Cloaks and Daggers: The Functions of Deceit in Paradise Lost 公开

Bobier, Daniel Walden (2013)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/0g354f51t?locale=zh
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Abstract

In this thesis, I seek to explore the forms and functions of deceit in Milton's magnum opus. I explore how in his role as the "artificer of fraud," Satan uses deceit as both a self-protective mechanism and as a weaponized offensive. This thesis establishes a background for the Devil's invention of fraud via an analysis of his physical devolution, and it attempts to demonstrate in consummate terms why his transformations are necessary, yet vary in effectiveness. These considerations terminate in a close reading of the method of Eve's capitulation to the serpent. With that event, this project focuses on the parallels between Satan and Eve, both in terms of their personal susceptibilities to falling and of their actual falls from grace. I conclude by examining the reasons for Adam's free choice to follow Eve into sin, and I jusitfy this choice as one that The Almighty actually approves. Finally, noting that postlapsarian Adam and Eve begin their long journey toward redemption, the project observes that Satan unnecessarily defeats this possibility for himself, becoming the poem's greatest victim of devilish deception.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Hypocrisy is Born . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Intuition, Aroused by Knowledge and Perception . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

The Physicality of Fraud . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Guarding His Ego: Satan's Willing Self-Deceptions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Satan's Lies Unravel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

The Weaponization of Deceit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

The Ultimate Weapon for the Ultimate Deception . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

Eve and Satan: Parallel Susceptibilities and Parallel Falls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

Satan's Serpent: Perfectly Perplexing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

Eve's Sequel, Fallen Thought, and Action . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

Intuitive Adam: Free in Choosing, Free to Fall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

In Conclusion: The Redemptive Good of Adam's Fall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62

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