In poetry, the term “metaphysical” describes pieces that can provide a new perspective to the reader, eye-catching texts, imagery using descriptive words, religious arguments, and analogies. These texts incorporate many ideas, and Samuel Johnson criticizes them, noting that these poems have disorganized points. Metaphysical poems use various opinions with different analogies and symbols to express a thought. Though it is clever to emphasize a point, it may make one miss the main viewpoint and generate different conclusions. A case in point is John Milton’s poem, “Paradise Lost,” which incorporates many characters, symbols, and abstract views about love, disobedience, war, science, and religion.
The “Paradise Lost” poem combines many opinions that Milton expresses using extreme metaphors and symbols, such as when he is expressing the idea of love. For instance, the poem relates Adam’s love for Eve through a wreath that Adam made. He created the wreath for Eve to express his love but dropped it when he found out she ate from the Tree of Knowledge’s fruit. Additionally, the dropping of the wreath symbolized the change in Adam’s affection for Eve, and it showed that he did not love her. However, Adam expresses himself in the poem in these words, “The bond of nature draw me to my own, My own in thee, for what thou art is mine; Our state cannot be severed, we are one, One flesh; to lose thee were to lose myself” (Milton, lines 956–959). These words show how Adam and Eve are connected, and their shared bond makes Adam choose sin over God, thus, causing disobedience. The poem uses different ideas to express love, which may be conflicting.
Milton, John. Paradise Lost: Book I. Clarendon Press, 1887.