Analysis of Hell in Paradise Lost

Analysis of Hell in Paradise Lost ,Book-I by John Milton

Of all the narrative passages in Paradise Lost, Book-I , John Milton’s description of Hell stands out unique by virtue of its graphics pictorial quality and its evocation of a sense of gloomy terror. Though Milton was aware of the Renaissance concept that heaven and hell are no specifics topographical locals, but states of the mind itself, he clings to the medieval concept of Hell of having topographical entity. Milton presents Hell as a place designed for the eternal punishment of the fallen angels. Hell is a place for removed from the celestial seat of bliss. It is situated in the nethermost depth of abyss, and it takes nine days and nights to fall into this dreadful pit from heaven. Hell is an assemblage of all the arbitration human emotions – pains, despair, envy, restlessness, heartlessness, heartburn etc. This scene of barren desolation is thus described by Milton –

          “A Dungeon horrible on all rides round,
          Serves only to discover sights of woe ….”

Here is sinister wilderness, ‘a dismal situation waste and wild’. While Satan surveys Hell as far as he can see and observe, He finds it a vast, gloomy and dreary region. It is like a huge underground prison house terrible to behold.

Hell is a burning reign, a place of sultriness, a burning oven, a places where one is trapped and gaoled far ever. From the burning furnace of Hell the constantly flickering flames issue no light. They only provides phantasmagoria of dim visibility. The medieval notion that the flame of Hell give no light is derived by Milton instigates that the damned and the doomed are deprived of the sight of God, who is the form of light. It is a place where fire exists without light and darkness is almost tangible and this darkness itself reveals the sight of misery. Hell is a region of sorrow and misery, helplessness and eternal torment. A look at Hell reveals:

 “Regions of sorrow, doleful shades where...