what happened to Satan when he defied God and anyone who defies Him will have to suffer this torture. Hell has "no light, but rather darkness served only to discover sights of woe." It is a "region of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace and rest can never dwell, hope never comes... but torture without end still urges." Hell is also described as a place of "lost happiness and lasting pain." Satan once lived in a place full of joy, happiness, and surrounded by pleasure but after his defiance of God he must live without the pleasure and live in the worst extremes. He is punished for his unfaithfulness just like those who forsake God will live. Satan and the devils build Pandemonium in hell as a place to come together and discuss the war against God.
They plan to take over the world and get revenge against God for his punishment. Their plan will have major repercussions. Milton explains that anyone who tries to rise up and rebel against God will be punished as Satan and the devils were. God allowed Satan and the devils to make the choice that they wanted as stated in Book 1, "And high permission of all ruling Heaven left him at large to his own dark designs." The bad decisions that they made caused them to live in torture forever.
Everyone in the world today have freewill and whatever they choose to do with their life and the decisions that they make can make their lives good or bad. The bad decisions will have punishments and the good decisions will produce rewards. In Book 4 Satan takes a journey to Earth and disguises himself when he enters Eden so that he will not be noticed, "up he flew, on the Tree of Life... and sat like a cormorant." When Satan sees Adam and Eve he is very jealous and envious of them. "Oh Hell! what do mine eyes with grief behold, creatures of other mold... and could love, so lively shines in them divine resemblance, and such grace the hand that formed them...
." Satan wishes that he were still in Heaven living in peace and delight, but repenting would be a false confession. He then plots to destroy Adam and Eve. God has given then a rule to follow and Satan sees this as an opportunity to destroy them. God tells them that they must not eat from the Tree of Knowledge and Satan plans to tempt them with the fruit of the tree.
Satan is soon discovered and banished from the Garden of Eden. God wants rid of all evil from Paradise and Satan represents the evil. In the world today God doesn't want evil lurking and those who do evil are punished like Satan. In the creation of Adam and Eve, Adam says that he is all alone and states that he needs someone else to be with him and keep him company.
God sees that Adam knows himself and in knowing himself he knows that he was created in God's image. God says to Adam, "Thus far to try thee, Adam, I was pleased, and find the knowing." God respects Adam and creates woman from Adam. This shows that knowing yourself will lead to great things in life. God knows when things are understood and He will reward those who understand themselves. If a person knows themselves and knows that they are made in God's image they will follow God and respect Him. Milton describes the discussion between Adam and Raphael about love.
Adam talks of being in love with Eve and Raphael tells him to "Be strong, live happy, and love, but first of all Him whom to love is to obey, and keep His great command." Raphael says that love is great, but to put God first and foremost in you life and the love will prosper. If he loves God, He will do great things. In Book 10, after Adam and Eve's disobedience of God by eating from the Tree of Knowledge, God passes his judgment on them. They are punished for doing what God said not to do, as Satan was punished for his defiance. Both Adam and Eve accept their situation and will take the punishment. Adam says, "Be it so, for I submit, his doom is fair, that dust I am, and shall to dust return." This statement says that he accepts what he has done and will accept whatever God places upon him.
The two feel bad for what they have done but know that they will have to pay the price for the wrong that they did. They are then sent out of the Garden of Eden to live their lives as their punishment. "The world was all before them, where to choose their place of rest, and Providence their guide." By using the Bible as evidence, Milton justifies the ways of God to man. He tells the stories of what God does to humans in certain situations by using the situations in the Bible as references. Milton tells stories of defiance, love, and temptation and uses these situations to show what God will do to those who obey or defy Him.