Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Dodds, Lara

Committee Member

Raymond, Richard

Committee Member

Anderson, Thomas

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Arts


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of English


Renaissance England was a period of tremendous flux; ideas about science, gender and knowledge or how we come to knowledge come under examination. These areas of flux intersect with the text examined here in their relationship to the key concept of nature. In John Milton’s, Paradise Lost, nature appears in various forms over sixty times. By first examining the word nature in relation to the ideas in flux during the period and next examining Milton’s use of the word in the epic, an overlooked yet significant aspect of his epic emerges. Milton uses the mutability of nature to further “justify the ways of God to man.” How his use of nature develops an association between nature and Eve is of even greater significance. In a carnivalesque inversion of the convention of the period, Milton’s development of nature in the poem and his development of the association of Eve with nature reveal an association of Eve with human nature.



nature and gender in Paradise Lost