Milton's characteristic use of simile is explored in Books One and Two of Paradise Lost. Particular attention is paid to how Milton's similes work to support, undermine, and complicate both the depiction of Satan and the broader thematic concerns of the poem, such as the ideas of free will and divine providence. The critical perspectives of Geoffrey Hartman and Stanley Fish are incorporated into an analysis of Satan's shield and spear and the simile of the leaves.
A study of Milton's poetry, with some attention to his literary sources, his contemporaries, his controversial prose, and his decisive influence on the course of English poetry.
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