Forgiveness in Paradise Lost
We can see that Book III of Paradise Lost is different from the other books. The book now focuses on God and his desire for the world he created. In the other books, it was seen that Satan wants to grow high above God and wants to be praised and worshiped by others as God. He tried to overthrow God and the best possible way is to destroy God’s new creation which he created in his image that is humans. As God is all-powerful and all-knowing he could see the plans that were taking place in hell. “ Hell and the Gulf between, and Satan there Coasting the wall of Heav’n on this side Night In the dun Air sublime, and ready now To stoop with wearied wings, and willing feet On the bare outside of this World, that seem’d Firm land imbosom’d without Firmament, (III. Lines 70-75)”.
Book III also talks about Milton’s personal thoughts about divine knowledge. “ Hail holy light, offspring of Heav’n first-born, Or of th’ Eternal Coeternal beam May I express thee unblam’d? since God is light, And never but in unapproached light Dwelt from Eternitie, dwelt then in thee, (III, Lines 1-5)”. Act IV starts with Edgar where he is seen thinking of the act Edmund has done to him. The act continues By Gloucester reporting the injustice done by Regan and Cornwall’s punishment. I have no way, and therefore want no eyes; I stumbled when I saw. (Act IV, Scene 1, Line 18-19).
The poem is seen as a story taken from the scriptures. It is seen that God had only given one command to Adam and Eve and that is not to eat the fruit from Tree of knowledge of good and evil. It is also seen that God had given man the free will to choose as a way to test him. God also made sure that he communicated with them every day and that he gave them clear warnings. It is seen that Eve was tricked by Satan in the form of a serpent where she feels for it and ate the forbidden fruit. Adam loved Eve a lot and considered her as his soul mate and could hesitate what we gave him and ate the fruit. Both of them sinned and fall short in the eyes of God. “Watering the ground, and with our sighs the Air Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign Of sorrow unfeign’d, and humiliation meek. (X, Lines 1090-1092). It means that God is gracious to forgive our sins. In the story, it is seen that Satan, Adam, and Eve all feel into temptation and sinned. They are punished and also allowed to repent and seek forgiveness. God forgives those who truly repent. But Satan pride stops him from asking forgiveness and seeks to continue with his evil plans. On the other hand, Adam accepts his faults and ask God for forgiveness. This means that God would also forgive our sins. We are his children and the only way to seek it is to repent and say sorry.
Forgiveness in King Lear
In the play, King Lear has come to realize his mistake of trusting his daughter’s flattery and banishing the one who truly loved him. Later he seeks to ask forgiveness to his daughter Cordelia for not understanding her and for the sins he has done. “You must bear with me. Pray you now forget, and forgive; I am old and foolish. (Act IV, Scene 7, Line 83-84)”. This can be connected to our everyday life where we tend to misunderstand the person who truly loves us and stays with us to those who backbite us or tends to use us. We can see that from both these instances that forgiveness is granted for those who truly repent.
In the poem, the Son who is full of compassion and kindness asks God he would be giving mercy to humans without compromising on justice. God answers to deliver justice and mercy a sacrifice should be made and he decides to sacrifice his only begotten Son for the salvation of mankind. “The deadly forfeiture, and ransom set. And now without redemption all mankind Must have bin lost, adjudg’d to Death and Hell By doom severe, had not the Son of God, In whom the fulness dwells of love divine, His dearest mediation thus renewd (III, Line 221-226).” It means that those who believe in the Son would be redeemed from their sins. Those who do not have faith in the Son would be destined to Hell.
In King Lear, redemption refers to the change of heart that he experiences after having been forsaken by his daughters with whom he entrusted all that he had, leaving him out into the streets. “Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! Rage, blow! You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout Till you have drench’d our steeples, drown’d the cocks! You sulph’rous and thought-executing fires, Vaunt-couriers of oak-cleaving thunderbolts, Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thunder, Strike flat the thick rotundity o’ th’ world! Crack nature’s moulds, all germains spill at once That makes ingrateful man! (Act III, Scene 2, Lines 1-9)”. Here the storm can be seen as a metaphor for the change of heart that he is experiencing. “The body’s delicate; this tempest in my mind (Act III, Scene 4, Line 13)”. King Lear believes that there is nothing that holds him to live and has lost all hopes. The scriptures teach us that when there is nothing, we have everything as material things fade away.
In the poem second chance means God forgiving our sins and transgression. It is said that God is a God of chances. He forgives us for our sins and we should forgive others. “Before him reverent, and both confess’d Humbly thir faults, and pardon beg’d, with tears Watering the ground, and with thir sighs the Air Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign Of sorrow unfeign’d, and humiliation meek (X, Line 1100-1105).”
Gloucester tries to commit suicide by jumping from the cliff but lands on the ground safely. This is regarded as a miracle by Gloucester as said by Edgar and that God doesn’t want him to die yet. Gloucester seeks forgiveness from God for committing suicide. “I do remember now. Henceforth I’ll bear Affliction till it do cry out itself “Enough, enough,” and die. That thing you speak of, I took it for a man; often ’twould say, “The fiend, the fiend!”—he led me to that place. (Act IV, Scene 6, Lines 76-80)”.
Forgiveness as a Gift from God
Forgiveness, redemption, and second chances are God’s gifts which he has given to his creation. To experience it we have to seek out accept and repent our sins in order to receive salvation to lead a life according to God’s will.