Date of Award

Spring 1971

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




Upon reading John Milton's Paradise Lost, one cannot help but notice that its tone, its moving scenes and confrontations, and its moments of psychological and cathartic impact all help to shape what one might call the poem's total effect -- the impressions it leaves with the reader. Upon close examination it becomes obvious that Milton was consummately adept in his adaptation of the dramatic element in his great epic. What is generally unrecognized, yet surprisingly evident, is that the dramatic element plays a unique and singularly important role in building the poem's grandeur. This dramatic element, more than any of Milton 's other numerous and adroit tools, molds and shapes the epic into its acclaimed greatness. What is indeed surprising is that so little recognition has been given to Milton 's dramatic ability and his use of it in Paradise Lost.