St Augustine and the Understanding of Evil
St Augustine and the Understanding of Evil – Introduction
St Augustine took a very interesting position on the debate surrounding the problem of evil and the existence of God. From the viewpoint that he developed – the position maintained is that evil is caused by humans and not God (Wawrytko 50). The position and the viewpoint challenge the views that an all-knowing and all-powerful God cannot coexist with evil; God would know how and when to avert it, for the good of his people.
This remained a major area of inquiry for Augustine. The roots to the questions leading to his exploration of the issue included that the then stronghold (Roman Empire) was falling apart and he was plunged in loss and disarray. Some of the extreme events that compelled him to probe the existence of God, further, included the loss of his mistress, and later the death of the mother and also a son. However, instead of dwelling on the unfair events that had taken place in his life, he ended up concluding that evil emanates from the free will of humans.
From the extreme end of the debate, the atheists and also the scientists maintain the view that, if an all-loving and powerful god existed, then he would avert all the evil seen in the world. The view is plausible, despite the fact that it is contradictory to the values developed around religion and the existence of God. However, throughout this report, I will maintain the position that St. Augustine was correct and justified, by arguing that the free will of man is the main cause of the evil seen in the world (Engel, Soldan and Durand 209). Based on this position, the paper will maintain the position that the Judeo Christians are not reverend to a selfish and narcissistic deity, who will abandon them because they do not revere him.
Fallen ParadiseThe first evidence that God exists, and that the free will of humans is the cause of the evil in the world includes the responsibility that comes with being creatures that can make choices based of free will. The concepts explored by Augustine, which demonstrated the truth in this claim is that of the fallen paradise, which was all at the mercy of the human being and not God. From the biblical account of the events that transpired in the Garden of Eden, it is clear that, if humans (Adam and Eve) did not sin, humans would still be enjoying the tropical paradise that they had been offered by God. Prior to the fall of man, God had instructed Adam and Eve on what they could do and what they could not, and the decrees included that they could not eat the fruit of the forbidden tree. Unfortunately, at the first attempt of being tempted by the evil one, humans questioned the directives and the goodness of God, and they ate the fruit. The disobedience of man could be viewed as the choice that predisposed him to a life of suffering from adverse events and evil (Engel, Soldan and Durand 209). According to the views of St. Augustine, becoming a fallen creature ended the pure love for God. This initial nature of the love was one not shaken by human discomforts – bodily or mental. It is conceivable that, in the case that Adam and Eve did not make the damning choice, humans would lead a life free of evil, suffering and one filled with joy and immortality.
Nevertheless, the believers of Christian doctrines still maintain that they devote their reverence to a god who knows all; can do all and is unquestionably merciful. From the viewpoint highlighted above, it is possible to question whether it is possible for a loving god and father to watch as his children suffer and also die. From a personal point of view, as a mother, I have noticed that the responsibilities of bringing up children resemble the duty that god takes in the lives of humans (Wawrytko 50). One example is that I am often forced to subject my daughters to punishments that I consider unfair, whenever it becomes evident that it is the only way they can learn. However, it would be impossible for me to punish or reprimand my grandchildren due to the mistakes of their parents, and this is one mystery that deserves to be explored further. For the sake of this argument, taking the case of an individual that leads a virtuous life that is in accordance to the principles of godliness, it is still possible that they will die from an earthquake, which is a natural disaster beyond their control.
Based on the principle that God will deliver humanity from the evil of the world, it is hopeful that the individual will enjoy the privileges of living in heaven. From the person’s case, it is possible to blame the unfair death on the unfair sins committed by the first parents. Based on the point of view, it is possible to consider god as an egotistical being. Further it is possible to question whether it is possible to please him through the collective prayers of Christians, so that he can remove evil from the world. However, it is also possible to look at the issue from another perspective, as one calling for the cleansing of the evil nature of the lives of humans as individuals. Based on this view, it is possible to maintain that God could be allowing humans to experience the pain of evil, so that they can prove the steadfast nature of their faith, so that they can prove warranting a return to heavenly glory (Engel, Soldan and Durand 210).
From a more distinctive but similar point of view, Bakunin pointed out that the liberty of individuals is founded on their freedom to take any action, as long as it does not affect others. From Bakunin’s point of view, the boundary for what is to be done and what not to do are drawn-out by law. Further, he viewed that the liberty of man is more founded on a man’s disconnection from man and not his ties with man. In essence, the desire to do adverse or good actions is grounded on man’s understanding of himself (Marx 162). Based on this new outlook to the fall of man, it is possible to view the fall of Adam and Eve as the result of lacking a basis for defining what was good and what would harm or cause harm, maybe to God. For example, in the case that Adam and Eve knew the exact implications of eating the forbidden fruit, it is likely that they would have refrained. Nevertheless, there is hope in those who develop the knowledge of self, and the capacity to return to God for another chance (Marx 163).
Augustine maintained the position that the free will of humans is partly to blame for the damnation of the world, because with the privilege of free will, came the heavy responsibilities of choosing and doing what is right. Right from the time of creation, God gave man the exceptional favor of choice and free will. In the case that this privilege was not accorded to man, it would remain that man would remain a captive bound by the choices made by God. The freedom of man, unlike the limited nature of other creatures is manifest from the fact that God made other animals in pairs, but allowed man to choose whether there was a befitting partner among them. However, after creation was concluded, there was no best fit for man, and then God gave him the option of meeting a companion that was best for him. Upon seeing Eve, Adam made the remark that she was a part of him, and it is possible that God would have given him another, if he declined Eve (Wawrytko 50). From the explanations given about God’s accordance of free will (freedom) to Man indicated that man’s free will is tied to God, and that without him man would not have it. For example, according to religious teachings, the poverty of some people is allowed by God, so that he can test the devotion of those that can supply their needs.
Fast-forward to the time of eating the forbidden fruit, Eve and Adam had the option of seeking counsel from God, regarding the consequences of eating the forbidden truth. Unfortunately, they used their free will negatively, and went on to eat the forbidden fruit, which damned them to a life of evil and suffering. The choices of man that led to his damnation demonstrate that they chose a path that was not in line with God’s will of giving man a life of eternal happiness and peace. Nevertheless, it is possible to question whether the all-powerful and benevolent god would have done something to relive man of his suffering. However, in answering this question, it is possible that the suffering and the evil experienced in life are the tests needed to prove the reverence of every individual to God. More importantly, the testing time will not go to waste, because it is a part of the prequalification needed to return them to eternal happiness in heaven. The consideration of the causes of evil, the effects of it and also the promises that lies ahead, it becomes evident that God exists, and is only allowing his children to endure the testing needed to justify their worth.
Matter and nature of Evil
From the dissection of the nature of evil, it becomes clear that it was not one of God’s creations. Further, it becomes evident that evil is not a thing, but a subject that came into existence as a culmination of the adverse choices made by humans as free beings. This view, according to St. Augustine is expressed in the position that God is the creator of only good things, and therefore is not the one that fashioned evil for man. The dissection of a person’s life in the world demonstrates the same phenomenon, because he equips all humans with all the tools they need to live a happy and comfortable life. For example, the creative mind of man has allowed him to fashion the machines that allow him to travel faster, and to avoid difficult work. Developing on the previous ideas, St. Augustine’s ideas are right that evil is the creation of man (Engel, Soldan and Durand 210). The evidence is that the suffering experienced is only temporary, in the same way any good employer will test an employee before absorbing them. The implication of this statement is that, right from the start, man chose to take the path of suffering (sin).
However, due to the love and the mercies of God, he allowed man further freedom – through salvation – to choose God’s path or an alternative one. Going back to the suffering seen in the world, it is apparent that it is all the consequence of the original sin, and it comprises the bad experiences that God allows his people to face, so that he can test their devotion to him. Further, by living in accordance with the principles of godliness, much of the pain experienced is found to get relieved. The idea to be conceived in this case is that, since the time of Adam and Eve, God allowed man to choose God (obedience) or evil (disobedience). Up to this time, man is still faced with the same challenged of choosing God over evil, or evil over him. In essence, without God, there would not be the good to distinguish evil from the goodness of God.
The review of the views of St. Augustine demonstrates a lot of truth to the views that evil is fashioned by humans and not God. This paper explored a variety of topics on the subject, and showed that the fall of man was one of his choices and that the responsibilities that come with free will proved difficult for humans. From the exploration of the nature of evil, it was found that it is the product of human actions, and not the creation of God, which supported the views of Augustine that, evil was not fashioned by God, but by the choices of Man.
- Wawrytko, Sandra. Ed. The problem of Evil: an Intercultural Exploration. Atlanta, GA: Rodopi, 2000. Print.
- Engel, Morris, Soldan, Angelika, and Durand, Kevin. The Study of Philosophy. 6th Edition. Lanham, ML: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc., 2008. Print.
- Marx, Karl. “On the Jewish Question.” Collected Works, 1 (1975): 162-63.
Theology Reflection Paper: Fall of Man and Temptation
For my Theology assignment, I will be reflecting on two topics that have given me a better understanding of what it means to be a Christian. Since I was young I have always been taught a basic knowledge of what it means to be a Christ follower but understanding the significance of being a Christian has deepened my knowledge even more. The two topics I will be reflecting on are the Fall of Man and Temptation. Both of these topics provide clear understanding on how and why society in today’s world is the way it is.
They also provide hope in reestablishing the relationship between God and man.
The Fall of Man:
The fall of man marks the day where the relationship between God and man changed drastically. According to the Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia, “the Fall of Man occurred in the Garden of Eden when the Serpent tempted Eve to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge.” By doing this, Adam and Eve were forever punished and were no longer allowed to have the intimate relationship they had with God.
In Genesis chapter 3 verses 15 – 19, God explained to both Adam and Eve that their curse on this Earth was to live off of the land, the woman would experience extreme pain during child birth, and they were to be forever banned from the Garden of Eden. Genesis is very clear on describing the effect Adam and Eve’s sin had on mankind. And because of their action, mankind is forever separated from God until He returns. What I have learned from the Fall of Man is that although man is temporarily separated from God’s intimate relationship, it does not mean we are unable to attain that special relationship with Him again. We were created in the image of God to worship Him and to bring glory to His name. God wants us to live out that daily relationship by talking with Him and reading His Word which is the best way of communicating with Him since we cannot verbally hear Him speak to us. Just like any relationship we have with others here on Earth, we have to work hard to keep the relationship alive.
Context of Paradise Lost by John Milton
Poet and political activist John Milton after a period of radical political revolution, religious turmoil, and his near execution; published the twelve book edition of Paradise Lost, a poem describing the biblical text of Genesis filled with hidden political meaning. Paradise Lost enraged those who supported the restoration of Charles II, was praised by seekers of religious toleration, and attacked by the Anglican Church. Critics denounced Paradise Lost for its construction, subject, and political meaning.
England in the seventeenth century was a land of political instability and religious persecution.
Dissention among the British people began during the reign of the Stuart, Charles I (1629-1640). Charles I along with kings in France, Spain, and Germany created absolute monarchies (Cheyney 419). Charles I in 1629 dissolved Parliament, and ruled 11 years without Parliament. Charles I was a member of the Anglican Church, and didn’t sympathize with various sects of Christianity that were persecuted by Anglicans (Cheyney 419).
These sects included Puritans, Quakers, Scottish Presbyterians, and Catholics.
In response to Charles’ religious intoleration Scottish Presbyterians threatened the English border, Irish Catholics rebelled, and Oliver Cromwell’s Calvary attacked the Royalist army. Cromwell and the Scotch defeated the Royalists at Marstoon Moor on July 2, 1644 (Cheyney 434-444). Parliament took control of the new English Commonwealth in 1649, resulting in the beheading of Charles I (Halliday 118).
The English Commonwealth however was short lived. In 1653 Oliver Cromwell, took control of the Commonwealth. Cromwell dissolved the Rump Parliament (Parliament that took over after Charles I), taxed Royalists, imprisoned mutineers, crushed Irish rebels, routed Scottish rebels at Dunbar and Worcester, secured colonies in the Caribbean such as Jamaica, and defeated the Dutch regaining British naval superiority (Halliday 120-122). Cromwell died in 1658 leaving the control of England to rival generals. During Cromwell’s military rule however, religious toleration was achieved. In 1660 the Stuart’s reign was restored, as Charles II assumed control (Cheyney 513).
Milton during the time of revolution against Charles I was an independent. Independents were a political party formed during mid seventeenth century. Independents were proponents of religious toleration and did not believe in rule under a state religion Anglican, Presbyterian, Episcopal, or Papist (Cheyney 448). Milton was proponent of religious toleration, an opponent of tyranny, and a believer in man’s free will. Milton disagreed with the Calvinist theory of Predestination and believed that man should be free to will and will the good (Faggen 269-270).
Milton’s belief of free will also was apparent in his political views. Milton was a republican and believed in a republican government for England. During Cromwell’s reign, Milton served as his Latin Secretary, charged with translating diplomatic correspondence into Latin. In the years before the restoration of Charles II, Milton published a series of political pamphlets urging republicanism and refusing monarchial and despotic governments. These pamphlets included The Aeropagitica, Eikonoklastes, and The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates (Faggen 270-271).
Milton’s political and religious views are fused into the text of Paradise Lost. One interpretation of Paradise Lost explains the text as a dramatization of the balance between liberty and obedience. Milton demonstrates using the fall of man and the angels as examples of disrupting the balance between freedom and servitude. Satan is the tragic hero of the poem and is considered by many as an allegory for the English Monarch, the Papacy, or extreme individualism. Early in the poem Satan is a revolutionary hero rebelling against a brutal tyrant. Later in the poem, Satan himself becomes a charismatic tyrant (Faggen 279-280). Satan praises rebellion and complete sovereignty meanwhile undermining the idea of servitude. Satan states,
…Here at least
We shall be free: th’ Almighty hath not built
Here for his envy, will not drive us hence:
Here we may reign secure, and in my choice
To reign is worth ambition though in Hell:
Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heav’n. (Book I: 258-263)
Satan’s choice to rebel contradicts Calvin’s theory of Predestination. Milton’s exploration of original sin also transforms into an exploration of choice. God, according to Milton’s explanation has given free will to man and the angels (Faggen 281). God does punish the dissenting angels. God is portrayed as a monarch, so how could God create choice and freedom as a monarch? Milton has God explain,
I formed them free, and free they must remain,
Till they enthrall themselves: I else must change
Their nature, and revoke the high Decree
Unchangeable, Eternal, which ordained
Their freedom; they themselves ordained their fall. (Book III: 124-128)
Both Milton’s critics and Satan are troubled by the futility of a God’s rule over man and/or angels that are free to chose their own fate. Milton’s God explains in Book III that the abiding principle of his justice is freedom, and without freedom servitude would be meaningless. In other words, service to God is working for your own freedom. Milton explains also later in the poem, after the fall of the angels that God created the Earth and man to repopulate heaven. Man’s job was to serve God without ambition, to gain freedom in heaven (Faggen 281).
Paradise Lost can also be examined with respect to the larger social context of Post Interregnum/Restoration England. Satan is combined extensively with anti-papist images, suggesting a strong anti-Catholic sentiment throughout the poem. Taking a Royalist position, Satan can also be considered as an allegory for Oliver Cromwell. Royalists supported both Charles’ and were firm believers in the Divine Right of Monarchs. Royalists believed that God himself put leaders into power and that both Charles’ were Divinely guided. Only an act of Satan (Cromwell) would rebel against God. This battle between God (Charles’) and Satan (Cromwell) is similar to the rebellion in heaven (Achinstein 404). Milton however may have used this moderately obvious allegory to conceal a more meaningful sub-allegory.
One interpretation suggests that Satan and the angels are a metaphor for Cromwell and the revolution. In Paradise Lost, Milton never assumes the presence of evil in the absence of good. Satan has rebelled against a tyrant, God who has total control over heaven. Satan rebels due to hatred of tyranny not hatred of God. Satan’s theoretical rebellion is justified according to Milton’s republican views. The actual act of the rebellion however, begins a war in heaven that is intensely violent. After gaining leadership in Hell, Satan himself becomes a tyrant, similar to Cromwell dissolving the Rump Parliament (Achinstein 405). Milton damn’s Satan’s tyranny not because it is Satan’s, because it is tyranny.
Milton believes that tyranny over the individual conscience is the sin that Satan commits. Satan forces conformity and conformity is sin. Milton seems to suggest that the politics in England during Charles I reign was same as heavenly politics, and Cromwell’s reign is the same as Satan’s. He parallels man to the angel, in that Cromwell and the rebellion was rebelling for the right cause, however was not ready morally to deal with the power. Similar to Satan, Cromwell and the rebellion’s sin was ambition and tyranny over republicanism and self-government (Achinstein 405-407).
Due to Milton’s involvement of Cromwell’s Regime (1653-1658), Milton’s books and political pamphlets were burned after the restoration of Charles II. Milton narrowly escaped death after being condemned in 1660 for “treasons and offenses” by the king (Achinstein 320). After the publication of the twelve-book edition of Paradise Lost in 1674, Milton again found himself in political trouble. Royalists attacked the poem for its hidden political meaning, and the Anglican Church attacked it for its religious brazenness. Milton had chosen a daring topic, and had taken enormous ideological liberties. Milton had not damned Satan as evil, and had called God a tyrant (Achinstein 325).
Assuming that Satan was an allegory for King Charles I, Royalists called for Milton’s execution. John Dryden, in The State of Innocence (1673-1674) rejects Milton’s adaptation due to “self stylized liberty.” However, Andrew Marvell, in a prefatory poem defended Milton’s Paradise Lost. Using rhyme, Marvell defended Milton’s choice to use blank verse instead of rhyme. Blank verse was associated with political allegory, synonymous with religious dissention.
Marvell keeps the defense at a literary form, in an attempt to hide a hidden political meaning in Paradise Lost. Dryden also chastised Milton for using individual inspiration. Dryden says inspiration is represented by “prophetic utterances were dangerous misapplications of individual intention” (Achinstein 326). Marvell claims that the solution to Dryden’s problem with inspiration is up to the judgement of the reader. Marvell states that Milton may be “inspired” however the reader must judge if the “inspiration” is “false” (Achinstein 327).
In Paradise Lost, John Milton parallels the Satan’s rebellion and fall from heaven with the period of revolution in England after the reign of Charles I. Using the biblical text of Genesis Milton explores republican ideals of conscience and self-government, the balance between servitude and freedom, and the problems of ambition and pride. Milton also analyzes what went wrong with the revolution lead by Oliver Cromwell in 1649.
Neoclassicism is the idea about art and literature that evolved during the 17th and 18th century greatly affected by classical tradition. Changes in culture and consciousness influenced this period. Crucially, the Neoclassical Age, also known as The Age of Reason English Literature, can be classified into The Restoration Age (1660-1700), The Augustan Age or The Age of Pope (1700-1745), The Age of Johnson or The Age of Sensibility (1745-1785). Among these, Milton had a predominant influence over the Restoration Age. His important contributions during this period were Paradise Lost.
Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes. Neoclassical poetry as such, did not have any concerted body of principles and methodology. The prominent writers shared a common view based on their response to the various ancients. They concurred regarding the concision, elegance and wit of their classical forerunners. Their poetry matched the intelligence of Horace’s Verse, beset energy of Juvenal’s Satire and the heroic raise of Homer’s Epic. Their theory of literature was shaped by a composite classical influence and which Aristotle and Horace stood out.
According to the neoclassical critics, the overall meaning conveyed by any work should be the principle by which all its aspects should be assessed. Literature works of this age were judged by the impact it created and the poet was advised to adapt particular instruction and pleasure he wished to give the readers. Milton was the poet of steadfast will and purpose, who moved like a god amidst the fears, hopes and changing impulse of the world ignoring them as insignificant things, which can deviate progression of one’s purpose. This attitude made him a successful Restoration poet.
“His writings were greatly influenced by the Restoration Age. He shows himself the Puritan that he was by birth and upbringing; but nurtured on the classics made popular by Renaissance, he refused to surrender his ’better judge-ment’ to sheer faith and loved secular pleasures no less ,if they added to the richness of life: intellectual liberty, art, literature ,science, philosophy ,and the pagan mythology of ancient Greece and Rome. These twin influences vie with each other in all that he wrote”. (Prasad, P. 42) Paradise Lost gave an unforgettable recognition to Milton in the history of English literature.
The poem was a great one due to its completeness and the visual immediacy imagined by Milton. As a long poem, it is a monumental achievement, both intellectually as a work of the literary imagination and the powerful expanses of its verse, which, with the strength of classical precedents behind it, proved inimitable. The modern reader can take in two facts from Paradise Lost, a thorough familiarity of first few chapters of scripture the general principles that constitute the Calvinistic theology. However, it is a letdown if we try to use the poem to teach a literal acceptance of one or the other.
The underlying theology of Paradise Lost is overlooked. Nevertheless, the magnificence of the Puritan dream and the splendid melody of its expression, as depicted in the book, cannot be disregarded. A feeble reading of the text can make the reader to comprehend why it is compared with Divina Commedia of Dante. Though Milton has been criticized for mocking the present trend of science, the poem is realistic based on myth. The composition and notion of Paradise Lost had a mesmerizing effect which only Shakespeare, Dante and Homer were able to produce. It is clear that the epic does not have unrivaled excellence in its lyrics.
It is inconsistent and ambiguous which are not that evident in the other prolific writers. However, due to his unique style it made an everlasting impression. Milton is a master of rhyme in his shorter poems and a master of blank verse in the longer ones. He undertakes a style, which reaches a great level in Paradise Lost. It expresses the loftiest thoughts in the loftiest manner. It is achieved by a preference for the uncommon in word and phrase, conciseness, suggestiveness in place of detail, restraint in the use of ornament, wealth of biblical and classical allusions. (Prasad, P.43)
The purpose of Milton is equivalent to other great writers. He has given us a living, not literary, epic. It is the influence of the neoclassical age, due to which it was possible. Historically the age was one of tremendous conflict. The literature of the age is extremely diverse in character and the diversity mainly due to the breaking up of the ideals of the political and religious unity. Milton emerged as a successful poet due to the neoclassical features in Paradise Lost. Thus, the Neoclassical Age ended paving way for the various other ages in the history of English.
John Milton’s Paradise Lost as an Epic Poetry
The epic poem has been regarded ion all ages and countries as the highest form of poetry and there are great epics in almost in all the literatures in the world. As Dr. Johnson has put it, “By the general consent of critics, the first praise of genius is due to the writer of an epic poem, as it requires an assemblage of all the powers which are singly sufficient for other compositions…
Epic poetry undertakes to teach the most important truths by the most pleasing precepts, and therefore, relates some great event in the most affecting manner” (xix).
John Milton’s Paradise Lost belongs to a rare breed of epic poetry in that it conforms to all the structural aspects of an epic, much in contrast with the decline of epic in the eighteenth century (Griffin 143-154).
In the eighteenth century, the epic conventions made a gradual shift to mock-heroic poetry – a literary form that pseudo-eulogizes events of stately stature, in a bid to satirize them.
But Milton, an egotist throughout his life, picks up topics of profound significance in the context of Christianity, and writes in an epic style that is perfectly complemented by content and theme. This paper is going to analyze Paradise Lost as an epic poetry.
Paradise Lost, which was originally published 1667 in 10 volumes, is written in blank verse – a literary device deployed to convey freedom of expression which is commonly attributed to poems of grand scope. The poem vividly narrates the story of Satan and the Fallen Angels.
Man’s expulsion from God’s abode in heaven is the main theme addressed in the book. If one takes into consideration the binding principle of epic poetry as having some fundamental and simplest of storylines, Paradise Lost qualifies per se. the story of man giving in to temptation and his subsequent fall from divine grace is a recurring theme in many world literatures. Hence, its subject matter is of universal interest. Again, the story is told within a narrative framework which is fictional in nature.
The narrative flow has plenty of drifts when the poet alludes to several biblical and pagan beliefs. But the allusions are very much in keeping with the central theme of the poem – to “justify the ways of God to men” (Milton, I. 26).
Johnson’s views of an epic poem substantiate the thesis pretty well. Almost all the characteristic elements of an epic poem are present in Paradise Lost:
The subject matter being dealt with ought to be of a grand scale, preferably some well known tales of heroism and/or defiance of convention. Normally, the subject of an epic is expected to deal with actual historical events or imaginary but probable tales. The action of the story must be developed by a proportionate mix of grand narrative, dialog and soliloquy. Meditative and dramatic elements abound in epic poetry. Hence, the canvas of an epic poetry is structured with minute attention to detail, having periodical digressions relevant to the progression of the storyline.
The protagonist or the hero must not represent the institutional segment of society. In other words, his actions and words should reflect offbeat ideas intended to defy institutional norms. However, the hero should also possess moral transparency and lofty idealism. The story must be based on the hero. The language and other literary techniques should be simple yet profound. One of the rudimentary aspects of epic poetry is that it should always be expressed in a free flowing form, stripped of excesses wherever feasible.
At the same time, the language should never appear as if constrained by the plot. The plot and the narrative must complement each other without limiting the immense scope of each. An epic should always propound a lofty moral, capable of standing on its own. in other words, an epic poem must have a generic message that stands true irrespective of times or ideological differences.
It may be noted that all the aforementioned elements can be found in Milton’s Paradise Lost. In addition to this, the poem also follows classical epic conventions such as invocation to the Muse, prolific usage of epic similes and metaphors, blank versification, repetition of lines and passages, permanent epithets and so on.
The subject matter of Paradise Lost is common yet sublime. The very inclusion of a biblical theme sets the poem apart from ordinary tales of man’s temporal existence. The Fall of Man has a fatalistic attribution to it, which instantly encompasses everything ever created or to be created within Miltonic cosmos.
Milton’s cosmology pertains to a profoundly sagacious vision of the heaven and the earth and how they make exchanges. Satan’s revolt against the Supreme Dictator lays down the premise for an epic rendering of mankind’s perpetual urge to go against norms that put chains on free will. In keeping with epic characteristics, the poem elicits sympathetic responses from readers and critics alike. On one hand, Adam and Eve are thrown out of heaven following their cardinal sin.
The divine providence they would enjoy is no longer there. This puts in perspective the hierarchical notion of the order of beings – God at the helm of affairs followed by the list of created beings. What is of epic stature is that the lower hierarchy suddenly rebels against the highest, challenging the supreme authority in a dauntless manner.
Their punishment is also a part of the development of an epic. Once they are booted off heaven, readers can almost sense that intangible attributes such as immortality and permanence are lost forever. What is born of defiance is what comes to be standing in the long run – man’s original happiness and restoration of peace and love in their reasonable forms. Once Satan and his men are taught a lesson, following the epic conventions, mortals no longer dare to put themselves in any fanciful longing guided by moral cogency.
As far as action is concerned, Paradise Lost unitarily follows a single course of events – all culminating in a grand climax. Milton begins the story by describing the infernal council of the rebel angels, which precedes the Fall of Man. Aspects of epic poetry are rooted in the poet’s approach here. He does not intend to simply narrate the proceedings as they occur.
He stamps his own persona by suggesting the mood for revelry the Fallen Angels are in. Thus, the storyline starts from a single point in time and advances from thereon. Nothing is left behind and nothing is to be seen or apprehended in advance. The battle of the angels and the creation of earth are events that follow from one another and do not occur discordantly. Invocation of the Muse, too, is a generic pattern commonly followed in epic poems (Poplawski 266).
In essence, Milton’s Paradise Lost is typical of epic poetry in multiple regards. The way it deals with the subject matter, with linguistic mastery and in an introspective mood, goes to show the unique niche the poem still enjoys in literary domains worldwide. As an authentic piece of world literature, Paradise Lost excels over contemporary heroic poetry in many ways. Right from the outset, each character has particular relevance to the story and has generic relevance to the entirety of the historical framework the poem belongs to. Such flawless technique renders a stately charm to the poem. Works Cited
Griffin, Dustin. “Problems of Literary Theory.” New Literary History 14 (1982): 143-154.
Milton, John. Paradise lost: a poem in twelve books. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard
Milton, John, Elijah Fenton, and Samuel Johnson. Paradise lost. Cambridge, Massachusetts:
Harvard University, 1821.
Poplawski, Paul. English Literature in context. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
The Magic Toyshop (1969) and The Passion of New Eve (1977).
“Reading is just as creative an activity as writing and most intellectual development depends upon new readings of old texts. I am all for putting new wine in old bottles, especially if the pressure of the new wine makes the bottles explode” A. Carter Angela Carter’s production could be located in the bosom of English writers generation influenced by the second feminism and also interested on revealing in their works genre inequality. The re-writing of myths is often one of the most successful ways of recognition by the hand of a writer and a poet like Michèle Roberts, Sara Maitland, Michelle Wandor and Angela Carter.
Carter is characterized by her concerning about unmasking mythical representations which had affected decisively the construction of genre as well as affected women life. In the following paper I will analyse the use of patriarchal myths towards feminism through the re-writing of Eve’s myth and the Paradise Lost at Carte’s works The Magic Toyshop (1969) and The Passion of New Eve (1977).
Taking into account the thesis written by Susanne Schmid about myth’s use by Carter, we will start with the premise that she performs a rewriting that changes the characters of her works until the complete striking of the sacred role. This is done as of the de-familiarization that the individuals and objects are exposed at, as well as the alteration of their living circumstances that is characters are taken apart from their daily reality as we will see in the future lines. In The Magic Toyshop, Eve is represented by the main character Melanie, a girl who lost her parents and gets with difficulty into her adolescence; The Passion of New Eve is a dystopic fantasy where Evelyn, a transsexual leaves apart reality. Through these works Carter recreates and gives examples of the debate that in the 70’s confrontation between rational feminists and cultural feminists: the revaluation of the couple woman/nature. Susanne Schmid identifies three different lectures of the myth at The Magic Toyshop: “culturally conveyed images of femininity, the Leda-myth and the Biblical story of the Garden of Eden”.
Those myths are superposed during the work that talks about Melanie, an adolescent that after her parent’s death has to go and live with her uncle Philip, the girl and her siblings change the scene of a pastoral life in the meadow by a dark house in London suburbs. In this first part of the story is where myths are mostly developed, for example in the first chapter Melanie gets into her parent’s bedroom, the ‘forbidden’ place of the house, opens a trunk and takes her mother’s wedding dress. She puts it on and goes out the garden, which becomes hostile. When she realizes that the main door is closed, climbs the apple tree in order to go back to her room. It can be easily compared through the symbols with Eve at the Genesis but the predestination element does not appear in this story, Melanie is a different Eve from the one in the Bible. In her tree-climbing days, the ascent would have taken only a few minutes. But she had given up climbing when she started to grow her hair and stopped wearing shorts every day during the summer holidays.
Since she was thirteen, when her periods began, she had felt she was pregnant with herself, bearing the slowly ripening embryo of Melanie-grown-up inside herself for a gestation time the length of which she was not precisely aware. And during this time, to climb a tree might provoke a miscarriage and she would remain forever stranded in childhood, a crop-haired tomboy. Eve’s motive is developed as long as the story moves forward, Melanie gathers experience at Philip’s house, then she meets Finn, a vulgar prince charming and experiences the incestuous relationship between Francie and her aunt Margaret, these facts shove the adolescent girl towards the adult world and provides her knowledge. When she changes of house for a second time, after Uncle Philip burned the house is a freeing for her and her siblings. In this story as in the Garden of Eden, the human has to obey God’s will in any circumstances; Philip Flower is the ruthless god not only in his puppet theatre but also at home.
At the end of the story, Melanie and Finn are sitting in the garden: “At night, in the garden, they faced each other in a wild surmise”. They are expelled from Eden, now they can break away from fear and pressure; they are the original couple, Adam and Eve at the end of Paradise Lost. Eve’s figure also appears at The Passion of New Eve, described by Carter as anti-mythical, but full of Biblical references. The author joins the creation myth of Eve and the banishment after the Ancestral Sin; she inaugurates the deconstruction of feminism, analyses the element that creates her identity and announces the creation of a new woman, the New Eve. Eve is the representation, in Judeo-Christian literature, of the creation of the feminine genre, moreover is considered the culpable of the Original Sin. She becomes the perfect demythologizing objective by Carter.
In this work, after a traumatic experience in New York, and getting Leilah pregnant, the young Evelyn gets into a desert in California looking for new adventures. There, the boy is kidnapped and taken to Beulah, a city under the earth inside the duplicate of a uterus. Proposition one: time is a man, space is a woman. Proposition two: time is a killer. Proposition three: kill time and live forever. Believing these propositions, Mother, the founder and goddess from this place subjugates Evelyn into a change of sexuality, creating an Eve from Evelyn, a woman from a man. The first woman created by feminine hands so now she can experience the dominant gender.
Since Eve’s birth there is a strong connection with the Genesis, Evelyn becomes against nature by being created against his choice and he defines himself as a monster: “Now I am being as mythic and monstrous as Mother herself… Eve remains wilfully in the state of innocence that precedes the Fall”. The image that Evelyn has now about himself is not recognisable by him, and he will not know who he is until he meets Tristessa. Both Eves from Carter stories are leaving paradise, on one hand Melanie leaves paradise after going away Uncle Philip’s house, on the other hand Evelyn escapes together with Tristessa.
Here is where the Eden image is represented in The Passion of New Eve: Eve and Tristessa, resembling Eve and Adam, are resting at an oasis. But this locus amoenus disappears immediately after the arrival of a group of W.A.S.P, who kill Tristessa and take Eve under their protection. Through these lines I tried to analyse the feminine canon of Eve in Angela Carter’s works The Magic Toyshop and The Passion of New Eve. Through characters like Melanie and Evelyn, Carter questions Eve’s association to sins, erasing the sacred link that this figure had but using common places that Eve has frequented. Carter’s strategy offers many distorted visions about feminine myths, giving both visions, the official and the reviewed adding fiction and erasing immutability visions and essentialism.
Carter, Angela. 1969. The Magic Toyshop. London. Virago.
1977. The Passion of New Eve. London. Virago.
1983. “Notes from the front line”. Wandor.
Schmid, Susanne. “Angela Carter: ‘Mythimania and Demythologizing’”. Thomas and LeSaux.
Isabel Ruiz Clemente 39388454-B
Imagery used to describe the Garden
A vivid description of the Garden of Eden is given in the fourth book of Paradise Lost, one of the most celebrated epics of all times, written by John Milton and first published in the year 1667. The portrayal of Eden occupies more than a hundred lines of the poem starting from line 132. Milton has ascribed all the beauties of nature to the garden God had created for Adam and Eve to enjoy the bliss of paradise. The Garden was sprawling and stretched from the eastern part of present day Israel to the middle of Iraq.
Eden stretchd her Line From Auran Eastward to the Royal Towrs
Of Great Seleucia (PL, Book 4, 210-12) The garden is said to have all kinds of trees like pine, cedar, fir and palm (139) creating a luxuriant verdure that was pristine and dense. The trees are laden with “golden” ripe fruits which shone in the light of the sun’s rays. The trees are covered with blossoms that fill the air with their perfume making the whole atmosphere pure and delightful.
These lofty trees form a natural boundary for the Garden of Eden which is not really planned and landscaped, which sometimes can seem artificial, but is rambling and wild in a most enchanting manner.
It is spread over hills, valleys and plains and has caverns and shaded nooks with sparkling streams that cascade down creating a most romantic and enthralling panorama. The pastures are lush and green with cattle grazing in peace and freedom. There are multitudes of flowers and different varieties of roses and jasmines all spreading their fragrance making Eden a magical land of goodness and serenity. There are wild animals and birds that play with each other and there is no fear or inhibition.
Amid this idyllic scene stands the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge on which Satan chooses to perch himself in the shape of a snake. Adam and Eve have a blissful time and enjoy all the sights and sounds of this beautiful paradise quite oblivious of the scheme Satan has in mind for bringing about their downfall. It is ironic that it is in this beautiful place that the original sin of mankind was committed. Satan who knew that he had no place in this paradise tricked Eve into disobeying God’s commandment and as a result both Adam and Eve were expelled from Eden.
God in all his bounty had created this land of charm and magic for Adam and Eve, but it was their folly to have believed Satan, who promised that they would become like God if they knew the difference between good and evil. However, the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge brought about their downfall rather than make them equal to God. Milton has used the imagery of beauty akin to purity and that of sin in the shape of a slimy “cormorant”. Some of Milton’s imagery was later reflected in William Blake’s poems Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience.
From the lines mentioned in the poem we understand that Satan in his jealous endeavor made sure that if he were denied access to the lovely garden he would not allow anybody else to enjoy the fruits of this paradise. Adam and Eve, for whom God had created this fantastic place found it more difficult to follow the path of simplicity and virtue that God had shown them and foolishly fell prey to Satan’s demoniacal plan. It emphasizes the human flaw of taking the easier path and not caring for long term consequences in preference to taking the path of righteousness.
God had planned the Garden of Eden to be shared by all of his creatures to complete a picture of perfection but did not guard it strongly enough and secure it from a slinking serpent who entered his garden slyly and introduced sin into it. It remains one of the greatest ironies of humanity that our burden of original sin was born amidst such pristine beauty. Work Cited Milton, John. ‘Background Information to Milton and Paradise Lost’ in Neoclassical Literature (English) (Norton-Volume C): 2996-3013.
Book One of John Milton’s Paradise Lost: Satan as Hero
In literature and other forms of art, the character of Satan had always been depicted as nothing more than an evil entity. He was usually represented as the Devil, the creature capable of the ultimate form of wickedness. He was known to be against the Supreme Good, for he was the angel who initiated a rebellion against God. In various stories and movies, Satan had always been depicted as this static character. However, the depiction of Satan in Book One of John Milton’s “Paradise Lost” was truly an exception to the stereotype.
In the first part of his epic, Milton showed the readers that Satan had positive traits, though he used it in a negative way. Contrary to the usual portrayal of the persona of Satan, John Milton depicted Satan as a heroic character in Book One of “Paradise Lost”. What makes a character heroic? One feature which makes a hero is a commanding presence. Heroes in literature, such as Achilles and Odysseus, are characterized with remarkable strength.
These are individuals who possess imposing, if not dominant, personalities.
It is their commanding presence which allows them to lead their men effectively, as it renders them as figures of authority. Combs wrote, “Heroic qualities reside in some larger-than-life figure who committed great deeds in a mythical past” (26). While Satan’s deeds can only be considered great in his own opinion, it cannot be denied that he was rendered by Milton as a larger-than-life creature in Book One. Milton presented Satan as a hero to the readers by showing how massive and mighty he is. To demonstrate the size and strength of Satan, the narrator of the poem used an analogy with reference to Greek mythology.
Satan was depicted as similar to the titans who fought against Jove. Milton wrote, “Lay floating many a rood, in bulk as huge/ As whom the Fables name of monstrous size,/ Titanian, or Earth-Born, that warr’d on Jove” (I. 196-198). Milton also compared Satan to the Leviathan, which he described as “hugest that swim th’ Ocean stream” (I. 202). Indeed, the author had established Satan to be larger-than-life in the epic. Satan is considered as a heroic character in Book One because of his commanding presence. Another trait which a hero must possess is courage.
Heroes are known to be courageous figures, those who remain unnerved during difficult struggles or when confronted with the inevitable. Satan is a heroic character in Book One of “Paradise Lost” because of the courage he displayed. He proved to be courageous because he displayed unshakeable resolve amidst trying times. It is known that Satan used to be an angel who sought to overpower God. He gathered his followers and rebelled against Him, only to fail in their selfish pursuit. As a result, Satan and the other angels were sent to Hell.
Hell proved to be most unpleasant compared to Heaven. While there was a fiery lake in Hell, its flames gave off darkness instead of light. Milton wrote, “As one great Furnace flam’d, yet from those flames/ No light, but rather darkness visible” (I. 62-63). While a weaker personality may have given up on such dire situation, Satan was undaunted by his present dilemma. Instead of being dragged down by his fall from grace, he embraced his place in Hell. Satan remarked, “To reign is worth ambition though in Hell:/ Better to reign in Hell, then serve in Heav’n” (I. 262-263).
In addition, Satan’s fall from grace did not diminish his determination in his pursuit of evil. God may have defeated Satan in the rebellion, but the Supreme Deity did not defeat his will to fight. Satan said, “All is not lost; the unconquerable Will,/ And study of revenge, immortal hate,/ And courage never to submit or yield:/ And what else not to be overcome? ” (I. 106-109). Hence, Satan is a hero because of the courage he displayed. Also, Satan appeared to be a hero in the first part of Milton’s epic poem due to his bravery. How did Satan exhibit bravery in Book One?
Satan proved himself to be a brave character because he did not reveal fear even though he was confronted with danger. After the angels failed in their revolt against God, some of Satan’s comrades have lost hope. For instance, Beelzebub was greatly disheartened by the defeat. Their failure convinced him of God’s power. Beelzebub told Satan: “Fearless, endanger’d Heav’ns perpetual King;/ And to put to proof his high Supremacy” (I. 131-132). Unlike his companion, Satan still wanted to challenge God’s power. He does not regret initiating the war, and still wanted to execute another battle.
Satan wanted to wage a second war against God, hoping that the next attempt would be more successful. He uttered, “We may with more successful hope resolve/ To wage by force or guile eternal Warr/ Irreconcileable, to our grand Foe” (I. 120-123). Satan is a heroic character in Book One of Paradise Lost because he was unafraid to face an enemy stronger and more powerful than him. The three aforementioned traits truly render Satan as a heroic character. With those three traits, Satan would follow the tradition of other heroes in literature.
Milton made Satan appear as a warrior hero with the other angels as his comrades. However, it cannot be denied that there would be instances wherein the other warriors are discouraged by the outcome of their battles. Therefore, it would be the responsibility of the leader to motivate the rest and make them continue on in the path they chose to travel. In this case, Satan again proved to be a heroic character in Book One. He was heroic because he asserted his leadership and convinced the other angels to do as he pleased.
Satan had a plan against God and despite the defeat, he never strayed from it. In contrast, the other angels had become weary of their situation. It became Satan’s task to uplift his followers and make them believe in his plan. When Beelzebub was discouraged after hearing Satan’s suggestion of another attack, the latter gave a speech to convince the former. Satan said, “To do ought good never will be our task,/ But ever to do ill our sole delight” (I. 159-160). His optimism over his grand scheme against goodness was so persuasive that the other fallen angels had obeyed his orders.
Because he was a leader who kept his followers on the path towards his desired end, Satan can be considered as a heroic character. In Book One of “Paradise Lost”, Milton truly painted a rare picture of Satan. He made one of the most despicable characters in history as an appealing character. Satan became appealing to the readers because Milton’s depiction paid more attention on his positive qualities. His larger-than-life persona, as well as his courage, bravery and leadership, made Satan an admirable individual. Moreover, not only did Milton make Satan appealing, he made him sympathetic as well.
It is obvious that Satan had questionable logic; his arguments were flawed. Despite this, he was still able to persuade the other angels. He was also able to make the readers sympathize to his cause, no matter how wicked it was. When Satan first spoke in Book One, he described the fallen angels’ undesirable state in Hell. His words persuaded the readers of God’s wrath. Satan said, “He with his Thunder: and till then who knew/ The force of those dire Arms? ” (I. 93-94). From his speech, Satan allowed the readers to think that God was at fault and his actions against Him were justified.
Nevertheless, the text itself is proof of Satan’s free will. Satan was free to act as he pleased, and he chose to gather his followers and rebel against God. Satan was the one at fault because he was made free but he decided to use his freedom for evil. Therefore, while Satan may seem to be a heroic character, it does not mean that he was not flawed. Unlike most accounts of Satan, Book One of “Paradise Lost” proved to be different. John Milton deviated from the stereotype and presented Satan as a heroic figure.
He made Satan as a commanding character who was courageous, brave and convincing to others. As a result, Milton depicted Satan as a character with redeeming qualities. However, these redeeming qualities are not enough to make him a perfect persona. Indeed, Satan is portrayed as a heroic character in Book One of “Paradise Lost” by John Milton. Works Cited Combs, James E. Polpop: Politics and Popular Culture in America. Wisconsin: Popular Press, 1984. Milton, John. “Paradise Lost. ” University of Oregon Web Site. 1997. 17 July 2009 < http://darkwing. uoregon. edu/~rbear/lost/lost. html>.
The Proverbs of Hell
The Proverbs of Hell by William Blake offers an alternative analogy of how he views different values perceived by individuals. Originally found within the text the Marriage of Heaven and Hell, the text showcases the juxtaposition and the inversion of the notion of good and evil. Looking at it, the overall text; Marriage of Heaven and Hell showcase an important distinction of Blake’s writing which can also be observed in the way the ‘Proverbs of Hell was written. “The most obvious starting point is that of the title of the vision, with its emphasis on the “marriage” of two polarised archetypal states, “Heaven” and “Hell” (Glyndwr University, 2006, p.
One way the text can be understood is in the way it provides an analogous approach in determining the constraints surrounding the desires of human beings. The lines of the document, with thorough insight and understanding, can provide this analysis that there are deprived actions among individuals due to societal constraints and religious hindrance (Glyndwr University, 2006).
To highlight, these are several lines in the poetry that showcase such ideas.
“Prudence is a rich ugly old maid courted by Incapacity
He who desires but acts not, breeds pestilence
The pride of the peacock is the glory of God
The lust of the goat is the bounty of God
The wrath of the lion is the wisdom of God
The weak in courage is strong in cunning”
(Glyndwr University, 2006, p.1)
Analyzing these lines, it contradicts with the deprivation of actions because various social norms and religious beliefs seem to connote these to be inappropriate and contradict the standards setup by these institutions. Moreover, Blake uses archetypal instruments to connote their relationships and allusions to address his point. He believes that man should be able to practice use both reason and imagination in analyzing his verses (Glyndwr University, 2006, p.1). By doing this a deeper understanding of the context can be made.
Another issue that the proverbs seek to address is by criticizing how various human institutions have been curtailing and hindering the actions of individuals to pursue their interests. Blake, in this section also highlights this tendency by inverting various evil acts and relating them to various human and societal-made institutions to avert and create attention to readers (Glyndwr University, 2006). To point out, here are the lines that provide such concept:
“Prisons are built with stones of Law, Brothels with bring of Religion
Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night.
The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction”
(Glyndwr University, 2006, p.1)
These quotes provide an insight about how Blake feels about the creation of human institutions. His analogy in these verses invites readers to actively criticize and rationalize the other effects of institutions towards men. Though it can actively provide the necessary means to make individuals comply, the drawback is that it hinders individual freedom of exercising actions. In addition, these lines also provide the readers to grasp the deep and multi-faceted meanings in the text which can help each one decipher the various dimensions of life (Glyndwr University, 2006).
The Book Of Genesis
Genesis gives me a lot of insight to “the beginning”. As I have read the Book of Genesis, it gave me total but not complete insight of how things were in the past to get where we are now according to the scriptures. What really intrigues me was how the human identity was formed because many ideas are said that we come from animals and evolved over time another, also is said that we come from the Lord himself, lastly one is said that we come from even nature.
This chapter in this book showed me a lot and how the world was created and how things like family, the natural world and the covenant was brought upon us.
The book of Genesis refutes the opening verses says that there are many believers and disbelievers of God(s); Such as atheism which believes there is no God at all, Pantheism believes that all is God, Polytheism believes that many god exist, materialism which is matter is eternal, humanism which is man is the measure, and naturalism which is nature is ultimate.
O.T Allis says and believes that He (God) is the creator of both! Primeval History shares how Israel’s purpose by going through God’s redemptive program and messianic lineage from Eden to Abraham. The first two chapters of Genesis describe God’s original creation. (Yates, 55)
The world is a place that was created by God according to the book of Genesis. The pinnacle of God’s creation was said to be “Man”. But in the creation it tells us how original creation was impacted so negatively by sin in the world he created. Adam and Eve were a good example of this, it was said to us since we were little that they plagued the world by giving into the devil himself and eating the apple off the tree when God asked them not to. Which they were issued a punishment, which they wouldn’t have eternal life, and they would have to suffer together and grow old and die. They had kids and their (Adam and Eve’s) descendants rebelled against God just like their parents. I believe that this is how human relationships were formed.
God had little sorts of ways to manipulate people to bring his word about and how to connect with people. He chose to use the FLOOD to connect with Noah because as sin approached its epic proportions as human race became involved more and more. Noah stood out as a righteous man who walked with God every step of the way, which God went to him and told him to build a arch because he was going to flood the world and everything in it to restore creation. The creation of human government with the power of capital punishment was a deterrent to prevent humanity to regress back to violence.
Genesis 1-11 on these topics it mostly shows me that the world mostly grew on Sin. Sin was a big time factor we had growing up from Adam and Eve and their descendants. This teaching regarding Adam and Eve shows how their sinful acts of rebellion against God. This goes to show how people in everyday life disobey God or break the Ten Commandments. Genesis 1-11 teaches me that human relationships should involve man and women. Not man and man or women and women. Adam and Eve were created to show the world a human relationship. Adam and Eve also showed me human Identity they were the first human’s created.
Adam was created as a symbol of God himself with the Hebrew word Adam known for “Mankind” and Eve is known for “To Live”. Chapters 1 through 11 teach how the world’s creation, the mankind of origins and what the Hebrews thought about in the creation of the world. The story of Adam and Eve tells the myth of the truth about our mankind. The last chapter says that there was only one language that God put in because of what people built in the babel tower. Genesis of the Babylonian Exile, added the story of anthropologists developing languages over thousands of years and created new languages and evolved older languages. Which seemed to develop the story of the Tower of Babel. (Yates, 59)
This changes my view of the world because in the first passage it is said that God created heaven and earth. Before he created those things he existed prior to making those two. The book only speaks of one God; it shows the creation of the Lord by making the universe. Since, he created heaven and earth, he must be above his creation. The Book of Genesis is given readers an accurate understanding and interpretation of the world. This should teach individuals how they look at the world. Through all these teachings I understand that the world portrays God in many ways and they do not even know it!