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Critical Commentry on The Invocation in Paradise Lost Book-I

It is the epic convention to begin the poem with an invocation to the divine spirit to aid the poet in his great motivation of writing poetry. Homer thus begins his Iliad: Achilles wrath, to Greece the direful spring Of Woes unnumbered, Heavenly Goddess sing! In Odyssey the Muse is again addressed to depict or to sing the wandering of Odysseus. Virgil too begins his Aeneid with the words: Arms and the man I sing .!. "uch epical canon is also employed by Milton too in his #aradise $ost where the first %& lines constitute the part of invocation in which a pious address is made to the Muse and states his theme of the poem. $i'e Virgil Milton directly states the elevated theme of his( that is the )man*s first disobedience*. In a highly $atini+ed verse he alienates the sub,ect from -he .oo' of /enesis: "Of Mans first disobedience, and the fruit Of that forbidden Tree, whose mortal taste Brought death into the world, and all our woe, With the loss of den, till one greater Man !estore us, and regain the blissful seat"" Milton proposes to compose or sing of man*s first act of disobedience to /od*s command in eating the fruit

of the tree of 'nowledge which was forbidden by /od and as a result of which death and all the miseries of man'ind were brought into this world and the heavenly state of innocence and bliss which man en,oyed in Heaven was lost( until 0esus 1hrist( the "on of /od should atone for our sins by his death and regain for us the lost happiness. Milton invo'es his part to the Heavenly Muse and she is locali+ed not upon Mount Olympus or Mount Helicon( but )on the secret top* of Horeb or "inai( sacred in Hebraic belief( associated here particularly with Moses: #$ing, hea%enl& muse, that on the secret top, Of Oreb or of $inai didst inspire ..! It is said that /od*s message was first sent in 0erusalem to the 0ews( the world of the ancient religion. Moses and 0enova are its old divine characters. -he Heavenly Muse and its structure and location were first revealed before the 0ews. -he poet is eager to 'now the reality how Heaven and earth came into e2istence out of chaos. #eople say that Muse lives in "ion Hill. -hus he prays to the goddess to inspire him from there to his articulation of epic poetry. $i'e a 3enaissance man Milton also invo'es Holy "pirit to his aid. As a true learned scholar he blends classical( Hebrew and 1hristian element together. -he prologues in #aradise $ost begin as classical invocations but with one e2ception( they rise to 1hristian prayers to the Holy "pirit.

Milton also possesses high moral plane and seriousness in composing his poem. Ali'e the great classics his is the ambitions tas' with no ordinary theme. He see's 4evine inspiration for his adventurous song: #''"" ( thence (n%o)e th& aid to m& ad%enturous song, That with no middle flight intends to soar Abo%e the Aonian mount, while it pursues Things unattempted &et in prose or sh&me!. Milton wants to rise very high in his creative urge in the reality of things and incidents. He wishes his poetry to be better than the literature composed on the Aonian Mount by the ancient authors. His is the sub,ect not yet attempted by any author in prose or poetry. Milton see's aid of the Holy "pirit for his lofty composition that has always been in e2istence and 'nows everything. Milton further e2presses his humility with an earnest appeal for divine support to overcome his limitation: #What in me is dar) (llumine, what is low raise and support*" It is a poignant references to his terrible limitation as a poet his blindness. Metaphorically( the dar'ness might the ignorance if the poet has any. 5pic is a poetic art of a high order and lowliness is also to be removed from him. Milton*s plan is to affirm that the 4ivine plan for the world is beneficent and that /od*s dealings with men are always ,ust.

-he invocation of #aradise $ost is of high merit. -he plaung of the pauses( the use and fall of emotion( the high emotional charge in which the poet*s sense of dedication and of communion with the great .iblical figures of the Old -estament is communicated( the supplicatory cadence of the appeal to have his dar'ness illumined and his mind elevated( and the final powerful simplicity of the concluding statement of his purpose 6 all this represents poetic art of a higher order! 74avid 4aiches8. Here is indeed the loftiness of thought( splendid dignity of e2pression and rhythmic felicities.