Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Stephen Dobranski

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert Lightsey

Third Advisor

Dr. Paul Voss


Despite the important work that has been done on both the narrative voice and the interplay between the characters' voices in Paradise Lost, the thematic importance of the way in which the physical, audible voices of the various characters exist within the poem has not been explored. My thesis fills this critical void, focusing on the audible voices of God, the Son, Satan, Adam, and Eve to address the poem’s hierarchy: God as absolute ruler, the Son as viceroy, Satan as insurgent, and Adam and Eve as potential residents of Heaven pending their exercise of free will. I argue that, in choosing audible voice as a vital physical manifestation of the heavenly and hellish hierarchies, Milton elevates voice as one of his epic’s enduring features.


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