John Milton: Radical Feminist

An analysis of John Milton’s portrayal of women in Paradise Lost, Comus, and Samson Agonistes.

The paper analyzes the ways in which Milton’s life is reflected in his creation of the female protagonists of the three works, “Paradise Lost”, “Samson Agonistes”, and “Comus”. It examines how, just as Milton struggled to achieve success while being held back by rules, women struggled to gain independence and respect while restricted by societal beliefs that they are inferior to men. It looks at how, realizing the relation between his and the women?s position, the clever author wrote “Comus”, “Paradise Lost”, and “Samson Agonistes”, creating a female protagonist in each work who rebels against societal rules a little bit more than the last in order to gain her independence.
“Ironically, Milton finds himself in a similar situation as Alice’s. While society believes Milton capable of protecting himself because of his masculinity, his audiences fear that he will become too radical in his writing and disgrace the standards of famous literature. In a sense, Milton’s profession makes him a commodity just like Alice’s sex. When looking at Alice’s situation from the brothers? side, it becomes evident to the reader that their concern that Alice will ruin their societal status, as well as her chances of finding a suitable husband, reflect the literary audience’s fear that Milton’s radical ideas will disgrace literature, as well as destroy Milton’s chance of becoming a famous and renowned writer.”