John Miltons Paradise Lost is a narrative epic that was written in the seventeenth century. John Milton was known as a “dedicated figure in English Literature” (Diaches 390). Paradise Lost is considered to be “a triumph beyond which, in its own kind, the force of English poetry could no farther go (Hopkins 153). In Paradise Lost, Milton creates a Hell that is easily imagined through his use of concrete images, powerful diction, and serious tone. The literary device of imagery is used to create concrete images. Milton creates an image of Satan that can be seen in the minds of his readers.
This can be shown a number of times throughout the epic. “Witheyes / That sparkled and blazed” and his “scaly rind” help describe and create an image of Satan (Milton 283 193-4, 283 206). He also creates a mental picture of Hell for the readers. This can be shown when God casts Satan “With hideous ruin and combustion, down / To bottomless perdition, there to dwell / In adamantine chains and penal fire” out of Heaven (Milton 280 46-8). There are many literary devices that can be used to devise an image of Hell. Milton also uses powerful diction to help create an image of Hell and Satan in Paradise Lost.
Hell is described as a place “with floods and whirling winds of tempest fire” and “Where peace and rest can never dwell” (Milton 280 77, 280 66-7). Milton wants the reader to know that Hell is a evil and unhappy place to be. Satan is then referred to as the one “Who durst defy the Omnipotent ” (Milton 280 49). Diction is used by Milton to convey a particular meaning and express what he wants the reader to think. Milton also uses a serious tone to convey his meaning of Hell and Satan to his audience.
Tone is writers attitude toward their work. To whom the Archenemy, / And thence in Heaven called Satan, with bold words / Breaking horrid silence, thus began” and as well as “Treble confusion, wrath, and vengeance poured” is what Milton writes to let the reader know that the tone has turned very serious. Paradise Lost is known for being a Christian epic and Milton is known for “his long narrative and dramatic poems all deal with disputes” (Wain 1657). In Paradise Lost, Milton creates a Hell that is easily imagined through his use of concrete images, powerful diction, and serious tone.