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The words, good and evil, and right and wrong, have been interpreted with ambiguity over the course of generations by humanity, and the finer details of their ethics are still obscured to even the most intelligent of minds, leaving us to often stay with the few basic tenants that seek to preserve humankind’s further existence. Throughout John Milton’s Paradise Lost we encounter this constant struggle between good and evil, as the enigmatic and eternal Satan—a character who is perhaps the chief hero, and protagonist of the epic poem—wages vain war against God’s tyranny in heaven. Satan, like all angels, is acutely aware of the differences that separate the abstract philosophies of what is considered to be right and wrong. And much like the theologians before him, Milton suggests that mankind, much like the angels of heaven, has also always possessed the ability to discern good from evil. However, Milton’s humanity—unlike the angels of heaven—has been given the opportunity of disobedience through the cursory act of consuming the fruit grown from the forbidden Tree of Knowledge. This brings to question whether mankind’s choice of damnation was illusory, and that Eve was destined to eat the fruit of the tree, to be untouched by all but the divine hand of God, or that all beings under heaven must answer to God for the actions they took. While human views on fatalism are open to interpretation, Milton suggests throughout his work that all beings under God’s domain possess the ability to choose their fates, and govern their own destiny. This coincides with the views of the Rabbi Maimonides, and the dialogue of the angel Raphael.Most religions of Jewish-origins elect that humanity was given access to the knowledge of good and evil by ea…

…ill is a golden thread, running through the frozen matrix of fixed events (Heinlein). However, after applying the logic of free-will and choice as presented by John Milton and Maimonides, the words of the Turkish playwright Mehmet ildan seem more fitting. “We are not heavenly destined for a particular road; every road is our destiny; every path and every passage is our fate” (ildan). Ultimately, it is you who decides the life you live. Everything else is simply mockery.Works CitedHeinlein, Robert A. The Rolling Stones. New York City: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1952.ildan, Mehmet Murat. Quotations. 21 October 2009. 1 March 2010 .Maimonides, Moses. The Guide for the Perplexed. Trans. Michael Friedlander. New York City: Barnes & Noble, Inc., 2004.Milton, John. Paradise Lost. 2nd. New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 2004.

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