Paradise Lost was written by John Milton in an effort to explain why, and how, the Fall of Man occurred; but he does this not by reiterating the biblical Genesis story, but by providing readers with an imaginative and poetic re-creation of the story. Milton also seems to meet most, if not all, of the epic poem conventions, with this epic, consisting of over ten thousand.
Paradise Lost by John Milton Paradise Lost by John Milton John Milton divided the characters in his epic poem Paradise Lost into two sides, one side under God representing good, and the other side under Satan representing evil and sin. Milton first introduced the reader to the character Satan, the representative of all evil, and his allegiance of fallen angels that aided in his revolt against God Milton Only later did Milton introduce the reader to all powerful God, leader and creator of.
John Milton was said to be a devout Christian who took a broad and bold stance in many of his works in depicting the Bible in one way or the other. Paradise Lost tells of the fall of mankind through Adam and Eve, very similar to the story that is in the Bible. This epic poem embodies many different stories and imagery taken from the Bible several times. John Milton. His father had left Roman Catholicism and Milton was raised Protestand, with a heavy tendence toward Puritanism.
Milton excelled in languages such as Latin, Greek, and Hebrew and in classical studies. For more than 20 years, Milton set aside poetry to write political and religious pamphlets for the cause of puritanism. For a time, he served as Secretary for Foreign Tongues under Cromwell. Milton was. Composed in exact imitation of its predecessors, the work depicts all characteristics of a traditional epic poem—including the epic hero, a powerful embodiment of societal values.
Milton presents his hero in a most unpredictable form: Satan. Despite the unorthodox oddity, the former archangel exhibits the conventions of an epic hero. These allusions make it easier for readers to understand the characters and compare their circumstances throughout the story. In Areopagitica John Milton demand the freedom of the press, actually the freedom of the author. Design an ad for a political candidate whose policies you believe would be harmful to the general public?
Design a brochure piece for an SUV that turned over more frequently than average in emergency conditions and caused the death of people? Design an ad for a product whose continued use might cause the user's death? When I gave this test to students between the ages of 21 to 28, I discovered that in a group of 20, 3 or 4 of them were willing to go all the way—That is, participate in advertising a product whose use might cause the user's death. These were generally idealistic young people as yet seemingly uncorrupted by money or professional life.
However, they drew the line at harming their family, friends or neighbors. The other day in the country, I thought I'd make a Greek salad for lunch. Tomatoes are not quite in season but I had some good onions, peppers, cucumbers as well as a small square of feta and some excellent olives, olive oil and Greek oregano. As I was adding the feta to the salad I checked the nutritional label; it read 70 calories per serving.
Something made me examine the label again. Under "number of servings" it said 7. I had just added calories to a diet-conscious lunch for my wife and myself…I wondered how did a thimbleful of feta become a serving? You all know the answer. After lunch I turned on the TV to watch the ball game. A commercial for a nasty-looking green salve to treat arthritis was on, showing a smiling young woman testifying to the efficacy of the medication.
Could I have picked any more trivial examples to indicate the lies we experience in daily life? Perhaps not, but the truth is we are subjected to a thousand of such misrepresentations every day of our lives. So pervasive is the culture of small distortions that we can no longer recognize them as lies. To quote Mc Luhan, "The fish in water doesn't know it's in water"—nevertheless the assault has changed our brains and our view of reality and truth.
Most of us here today are in the transmission business. While we don't often originate the content of what we transmit, we are an essential part of communicating ideas to a public that is affected by what we say. Should telling the truth be a fundamental requirement of this role? Is there a difference between lying to your wife and friends and lying to people you don't know? Certainly one thing that makes lying easier is thinking of the audience not as citizens but as consumers—the consumer is another species, and in professional life they are often thought of as the "other".
One thing seems consistent, the greater the psychic distance the easier it is to persuade people to act against their own self-interest. The issue seems more significant than ever. Today, given the aggressive distortion of truth and reality that pervades our civic and business life.
It is not a coincidence that Karl Rove, a brilliant marketing man is, next to the President himself, the most important man in Washington and perhaps the world. What is truly frightening is the degree to which lying has become acceptable in our public life. I'm not sure when the word "spin" replaced "lie" but it is characteristic of how our language has become a way of deflecting or distorting reality.
We seem to be awash in lies from business, the government, and almost every institution we have traditionally looked to as a source of belief. Our government has embarked on an investigation to determine whether the atrocities performed at Abu Ghraib were aberrational or systemic. What would be equally important is an examination of whether lying has become systemic in our nation and the way our government speaks to us.
The relative lack of public outrage as government and business lies are revealed is troubling, and may indicate how the American sense of what truth is has been profoundly shaped by our most pervasive educational medium, advertising. Actually it works two ways, advertising influences our relationship to government and government influences our view of advertising. A recent somewhat homophobic ad by Anheuser-Busch no relation , in addition to characterizing Miller as a "sissy" beer, "outed" the Miller Beer Corporation as being owned by a South African company, paralleling the outing, by unknown government insiders, of CIA Agent Valerie Plame.
As you all know, that event was triggered because her husband told the truth about whether or not nuclear materials were being shipped from Niger. In my memory this is the first time that the patriotism of a competitor has been questioned in order to promote beer sales. Marketing can be shameless.
Politicians and businessmen have re-discovered the power of Lenin's old idea that a lie repeated often enough, becomes the truth. This dark assumption throws a pall over America as well as the entire world and endangers democracy itself. When people believe that their government systemically lies to them they become cynical.
Cynicism breeds apathy and a sense of powerlessness that causes people to withdraw from public life. It is not coincidental that less than half our population votes. We can only call this a systemic scandal and observe that those in power have done very little to change the condition.
Which raises one last question. From our government's point of view, have we become the "other"? I've discovered that the best way to start a talk is with a joke you like, then try to build your speech around it. So the joke: A magician performing in a small theatre announces, "Tonight I'm going to perform a brand new trick, never seen before anywhere in the world. I'll need a bit of assistance from someone in the audience. You, young man, could you come up and help me?
The magician says, "I'd like you to take this sledge hammer and hit me directly on top of my head with all your strength". The young man, a bit confused says, "I can't do that sir, I'd kill you". The magician goes down like a pile of bricks and lies quivering on the floor. The paramedics are called immediately and take the unconscious magician away in an ambulance.
He has never came to. A nurse, making her morning rounds, notices that his eyelids seem to be fluttering. Excitedly she calls all the doctors who come to his bedside. At one moment, the magician opens his eyes and sees all the doctors and nurses gathered around him. Perhaps the parallel is that all of us in the field of illustration are beginning to feel we've been struck in the head and have fallen into a coma and are waiting to wake up at a more generous time. I'm not sure that better times are coming within my lifetime, and I have little practical career advice for others in the field.
Like all of us, I frequently think about what has caused the decline in the use of illustration. Since nothing occurs in a vacuum, it seems to relate to a transformation that has occurred to the American ethos. I believe it to have something to do with the pervasive and powerful effect of advertising and television. I know TV gets blamed for almost everything in American life, but as they endlessly say about computers, television is only a tool. Television is the tool of advertising, the most universal educational force the world has ever witnessed.
Sadly the lesson plan of TV involves only one principal, endless consumption. If you turn on your TV set and look away at the nearby wall you will discover that the reflections produced by the light from the TV set constantly vary dramatically in contrast and intensity. These contrasts are paralleled by the sounds emitting from the same source. It occurred to me that abrupt changes in the intensity of light, were indications of danger that our neurological system has evolved to respond to.
What effects can a lifetime of exposure to this assault produce? After all, our children are subjected to it within months of being born. When a shadow passes over a field mouse, it becomes alert to danger. Every cell of our body has been programmed to respond to light. It's obvious that the intensity of visual and audio contrast has increased though the years.
I assume that our brains' response to this continuing onslaught is a protective deadening to our neural receptors. I am convinced that the passivity and indifference of the American public to their own lives and interests, is some how related to this phenomena. It is hard to believe, but a poll taken recently indicated that two thirds of the American public could not name even one of the democrats running for president. Not to mention that three times the number of Americans believe in Satan than evolution.
We have lost our sense of what is real, and replaced it with an addiction to the virtual reality created by television, entertainment, and advertising. Incidentally the constant juxtaposition of images like that of a woman crying over a child lost in a fire and a commercial for Pampers amplifies this sense of meaningless and daily stupor.
One can make the case that we have lost the capacity for abstract thought. When we read or listen to the radio, the mind forms images in response to the suggestion. The same thing can be said to occur when an illustration provokes the viewer by its symbolic relationship to reality. Abstraction encourages the mind to bridge the distance from suggestion to reality. There are certain tribes in Africa that do not distinguish between their dream life and their daily life.
We find ourselves in a similar condition. But one must note that the reality that television has provided us with does not serve out deepest needs. In our world, reality has been replaced by forms of entertainment that require little mental activity, and encourage apathy and indifference. How else can we explain the incredible passivity we witness that characterizes the American people at this time.
The misrepresentations of government, the outrageous dishonesty of business, the attack on our civil rights, the collapse of our educational system and the failures of our social safety nets have produced almost no response or indignation from the American public. When Bush orders an aircraft carrier moved at a cost of 1 million dollars so he can land on the deck without San Diego being visible in the background, he is aware that this manipulative misrepresentation will not affect his popularity, even after it is disclosed.
I am certain, as it becomes increasingly obvious, that we were deliberately lied to in order to justify a war with Iraq, there will be no general sense of betrayal because we no longer understand the relationship between cause and effect. The virtual reality created by television is expressed through predominately photographic means, our culture's most dominant way of expressing "reality".
Susan Sontag has written brilliantly on photography, in fact, that is the title of her early book. Photographs are really experience captured, and the camera is the ideal arm of consciences in its acquisitive mood…" Photography has another intrinsic characteristic that illustration lacks. This separates it from other works of the imagination and makes it a perfect vehicle for advertising.
Our society requires a culture based on images to furnish entertainment and to stimulate buying. Above all, photography seems to validate and protect the existing social conditions. Because of its believability, photography is unexcelled as a tool to generate desire, which in part explains the diminished role of illustration in advertising. In a culture that values commerce above all other things, the imaginative potential of illustration has become irrelevant. For those who control the narrative of American life, illustration is now too idiosyncratic, harder to control and are less reassuring than the photographic imagery we have all grown up with.
This is not to say that illustrators exist outside the world of commerce. On the contrary, we are all embedded in that world. But the need to express some aspect of our personal vision makes us suspect, at a time when the bottom line is the bottom line.
The greatest irony, of course, is the emergence of the so-called reality TV. Whose reality are we talking about? Producers have discovered that they can discard the last impulse to conceive of television as a creative medium, as vestigial as it is eliminate the writers, who have been negotiating for more money and create a show completely controlled by marketing.
The result demeans and further infantilizes the American viewer. A Greek myth tells us that the first drawing came about as a woman traced her lovers' shadow in the sand as he was about to leave for war, where he might be killed and never seen again. The intent of the drawing was to keep his presence alive. The myth, of course, is not literally true since all of us know the remarkable cave drawings that are unexcelled in all human history.
Tracing shadows, on the other hand, is an elegant way of describing the act of illustration. If illustration suggests illumination then the shadow is central to its meaning. All of us who create imagery know that the relationship of dark to light is unavoidable. Although Freud, like all true artists, offered us only one way to view the world, I've always been attracted to his notion of the struggle between Eros and Thanatos, the pull towards life vs.
Eros is the mother of sex, love, feeling and the desire to make things. The words, generation, genius, genial, genital, and generous are all contained within its purpose. Thanatos embraces darkness, obscurity, evil and entropy. Although the dialogue between these two forces predates history, the anxiety of this moment in time convinces us that balance has gone awry. When I was eight, I contracted rheumatic fever and was confined to bed for almost a year.
I entertained myself during that time by creating armies, cities, animals and machines out of clay on a 3-foot wooden board with a deep groove ending in a knothole at one end. It created a landscape of unlimited possibilities. At the end of every day I would destroy everything I had made and dreamed through the night of starting again the next morning.
My darling mother would bring the board each day with a glass of orange juice and a soft-boiled egg. After breakfast, I would begin my work, I realized then, and even more today, that making things had rescued my life. I know that all of you have had a similar realization. There is a reason for all of you here to continue making things even though, vocationally speaking, this is the most difficult of times. The deepest role of art is creating an alternative reality, something the world needs desperately at this time.
Everyone here today chose to be on the side of Eros, that is you've devoted your life of making things, rather than controlling things. I used to feel that it was strange that artists are self-anointed. Now I realize it could not be any other way because above all, art is a view of life itself. It cannot be given by others or taken away by dealers or marketing men. Real artists are always working for nothing because they don't see their essential role in society as being simply to exchange goods.
They turn up first in the anti-war demonstrations, not because they lack patriotism, but because they revere life. Art is the most benign and fundamental way of creating community that our species has discovered. Mozart and Matisse, children of Eros, make us more human and more generous to one another. As dark and as difficult this moment is, it will change and everyone in this room today has a significant role in that transformation because like all people who make things, you are inevitably on the side of light.
This is a curious rule and it took me a long time to learn because in fact at the beginning of my practice I felt the opposite. Professionalism required that you didn't particularly like the people that you worked for or at least maintained an arms length relationship to them, which meant that I never had lunch with a client or saw them socially.
Then some years ago I realized that the opposite was true. I discovered that all the work I had done that was meaningful and significant came out of an affectionate relationship with a client. And I am not talking about professionalism; I am talking about affection. I am talking about a client and you sharing some common ground. That in fact your view of life is someway congruent with the client, otherwise it is a bitter and hopeless struggle.
One night I was sitting in my car outside Columbia University where my wife Shirley was studying Anthropology. While I was waiting I was listening to the radio and heard an interviewer ask 'Now that you have reached 75 have you any advice for our audience about how to prepare for your old age? I am sure that many of you know who he was — the composer and philosopher who influenced people like Jasper Johns and Merce Cunningham as well as the music world in general. I knew him slightly and admired his contribution to our times.
For me, it has always been the same every since the age of I wake up in the morning and I try to figure out how am I going to put bread on the table today? It is the same at 75, I wake up every morning and I think how am I going to put bread on the table today? I am exceedingly well prepared for my old age' he said.
This is a subtext of number one. There was in the sixties a man named Fritz Perls who was a gestalt therapist. Gestalt therapy derives from art history, it proposes you must understand the 'whole' before you can understand the details. What you have to look at is the entire culture, the entire family and community and so on. Perls proposed that in all relationships people could be either toxic or nourishing towards one another.
It is not necessarily true that the same person will be toxic or nourishing in every relationship, but the combination of any two people in a relationship produces toxic or nourishing consequences. And the important thing that I can tell you is that there is a test to determine whether someone is toxic or nourishing in your relationship with them.
Here is the test: You have spent some time with this person, either you have a drink or go for dinner or you go to a ball game. It doesn't matter very much but at the end of that time you observe whether you are more energized or less energized. Whether you are tired or whether you are exhilarated.
If you are more tired then you have been poisoned. If you have more energy you have been nourished. The test is almost infallible and I suggest that you use it for the rest of your life. Early in my career I wanted to be professional, that was my complete aspiration in my early life because professionals seemed to know everything - not to mention they got paid for it. Later I discovered after working for a while that professionalism itself was a limitation.
After all, what professionalism means in most cases is diminishing risks. So if you want to get your car fixed you go to a mechanic who knows how to deal with transmission problems in the same way each time. I suppose if you needed brain surgery you wouldn't want the doctor to fool around and invent a new way of connecting your nerve endings.
Please do it in the way that has worked in the past. Unfortunately in our field, in the so-called creative — I hate that word because it is misused so often. I also hate the fact that it is used as a noun. Can you imagine calling someone a creative? Anyhow, when you are doing something in a recurring way to diminish risk or doing it in the same way as you have done it before, it is clear why professionalism is not enough.
After all, what is required in our field, more than anything else, is the continuous transgression. Professionalism does not allow for that because transgression has to encompass the possibility of failure and if you are professional your instinct is not to fail, it is to repeat success.
So professionalism as a lifetime aspiration is a limited goal. Being a child of modernism I have heard this mantra all my life. Less is more. One morning upon awakening I realized that it was total nonsense, it is an absurd proposition and also fairly meaningless.
But it sounds great because it contains within it a paradox that is resistant to understanding. But it simply does not obtain when you think about the visual of the history of the world. If you look at a Persian rug, you cannot say that less is more because you realize that every part of that rug, every change of colour, every shift in form is absolutely essential for its aesthetic success.
You cannot prove to me that a solid blue rug is in any way superior. That also goes for the work of Gaudi, Persian miniatures, art nouveau and everything else. However, I have an alternative to the proposition that I believe is more appropriate. I think this idea first occurred to me when I was looking at a marvelous etching of a bull by Picasso. It was an illustration for a story by Balzac called The Hidden Masterpiece.
I am sure that you all know it. It is a bull that is expressed in 12 different styles going from very naturalistic version of a bull to an absolutely reductive single line abstraction and everything else along the way. What is clear just from looking at this single print is that style is irrelevant. In every one of these cases, from extreme abstraction to acute naturalism they are extraordinary regardless of the style. It's absurd to be loyal to a style.
It does not deserve your loyalty. I must say that for old design professionals it is a problem because the field is driven by economic consideration more than anything else. Style change is usually linked to economic factors, as all of you know who have read Marx. Also fatigue occurs when people see too much of the same thing too often. So every ten years or so there is a stylistic shift and things are made to look different.
Typefaces go in and out of style and the visual system shifts a little bit. If you are around for a long time as a designer, you have an essential problem of what to do. I mean, after all, you have developed a vocabulary, a form that is your own.