As a youth, John Milton dreamed of creating an epic poem that would glorify the English people. Only the experience of his era (1658-1667) helped him to create the epic poem “Paradise Lost,” about which he thought for many years. The poem “Paradise Lost” consists of 12 “songs” (Milton calls them books), with about 11,000 lines in it.
We have gathered and written Milton’s “Paradise Lost” essay topics because we know that tasks about this poem are often assigned. After you read though our topics, you will know what idea is the most suitable for your own paper. So, if you are stressing not knowing what to write about, we suggest to look through the following topics.
Argumentative “Paradise Lost” Essay Topics
1. Argue that “Paradise Lost” is an archetypal example of epic poetry.
2. What makes Satan an anti-hero?
3. How is religion represented in literature before the Renaissance according to the epic poem “Paradise Lost”?
4. Does Satan come across as a villain or a hero?
5. How did Milton transform the biblical story in his poem “Paradise Lost”? How has the author depicted Satan, and how does it differ from the common image?
6. How does Milton redefine the epic hero in “Paradise Lost” through the figures of Christ, Abdiel, and Adam?
7. Are we supposed to like Satan? Where is Milton’s Christian agenda in this? Did the poet unwittingly make Satan too likable?
8. What is the way in which Milton creates his Satan character in “Paradise Lost”?
9. How does Milton portray Satan as a heroic character, but also undercut the image of Satan?
10. What does Eve learn in the course of her short lifetime up to her fall? What general tendencies do you see in how Eve learns and in the direction her education is heading? What are we to understand about the relationship between Eve’s natural, untutored tendencies and the lessons she is being taught (and if temperance is one of them)?
11. Why should we read “Paradise Lost”?
12. How does Milton’s portrayal of Satan make him look in some ways tragically attractive to human readers?
13. Why is Milton’s Satan one of the most complex characters of all time?
14. Predetermination of the superior sex (in “Paradise Lost”).
15. Why does Satan come to Eve in the garden first as a toad and then again as a serpent?
Milton “Paradise Lost” Paper Topics: Comparative Analysis
1. Compare “Paradise Lost” (Satan) and “Mahabharata” (Yudhishthira and Duryodhana).
2. Compare and contrast heavenly angels and fallen angels in “Paradise Lost.”
3. Comparing and contrasting “Paradise Lost” vs. Genesis 1-5 and the story of Adam and Eve.
4. Compare the role of worship in “Paradise Lost” By Milton and “Utopia” by Thomas More.
5. Compare and contrast discussions of the significance of the figure of Satan in “Paradise Lost” by discussing the poem of choice.
6. Comparison of Eve in “Paradise Lost” with Eve in the Bible.
7. Compare and contrast Milton’s representation of a particular phenomenon before and after the Fall.
8. Compare Milton’s “Paradise Lost” and John Milton’s “On Shakespeare.”
9. Compare “Paradise Lost” and “Divine Comedy.”
10. Compare John Dryden’s “Absalom and Achitophel” and the last half of “Paradise Lost.”
11. Compare John Donne’s life and works with “Paradise Lost.”
12. Comparison of two books “Paradise Lost” and “Lost.”
13. Compare Frankenstein with Lucifer from “Paradise Lost.”
14. Compare “Paradise Lost” and “Columbus and the Age of Discovery.”
15. Commentators have compared the debate in the devilish council to sessions of the Council of State in Milton’s day. In what way do Moloch, Belial, Mammon, and Beelzebub portray human characteristics? Compare and contrast their points of view.
“Paradise Lost” Topics for Analytical Essays
1. Define Milton’s analysis of evil in “Paradise Lost” according to his symbolic representation of Hell itself as a setting, including his allegory of Sin and Death at the gates of Hell.
2. How do formal characteristics of “Paradise Lost” contribute to its meaning?
3. What makes “Paradise Lost” by John Milton a masterpiece?
4. Based on the epic poem “Paradise Lost” by John Milton, analyze: What does it all mean? What are the controlling ideas of the text?
5. How “free” were Adam and Eve if God knew they would fall?
6. How much power do God and the gods have in their respective cultures according to “Paradise Lost”?
7. Analyze the fall of humankind in “Paradise Lost.”
8. Even though Satan was already defeated by God, why do you think he still is defiant and intends to attack God again?
9. Analyze the meaning of the word “despair.” How does Satan’s behavior show this emotion?
10. Why is Satan affected so much when he sees Adam and Eve? Why does he decide to continue his mission?
11. How do the ideas of the various fallen angels compare to what Satan decides to do? What does his choice show about his leadership skills?
12. When Satan is trying to leave Hell, Death and Sin stop him. What does he say to them that changes their minds to let him leave?
13. Analyze Satan and his seductive nature.
14. Is Milton’s Satan a heroic figure? If so, why did Milton – a devout Puritan – make Satan the hero of his famous epic poem?
15. Analyze the controversial and inevitable failure of John Milton’s “Paradise Lost” published in 1667.
“Paradise Lost” Topics to Write About in an Expository Essay
1. Explain the depiction of Satan in books 1 and 2 of “Paradise Lost.”
2. How does John Milton’s “Paradise Lost” qualify, in both literary and dramatic terms, as an epic poem? To what ends does Milton exploit this epic form?
3. Using Milton’s “Paradise Lost” as an example, explain the “epic,” and give several epic conventions. Explain the mock epic and argue that Pope’s “The Rape of the Lock” is a superb example of this genre.
4. Explain jealousy in “Paradise Lost.”
5. Explain John Milton’s hero as Adam in “Paradise Lost.”
6. Explain Milton’s use of similes in “Paradise Lost.” Point out several similes that are important, and indicate how they help to develop the theme of the poem.
7. Explain juxtaposition of light and darkness in Milton’s “Paradise Lost.”
8. How can you characterize Satan? Most students like to see him as a heroic character but Milton didn’t design him to be that way. How do you see Satan?
9. In Book Three, how is Christ portrayed as the real hero of the poem?
10. What is the lesson that readers can learn from Uriel at the end of Book Three?
11. Does John Milton succeed in his goal to “justify God’s acts to men” in “Paradise Lost”?
12. Explain Milton’s involvement with the character of Satan. Does he identify with Satan?
13. How is the role of sensory information – sights, tastes, touches, smells, and sounds – portrayed in “Paradise Lost”? Are the senses a portal for information gathering or are they sources of distraction and deception?
14. Explain how “Paradise Lost” can be connected to you.
15. Explain the way in which Milton creates his Satan character in “Paradise Lost.” Is he the hero of the story? You may use examples from a film such as “Devil’s Advocate” to explore this sympathetic portrayal of Satan.
This was a list of “Paradise Lost” topics for papers that can help you to come up with your own ideas. If you want to write an essay on “Paradise Lost,” you’d better use not only our topics, but also check out our blog and find samples and guides that can help you with writing. Using our guides and samples, you can show good writing skills in your own paper.