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Milton's Mess

             Elliot intended to confuse critics for centuries with the "Wasteland" then I hope he incorporated the same style as Milton used in "Paradise Lost". I don't mean to say that the meter and structure should be similar, or even that the subject and content should be replicated, but that Milton's mindset must be considered the primary driving force and truest inspirer for this epic poem that is irreplicable, but not unintelligible. Unlike many other authors and poets, Milton gives us many reasons to believe that his life is reflected in his writing. His whole-hearted activism on the part of the English rebellion of the 17th century, and the very severe condition that he wrote at least part of "Paradise Lost" in, seems to be blatant reasons to believe that his writing is as much a reflection of his exterior turmoil as it is a true inspiration of the mind. These exterior influences and pressures, combined with Milton's amazing ability and the mirror his writings seem to hold up to society, are the key to understanding Milton's confusing ambiguity in making Satan the epic hero in "Paradise Lost".
             The critical readings and commentaries on "Paradise Lost" seem to be overwhelmed by the epic poem itself. The reason for this could be the way that the poem makes demands that are so huge in their own respect that all a critic could hope to do is focus on such a small aspect that it is impossible to be all incorporating. This opinion suffices only to criticize the critics though and does not concern in turn the actual poem. Milton's intentions could not be seen to be on the same level as the critic because his own inspiration was not intended to be universal. He writes in his "Second Defence" that the epic poet is not able to focus on anything more than a particular event. He says,.
             Moreover, just as an epic poet, if he is scrupulous and disinclined to break the rules, undertakes to extol not the whole life of the hero whom he proposes to celebrate in his verse, but usually one event of his life (the exploit of Achilles at Troy, let us say, or the return of Ulysses, or the arrival of Aeneas in Italy) and passes over the rest (685).

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