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Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost

by John Milton

Innocence Theme

Paradise Lost takes place almost exclusively in a time and place when death, sin, and lying didn't exist. In other words, it deals with a time when humanity was still innocent. While Milton is very good at painting a picture of innocence, he realizes and reflects on the difficulty of attempting to describe something as alien as a deathless, sinless existence.

Questions About Innocence

  1. Is there a moment in your life when you feel you lost your innocence?
  2. Would you want your children to never lose their innocence?
  3. What would a perfect world look like?
  4. What other works of literature (or movies) deal with the loss of innocence?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Just because Adam and Eve could have kept Paradise forever does not mean that God wanted to keep them totally innocent; Raphael makes it clear that there would have come a time when they achieved some degree of experience.

Milton's attempt to describe innocence ultimately fails, if only because he must present it through the fallen medium of human language.