The Hero In John Milton's Paradise Lost

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The scene of literary creativity comprises the memorable titles; The Odyssey, The Divine Comedy, and in English, Beowulf, and in Russia War and Peace, and – starting from the second decade of the twentieth century – James Joyce’s Ulysses. Equally, the names ‘Odysseus’, ‘Gilgamesh’, ‘Charlemagne’ and ‘Captain Ahab’ haunt the memory of the literary audience. In real life, the human species tends to act as heroic as the afore-said names or to be immortalized in works such as the afore-cited ones. Once, an English female had enough ambition to overcome her being declared illegitimate by her father’s parliament and being formally excommunicated by the Pope in 1570 to be crowned as Queen Elizabeth of England and for forty-five years (1558-1603).…show more content…
Hogan pointed out that Milton’s prototypes of Satan, Eve and Adam and the story of the fall influenced John Dryden, William Blake, Shelley as well as the novelist Daniel Defoe (op.cit.). Nonetheless, Milton’s paradise Lost initiated a more significant debate about who (if any) was its hero. Joseph Addison, in one of his famous essays in The Spectator, argued that Milton had no hero in the classical sense, and if there is one it must be Christ. John Dryden named Satan as its technical hero and both William Blake and Shelley relied on Milton’s description of Satan to declare him on the side of Lucifer, who; “…above the rest// In shape and gesture proudly eminent,// Stood like a tower…”(Paradise Lost; I.598-91) As a matter of fact, Milton’s debatable hero drove Childs and Fowler (ibid; 105) to announce that “getting rid of ‘the hero’ seemed a critical necessity since the concept (of hero) was a barrier to the understanding of literary structures…and critics preferred the slippery term ‘character’. But, with novels like Wuthering Heights, and the writings of Vladimir Nabokov and Samuel Beckett, there emerged villainous or insane narrator-heroes who forced the term ‘antihero’ to fill a gap that the term ‘character’ could not fill. The Ecyclopaedia Britannica cites Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes as example of an antihero, or the protagonist of a drama or narrative who is notably lacking in heroic
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