Sadly, the Answer Man has left the building. But you can still find enlightenment (and a few laughs) in the Archives.
What is meant by "assert Eternal Providence"?
Assert means affirm or defend. Providence can be defined as God's management of his Creation. In the opening of his poem Milton couples this phrase with his purpose to "justify the ways of God to men."
In The Thesis of "Paradise Lost" (1962), G. A. Wilkes points out that the poem is about more than just the fall of man. It begins with the angels' revolt in heaven, and covers all the events in Genesis before and after the fall, continuing up to the birth of Christ, and even to the Last Judgment. This he calls a complete "treatment of the operation of Providence." It's only through studying the epic as a whole, and grasping the full picture, (not by obsessing about Satan's heroism as so many love to do) that God's intentions and actions can be understood.
Milton may have begun his work as early as 1655, twelve years before its publication.
Before: After a bad dream, Eve expresses horror that bad thoughts have entered her mind. Adam comforts and reassures her of her own unassailable purity: Book V lines 1-135. But later, Eve, asserting her independence, wants to wander away from Adam's company. Adam, showing somewhat less confidence in her, tries to dissuade her but ultimately gives in to female persuasion: book IX lines 205-384.
After: The relationship goes haywire. Temporarily in denial, they playfully lust after each other in celebration of their newly "opened eyes, new hopes, new joys," but soon descend to quarreling and blaming each other: book IX lines 1134-1189. Adam rebukes Eve's plea for his forgiveness, but ultimately they reconcile: book X lines 865-1096.
The unfortunate moral here seems to be that women shouldn't assert independence from their mates, even momentarily: book XI line 176.
Yes, especially when a few lines later Milton tells us angels can take whatever shape they want, solid or not [vi.352]. Milton has taken some heat for his angels' inconsistent physiology, but in fairness, that has always been the case in the portrayal of angels. If you think about it, why would angels need wings?
Through Raphael's voice in Book V lines 569-576 Milton lays a belated foundation for portraying spirits in human-like form.
Funny, but when heaven or hell are depicted in literature they sometimes have to be toned down from their intense traditional associations in order to move the story along. Milton's heaven is afraid of the dark. Although it resembles earth, evenings there are no darker than our twilight. Kind of disappointing never to have moon and starlit nights, don't you think? Even Milton prefers earth's beauty [ix.99-102]. His hell is unpleasant but not so unaccomodating that the devils can't build themselves a comfy palace.
Milton occasionally parodies heavenly and hellish elements, such as the holy and unholy trinities. Note the use of music as entertainment at the celebration in heaven [v.618-627], and then later to pass the hours in hell, waiting Satan's return [ii.546-555]. Bored with the music, some of the devils head out to explore their new domain. Join the tour in book II, lines 570-628.
Dance of the Knights from Romeo and Juliet ballet (1935) composed by Sergei Prokofiev.
Yeah, that’s about the way it was, and everybody was okay with that back then.
Thanks for your input. We have simplified the opening.
Early on Satan exhibits sentiments we, perhaps unwillingly, sympathize with. As the poem progresses Satan's character degenerates to an almost classic silent movie villian. Check out lines IV:375-386 where he sarcastically invites Adam and Eve to join him in hell. And lines IV:799-809 where he is found "squat like a toad" whispering temptations into Eve's ear as she sleeps.
Your viewpoint is also supported by the magnificent affection Milton displays towards Adam and Eve, Satan's victims, throughout.
Technically, the illustration doesn’t fit Milton’s script (or for that matter the Bible’s, since the couple is still unclothed). It shows lingering shock and despair in the figures as they make their exit, while, at this point, Milton has them wiping their tears and hesitantly approaching their new world. But then, why would we expect any conformity, since Masaccio predated Milton by over 200 years, and there is no indication that Milton was inspired by this particular painting.
Masaccio brought realism to the painting of the Italian Renaissance. He used natural lighting, three dimensional forms, and scientific perspective in ways that hadn’t been done before. He was not concerned with the usual flat, detailed ornamentation of that period. His simple naturalistic approach brought great dramatic impact. He was an important influence on Michelangelo.
Haven't seen anything that specific on the net.
Here are some major distinctions that come to mind:
Here are the "hell" scenes in PL:
B:I L:56-77 (Satan awakens in hell for the first time.); 221-269 (He emerges from the burning lake); 670-751 (The devils build their palace.)
B:II L:570-628 (The devils explore hell.); 629-680 (Satan meets Sin and Death guarding the gate of hell.); 871-894 (The gate is opened, revealing Chaos beyond.)
B:III L:440-497 (Satan lands on the shell of this universe, the site of a future "Limbo" of souls. This scene resembles Dante in that Milton describes sinners and their prescribed punishments.);
B:X L:230-305 (Sin and Death decide to build a bridge from hell to earth.); 418-455 (Satan returns to hell after his successful mission.); 504-579 (Again as in Dante, Satan and his crew experience a unique punishment, suited to their crime.)
He weaves the two characters together in an epic plot as he expresses his woes about the tragedy, point by point. (But he wasn’t Italian.)
Line eight continues:
In this, the very first and typically complicated sentence of Paradise Lost, Milton is calling upon the same angel or muse to inspire him in writing the poem. Apparently, the muse liked long sentences, with suspended clauses, reversed object and verb, multiple-choice allusiveness, and an exalted, magniloquent, epic style.
Look around you. The war isn't over yet.
Okay I know, you mean within Paradise Lost. Same answer. The end of Paradise Lost does not depict a conclusion to the struggle between earth and hell. To the contrary, the last words of the poem convey, in powerful simplicity, the true beginning of a new world.
Satan lost his first battle in heaven, then won a victory over man in Paradise. But life goes on.
That might be difficult since you posted your question on Jan 29. Leaving the time warp problem up to you, here's a suggestion. If you want to get their attention you might start off with:
"Sex! Lust! Incest! Rape!--and it all takes place before Adam and Eve were even created!" Then tell the story of Sin and Death. (Better correct your inadvertantly excellent but inappropriately x-rated pun/typo, though.)
This is Milton's sequel to Paradise Lost. It is much shorter, with its plot confined to the subject of Christ's confrontation with Satan in the desert. It is more an exposition of Milton's religious philosophy, without the grandeur and action--and consequently, nowhere near the popularity of the earlier poem.
Don't read it.
I'm not joking. That's my serious, if subversive, recommendation. Most people cannot adapt to reading this complicated style at a normal comprehending pace, and will inevitably "glaze over" fast.
So, read all the summaries, browse the comments here and the illustrations to psych you and pique your interest, settle in on the aspect of the poem that relates to your assignment, and after you have thought it through thoroughly, then find and study (not read) the relevant passages in the poem. That's all you will have time for.
And whatever you do, don't tell the teacher I told you to do that.
The best summary of Paradise Lost is written by Milton himself.
Even in Milton's day Paradise Lost was a formidable undertaking for readers. So when he produced the second edition in 1674, he placed an introductory "argument" at the beginning of each book to help them out. You can find the 12 arguments here.
Look for examples in Satan’s speeches to his followers in book I.
Anarchism has many philosophical branches, opposition to government control being a common link. One view sees the structure of the universe as represented in Paradise Lost with God and Satan or good and evil as opposing forces battling for control, and humanity as mere pawns in their battle, with a fourth element, chaos, representing anarchy, or the uncontrollable. (ref: John Moore)
PL depicts a personified Chaos enthroned, with “sable-vested Night,” Rumor, Confusion and others holding noisy court. He’s an adversary to God’s creation, and friendly to Satan in their brief encounter, as Satan promises to restore his encroached upon realm by destroying earth.
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comment: this is a great website that gave me so much valuable insight on paradise lost. some day i want my kids to read this because i know theyll love it
comment: First of all, I love your website! I am a Christian and I have read Milton's Paradise Lost and other works. He was a God given genius in literature and things. I am eager to see this movie when it comes out. I love your simplified commentary and summary of his work. My email is **********@yahoo.com God bless you all!
Like Shakespeare, Milton's blank (non-rhyming) verse uses the rhythm of iambic pentameter. A line is composed of five long, unaccented syllables, each followed by a short, accented one. Pick and read any line at random and you will hear the rhythm:
The MIND is ITS own PLACE, and IN itSELF
Yeah we do. But you knew that, didn't you. A little detective work shows this submission to be a fake--sent just to see if we'd post it or not. Not that there aren't those who hold these sentiments--they're just too lazy to write them down.
Besides, the punctuation is just too darn correct.
Well, there are quite a few "new worlds" in Paradise Lost. In a sense the whole poem is about new or changing worlds. To begin with, Satan perceives heaven as about to become a new and unacceptable world as the Son of God is delegated to take over as co-ruler. The result is Satan's rebellion and war--which leads him to the new world of hell. The implications here are exploration (B:II L:570-628); the formation of a new government (B:II L:249-298); and a new agenda of revenge (B:II L:310-378). Earth is another new world--actually two new worlds--one before the fall, and one after. ("pre-lapsian"/"post-lapsian", if you want to sound brainy.) With the before-world comes the pressure of having all the happiness you could ever ask for, as long as you don't make that one little slip which destroys everything and is irrevocable. The after-world leaves Adam to deal with having royally screwed up the entire future of the human race (B:X L:720-844). And finally there is the new world promised by the coming of the Savior (B:III L:294-341).
God, Satan, the Beginning, and the surrounding events and consequences had never before been so uncompromisingly exposed. The poem brought to light some difficult moral conflicts and paradoxes, with images that carried a heavy emotional burden. Make of it what you will, but it has been noted by theologians that the doctrines of the Fall, and of hell, have experienced a gradual decline in importance as essential basis to the Christian faith, continuing to the present time, and beginning at about the time of the poem's publication.
The good guys.
The more important question is: Why do you care what I think? We both know the answer, don't we. Somebody doesn't want to do their own homework.
This is not complex analysis or technical research question, but a personal subjective reaction of which you are as capable as I. Of course, you do have to read the poem to get one--at least the "hell" parts, which are delineated in an earlier answer.
As the tragic moment approaches, Milton's man and woman are, by our standards, more like father and daughter than lovers:
Their relationship heats up to that of lovers, however, as they consummate the original sin:
But they soon revert back to the father-daughter relationship, taking it to new, almost perverse extremes:
Milton was not a Satanist. But like Shakespeare and all the rest, he was faced with the paradox that villains are more interesting than heroes. You can't have a story without a villain, even if the "villain" is a hurricane, or merely the bad thoughts inside the good guy's head. The "villain" is also referred to as the "conflict" necessary to any plot.
The same can be said about life. Without adversity nothing would happen, since every move we make, down to the twitch of a finger, is to change something that is unacceptable or other than we want it to be.
Without Satan, (according to Milton) God would not even have had the motivation to create the world [Book VII; lines 131-161]. Delving into the circumstances that bring this story about, you inevitably have to delve into the heart and soul of the villain, what makes him tick, and you find, again inevitably, that his complex inner struggles are identifiable with our own. Thus the accusation: "hero."
The story of Paradise Lost is about superhuman creatures, and can only be told if they are humanized to some degree. In spiritual philosophy, man places himself "in God's image," but when you dramatize these characters, the shock is that Satan is humanized more successfully than God, because he has our own faults and conflicts.
another asks: Can you tell me please if there is any reference about creation
of angels, including Satan, in PL? I don't understand why would God
created humans when he already created more perfect beings.
another asks: Can you tell me please if there is any reference about creation of angels, including Satan, in PL? I don't understand why would God created humans when he already created more perfect beings.
God’s explanation: vii, 139-160; Satan’s take: ix, 135-157. Satan scoffs when Abdiel suggests they were created by God: v. 853-861.
There is a wealth of writings about Satan as hero in PL, but you have to look outside your mind to find it. Other popular topics include: Milton's language, the epic style or the style of verse in PL; Milton's Christian beliefs and/or 17th century puritanical reflections in PL; how well Milton fulfills his promise to "justify the ways of God to men"; and of course a very popular subject--all the negative criticism of PL.
But, you know, choosing the most popular topic may make your research easier, but it almost guarantees your paper will be very ordinary.
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comment: This site has been so valuable to me, as studying Paradise Lost for my English Degree. Thankyou.
comment: Thanks - this site is REALLY helpful. I'm reading Paradise Lost as part of my prepfor uni applications and interviews in the autumn, and there was only so much that you can do alone!
Now that the world is a fallen world, it has become "natural" for them to shed tears. Eve had previously shed tears in Book V, but the reason wasn't the same. She had had an "unnatural" dream inspired by Satan, in which she ate the forbidden fruit.
They proceed hesitantly and with trepidation, with "wandering steps and slow," because they have no direction, both literally and in looking to the future. Their home in Paradise was all perfectly planned for them by God. Now they must find their own place of "rest" in the wild, to settle and build a new life, to rest from their physical journey and their emotional trauma, and from which to begin the "rest" of the history of this world.
Milton first introduced the pair to us walking "hand in hand" [iv.321], and so linked again as they retired to their nuptial bower [iv.689]. Their love survived some shaky moments after the fall. In the tragic finale, this symbol of reaffirmed union takes on greater poignancy.
There is no "verification" possible of what took place in the Garden of Eden. If anything, science refutes the whole story. The devout will tell you the Bible's account is inviolable, while Milton's is pure fiction. But the two accounts--Milton's and the Bible's--are not contradictory. Milton's is just longer. Using his imaginative interpretation, he speculates and elaborates--(boy does he elaborate!) This knowledge comes to him from the inner voice of his "muse," he explains.
For example, the Bible doesn't specify that Adam and Eve are separated when the serpent tempts Eve (in fact, the Bible says she gave the fruit "also unto her husband with her" but the phrase has various interpretations), but it is logical that Satan would seek out Eve when she is alone. Milton goes into great detail about why and how she comes to be alone. The Bible flatly states that she gave the fruit to Adam and he ate it. Milton tells us Adam's various reactions to her act and her offer. Do you draw the same conclusions as Milton about these circumstances based on the premise given in the Bible?
Milton says the fruit had the effect of arousing lust in both of them. Can you find any basis for this in the lines of the Bible?
Whew, you don't ask much! O.K. starting with your last question and working backwards, Adam and Eve were not confined to Eden. Had things gone differently, when they populated the world Eden would have become its capital. See [XI:335-348 ]. In their state of perfect innocence they can do no harm, and are allowed full enjoyment of their perfect world, so God places the troublesome tree in their midst as the only way to test their allegiance. As with the angels, without the freedom to rebel against his rule--allegiance, loyalty, respect, etc. would have no meaning [III:96-128 and V:524-540]. While God is all powerful, he allows his subjects the freedom to fail. To stop the rebellion he would have had to take away Satan's free will. Therefore he allowed the battle to take place--but don't forget who won the war.
Some believe if God does exist he takes no part in what goes on here (rendering prayers futile) but leaves it all up to us to create or destroy, having instilled in our human capacity everything we need to succeed--should we choose, of our own free will, to do so. [VIII:633-643]
Finally, no, under Milton's logic, God didn't scheme to create mankind through the mechanism of Satan's rebellion. If Satan didn't empty heaven of one third its populous, inspiring God to refill it with us, God and the angels would have gone on very happily through eternity without us. [VII:139-159] It's only from our point of view, being the self-important creatures we are, that we take for granted humanity must be the be-all, end-all focus of all existence, with God and the angels little more than our servants.
But Satan did rebel and Adam and Eve did sin, and God, being the smartest guy in the universe, did find a way to provide an opportunity for a transcending, ultimate positive result from all this. Look up "fortunate fall".
If there’s something you can’t see on a page without a scroll bar, strike F11 on your keyboard (to open or close full page), but this shouldn’t be necessary if you have your browser set to the normal viewing area. Keeping a side bar open or setting your own special view preferences may prevent you from experiencing the site as intended.
(note: This answer was given long before the proliferation of smart phones, tablets, etc., all of which can play havoc with old style html.)
You have stated quite succinctly the reason why the former is forgiven (actually accorded sainthood by some), and why Christ martyred himself to mitigate her sin, while the latter is doomed to eternal hopelessness in hell.
Can't, sorry--copyrights and stuff, you know.
Ah yes, sex.
The first overt sexual reference in PL is quite brutal. [II:746-801] Sin tells of her incestuous union with Satan, which resulted in the birth of Death, who emerged from her womb with such violence that her lower parts became deformed and snake-like. The precocious infant immediately raped his mother, impregnating her with a pack of hell-hounds that enjoy returning to her womb from time to time to nibble at her intestines.
I don't blame you for being a little confused about the angels. There is some ambiguity in PL's sex scenes. In the discourse between Adam and Raphael, [VIII:614-629] the angel suggests that, when in their non-physical state [VI:344-353] they can unite in love something like two (or more?) whiffs of smoke intermingling. Is there anything like orgasm?--a rosy-cheeked Raphael quickly changes the subject. And yes, the angels are all male [X:888-892]. Should we infer homosexuality? I won't touch that one.
But then we learn of Satan's intercourse with his daughter, Sin. Her birth had been spontaneous, springing forth from his head when he had the first bad thoughts, but their union resulted in the pregnancy and birth described above. This sounds like regular old fashioned sex to me. And note that this first occurrence of heterosexual intercourse in heaven is an evil one. This is quite different from Milton's first portrayal of sex between Adam and Eve. He asserts that their marriage was consummated before the Fall, unlike some who say it was the fruit that introduced them to sex. Milton enters his assertion with some vehemence, derides those who say Paradise was too pure to accommodate such things, and with passionate poetry, sings praises of marital lovemaking. [IV:736-775]
Earlier, Adam had described to Raphael his first meeting with Eve and the sexual passion she aroused, causing Raphael to admonish him. [VIII:460-594] The suggestion is that Adam's weakness in the face of Eve's charms led him to submit to his half of the original sin. Later, eating the forbidden fruit, both sinners' senses are opened to full-blown lust, and a very different image of coupling follows, resulting in shame and awareness of their nakedness. [IX:1008-1059]
Satan's sexuality remains evident when he comes to earth and observes and envies the happy couple in loving embrace, and complains of his "fierce desire ... still unfulfilled." [IV:492-511] There is also the scene in which the sentry angels find him whispering in the ear of sleeping Eve. [IV:797-809] The sexual symbolism here is only thinly disguised in phrases like "organs of her fancy" and "inordinate desires."
In Book I: a horrible dungeon  a great furnace  a fiery deluge  a prison of utter darkness [71-72] floods and whirlwinds of tempestuous fire  the Sygian flood--referring to Styx, a river in hell; also means "infernal" or "dark" , and an inflamed sea . Also, lines 301-311 compare the fallen angels in the lake to a valley of death strewn with autumn leaves and to the army of the Pharaoh drowned in the Red Sea which Moses had parted.
The clue is in Book I lines 291-293.
The obvious answer is in Satan's line--the most famous line in all Paradise Lost: "Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven." [I:263] But this comes after he has just arrived in hell, hot from the passion of war, spoken to Beelzebub, his second in command. Later, when Satan stands alone on the mountain, newly arrived on earth, he lets his guard down in a soliloquy where he expresses his waning confidence, regret, and ultimate resolve to evil. [IV:32-113]
I think they made an album about it
Omnipotence means unlimited power. If God tried to prevent Satan from coming to earth but he came anyway, that would prove God did not have unlimited power. If he had successfully prevented Satan from coming to earth that would be only one example of one kind of power--not proof of omnipotence. The fact that he did not try to use any kind of power to restrain Satan does not prove anything about anything.
What is shown here is not omnipotence but a mundane line of strategy, which you have accurately summed up--and in the process raised some disturbing questions. Why would God set Satan loose on humanity before Adam and Eve fell from grace--even with the foreknowledge that they would--since Satan was a required element in the fall? Should we infer that God intended all along for the world to be a place of terrible struggle, with himself the hero everybody must depend upon for salvation?
Provocative question. Technically, he didn’t go back on anything he said or promised. If anything, he tempered his harsh judgment with mercy.
Satan’s opinion was that God deceived him into believing a fair fight was possible, then sucker punched him. (bI:635-642)
But methinks you have something even more provocative in mind that sparks your suspicion. Am I right?
comment: The music sucks.
Not exclusively. He found his inspiration in the Bible in the Epistle of James I:15.
Well, this is a challenge. After reading your question three times I conclude you are not putting me on but actually trying to ask for assistance--to what end I still have no idea. But it's my job to try to find something constructive to do with these questions, so here goes.
The best help I can provide for you is to inform you that your question is totally incoherent. The first thing you need to work on is your writing. However interesting your analysis of PL may be, it's worthless if nobody can understand it.
If you're doing a report, I encourage you to focus on one thing, clarify it in your own mind, then work on writing about it clearly. Read what you write over and over. Pretend you're someone else reading it--someone ignorant of the whole subject--would it be understandable to him? It helps to go back and read what you've written after a period of time has elapsed--preferably the next day. It will look new to you, and mistakes or weak prose you hadn't seen before will become obvious.
You're welcome to resubmit a question--a single question--which is clearly and correctly written.
Lots of politics here. To begin, the rebellion in heaven is a political upheaval. Part of what accounts for the "Satan as hero" phenomenon is that this can be likened to a freedom vs. dictatorship conflict. And lets not forget what precipitates it: God's appointment of his Son as co-ruler. Among us humans it's called nepotism.
The council in hell is a political debate, the results of which--either a return to battle or peaceful lower-world government-building--will effect how power is distributed among the devils [II:290-299]. When Satan proclaims his intention to go the journey to earth alone, we note a political slant [II:465-473].
Among other nasty effects produced by eating the forbidden fruit, it turns Eve political, as she ponders whether to share the magical fruit with her husband or keep the odds in her favor, in her imagined new goddess-like state.
Even some of God's motives can be termed political, as when he publicizes some of his actions to influence the masses [XI:67-71].
Paradise Lost is a about power, ambition, alliances, deceit, vengeance--in other words, "politics as usual."
One theme in Paradise Lost is the contrast between two kinds of irreparable loss: the loss which leads to hopelessness and unending evil [IV:108-113] and the loss which, though irreparable, is mitigated with love and hope [XII:466-478 ].
Well, they really enjoyed it, and apples do taste good. I’m guessing the apples tasted like apples.
Of course, you’re asking, or are being asked, what was the metaphorical taste, the taste of forbidden knowledge. The realization of newly imparted, and unwelcome, “knowledge” came later, as an aftershock. The initial “taste” had more to do with the “forbidden” aspect—the childish kick or thrill one gets in breaking the rules, especially with a cohort. The “intoxicated” couple “swam in mirth” and “burned in lust” among other things.
A very comfortable chair is recommended, good lighting, and something to drink, because you'll be there a long time if you want to read all that is written about chapter three.
Apparently Milton’s original publisher didn’t think the poem gave us enough of a challenge, so he chose an archaic font style from the early 1800's that intermittently used a funny looking, elongated “s” with a flat base, called a "long s", making it almost indistinguishable from an “f.” If you think your copy of PL is treacherous going, take a look at one of those. You'll fee what I’m faying.
These lines conclude a sentence begun eleven lines earlier. Having been swayed by the serpent, Eve is in the process of talking herself into eating the forbidden fruit, which will impart knowledge of good and evil. The two lines comprise an independent clause, introduced by the word 'for,' meaning 'because.'
It means, if a certain thing's goodness is unknown to you, you probably won't get to acquire or experience it, and if you already have it and don't recognize its goodness, it's the same as not having it at all.
Some people don't believe Paradise Lost is a good story. They will never want to read it. And some people are forced to study it, but never learn how to enjoy it.
There is also a band called PARADISE LOST. If you hit the search engines for PL and don't add the word "Milton" you surely will meet up with them more than you care to. Quotes and elements from PL form a major source of reference for rock music and superhero movies these days. And if you look up Paradise Lost on Google or Amazon or Netflix you'll get as many hits on totally unrelated products that have ripped off that famous title as you will on the poem.
No, that charming bit of folklore never made it into Paradise Lost. You might be confusing this with God's pronunciation to Eve that as part of her punishment she (and all future women) would experience pain in childbirth [x.193 and 1051].
Begin by fully understanding Milton's lines. Refer to an annotated version on the net, or the Signet or Mentor paperbacks. Then rewrite the entire sequence in modern standard English using as many of the original words as you can. Look up the words you don't know in an ordinary dictionary or encyclopedia. If you don't understand a line, look up all the words--even the ones you think you know. They often have additional archaic or rarely used meanings.
Put your version next to Milton's and the differences will pop. (Look up diction and syntax too even if you think you know the meanings.)
In the first soliloquy Adam is drunk with lust, triggered by the "forbiddeness" of the fruit, and lets fly a stream of double entendres around "taste" and "delicious pleasures," as he seduces his wife.
In the next dialogue Adam sees the light of truth and visibility as revealing evil. He sees his nakedness as exposing his lost honor, faith and purity. He cannot face God or the angels with lust now visible in his face. He likens their goodness with light too bright for his sinful eyes. He wants to hide from the light of sun and stars, and cover his body and his shame with leaves.
We are being introduced to Satan. Milton uses similes to suggest his huge physical size, beginning at i.195 and i.221. But the physical image of hugeness is itself metaphorical for the stature, power and importance of angels in general, Satan in particular, and the immensity of the subject of the poem.
There's a link called "Summaries" on this site that might help.
Read Paradise Lost.
That's 3 in a row. I can't take much more of this, guys. Let's get with it.
In Areopagitica, Milton says virtue is not possible without the test of evil temptation. His God in PL seems to agree [iii:103-111].
Much is made of Adam and Eve's perfect innocence before the fall. But their innocence is not the same innocence as that of, say, the animals, for animals have no knowledge of how to commit evil. For all the talk of knowledge of good and evil being locked up in the tree, didn't Adam and Eve have to know, before they partook, that obedience to God's edict was good and disobeying it would be bad. Otherwise, as Milton says, their so called "virtue" would have been "blank virtue"--that is, worthless.
There's a site about Milton's home, 25 miles from London.
I'll assume by "our novel" you mean Milton's epic poem, Paradise Lost. (Do they read PL in eighth grade? Wow.) Sum up Paradise Lost in one word? Even Milton needed at least two.
Do you think maybe she means pick an important one-word subject in Paradise Lost? Like, maybe: Beelzebub, bower, Chaos, creation, foreknowledge, freedom, Heaven, Hell (oops, scratch that one--G-rated, I forgot) justice, orbs, prayer, Raphael, regret, revenge, snakes.
You won't find the answer in Genesis. You have to go to Isaiah, xiv 12-15.
This book is devoted entirely to a straightforward account of the event of the fall--all the way through to the devastating aftermath. It's plot structure is so complete, it could stand alone as a short story. Interestingly, Milton manages to build enormous suspense as Eve approaches the fateful moment--even though we all know exactly what's going to happen.
How's this for a cultural connection. The secret of creating suspense was well explained by a contemporary master, Alfred Hitchcock: "Tell the audience everything, but don't tell the characters anything." Certainly works here, doesn't it.
It is more than implied, it is narrated in meticulous detail: Satan possesses the serpent, who does the tempting of Eve, who in turn tempts Adam.
You didn't even say please! I do have a sneaking suspicion your teacher wanted you to do your own homework. By the way, PL has 12 excerpts with lines labeled 1-264.
Adam dreams of (or witnesses in half-sleep) the creation of Eve from his rib [VIII:456-480].
Satan infects Eve's sleep with a dream which mimics the temptation and fall to come [V:26-93].
After eating the forbidden fruit and celebrating with some steamy lovemaking, Adam and Eve have "conscious dreams" in restless sleep [IX:1044-1054]. They awake to guilty awareness and shame. The implication is that their suppressed guilt first broke through in their dreams.
After learning she will be expelled from Paradise, Eve's mild hysteria is calmed by soothing dreams from above, while Adam goes off to learn Michael's prophecies [XII:610-614]. (Feminists love this stuff.)
Paradise Lost is about Adam and Eve--how they came to be created and how they came to lose their place in the Garden of Eden, also called Paradise. It's the same story you find in the first pages of Genesis, expanded by Milton into a very long, detailed narrative poem. It also includes the story of the origin of Satan. Originally, he was called Lucifer, an angel in heaven who led his followers in a war against God, and was ultimately sent with them to hell. Thirst for revenge led him to cause man's downfall by turning into a serpent and tempting Eve to eat the forbidden fruit.
Frankenstein is also a story of creation--by a man who 'played God' and attempted to create a new race of humans. The epigraph of Frankenstein is taken from Paradise Lost, Book X, lines 743-745, where Adam is in great distress over having committed the first sin, and cries, "Hey, give me a break--I didn't ask to be created, you know!" (in more poetic language of course)
What amazes me is not that you ask the exact same two quesions just answered, but do you really believe I diligently email each individual answer to each individual student? Can you say "entitlement"?
To your second question, I think Milton does as well as can be expected, given the prejudicial religious or anti-religious beliefs readers will bring to the poem, and the unsympathetic (dictatorial) position God is in as a character. Personally, I am moved by God's justice/mercy equation: Man dies, or justice does [III:209-212]--meaning justice requires he punish man, but mercy allows him to mitigate that punishment by sacrificing his Son.
Paradoxes do not have solutions. That's why they are called paradoxes. If you are on TV's "Deal or No Deal" and I, as a true fortune teller, tell you that you are going to select Case #5, having free will, you can then decide to select Case #8, simply to prove me wrong. And I would then be wrong. But if I truly see the future, I can't be wrong . . . a paradox, to say the least.
God, Milton, and Adam get around this problem by burying it in the complexity of the situation. Even if God told Adam what the future would be (which, in a way, he did), then technically, Adam could've said "Well, just for the hell of it, I'm not going to eat the apple, just to show I can make God wrong." He didn't do that because a whole other set of complex emotional forces were propelling this story. No time for such trivial experiments. Yet, technically, with free will, he could have . . . or . . . could he?
They're not. But to be sure, they are all in there, in spades. Most--pride, envy, lust-- are ascribed to Satan's behavior. They fill the pages of his scenes.
Adam and Eve fall into lustful behavior immediately after eating the forbidden fruit. Whether this can be called their second sin or just part of the erratic behavior that results from the big one is open to debate. They were husband and wife, after all. [IX:1009-1016]
Gluttony is mentioned as a prime cause of sickness and death in mankind's future, as Michael explains it to Adam. [XI:475-525] You can find a variety of sins in Michael's prophecies.
Vanity and superstition in future generations are sins Milton proposes to punish in the "Limbo of Vanity" or "Paradise of Fools"--which he locates on the outer shell of our universe, a place Satan passes on his way to earth. [III:444-495] . . . But wait a minute, superstition and vanity are not among the seven deadly sins, are they, so scratch that. But then you knew that, didn't you.
As I'm sure you also know, anger is one of the seven, and just about everybody in Paradise Lost gets angry at one time or another, including God!
It is the mountain where Milton says Satan first alighted on earth [III:742]. It is a real mountain in the Taurus range in Armenia, northeast of Turkey. Milton also refers to it as "the Assyrian mount" [IV:126], though it is somewhat beyond the area of the ancient empire of Assyria.
Actually some of it is pretty good. How can you avoid evil if you don't understand what it is, he argues. And how can you enjoy goodness if you don't understand the difference between goodness and evil, as the tree of knowledge offers? Makes sense to me. He also implies God is jealously guarding his own power which the tree can impart to Eve, making her God's equal. Sounds good, too.
Note how your question is leading, presumptuous? Maybe Satan did not beat his wife. Or do I underestimate you, and is it rhetorical? For in no way could Eve have been expected to outwit Satan's 'logic' in her state of naive innocence. I can't, and innocent I am not. What God was asking for was pure unquestioning faith and obedience.
1 and 5 are outside the parameters of this website subject. So are 2 and 4, but the Milton links on this site give you a start.
If you want to delve deeply into 4, try The Life of John Milton by William Riley Parker.
No.3 is such a broad topic there is information all over the place. Half the critical essays on PL touch on this subject. 'Satan as hero' is now almost a cliché, but an endlessly fascinating subject.
At the lake and in the dream Eve is portrayed as highly sensual and therefore temptable. Study also lines 816-832 from Book IX where she examines her options in a changing relationship with Adam. Her seeming disloyalty shocks us until we remember she has no ethical guidance to look to since she is at ground zero of human experience. Unique indeed.
Once upon a time, before this world was created, according to Milton, there was a celebration in heaven where God called all the angels together to present to them his Son, newly anointed as heaven's co-ruler. "He who disobeys my Son, disobeys me," he said. This incensed Lucifer, a high ranking archangel, later called Satan, who was not fond of taking orders to begin with. He became so jealous of the appointment that he secretly (though nothing was secret from God) assembled the many angels under his command--one third of heaven's population--and incited them to wage a war of rebellion against God.
That should be enough to get any god p.o.ed, don't you think.
Where do you guys come up with this stuff? Botanical distinction, huh?
Look up the arched fig tree of India in Herbal by John Gerard, 1597. That's where Milton got his inspiration.
Actually, the embarrassed couple were just trying to find the biggest leaves they could, for obvious reasons.
Classical literature commonly uses non-chronological narrative. This allows the author to compose his own sequence of dramatic impacts, rather than being restricted to what comes in the order of events.
Milton knew the big moment everyone would be waiting for is the temptation and fall, and that a long exposition on this event after the fact would be anti-climactic. So he gave us the explanation first, as God's prophecy. He didn't need to worry about revealing too much. We all already know how the story comes out.
Milton's Satan is a major character. Dante's Satan doesn't get out much. He's stuck in ice in the center of the earth. (PL also mentions an icy region in hell.) He is huge, like Milton's Satan, and he has the bat wings which inspired Doré's illustrations of devils in both works. Endowed with three faces, he perpetually chews on three poor sinners, Judas Iscariot among them. In Dante's vision, he is reduced to little more than a sideshow freak on display.
The term Machiavellian is about amoral cunning, duplicity and "might makes right," which is a liberal take of The Prince.
Satan shows the first two qualities in his encounters with Uriel and Gabriel, and in his plot to tempt Eve. With his own men, he's remarkably straightforward. Messiah nails him on power in Book VI, lines 818-823.
1. The position of an underdog rebelling against a dictator ressembles a
2. Instead of sending someone else on the dangerous trip to earth Satan
3. Satan is a hero because he gives freedom to his followers by waging war
4. He also shows courage (which is a quality needed by a hero) by being
the first to go against the almighty God.
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1. The position of an underdog rebelling against a dictator ressembles a hero.
2. Instead of sending someone else on the dangerous trip to earth Satan volunteers himself.
3. Satan is a hero because he gives freedom to his followers by waging war on God.
4. He also shows courage (which is a quality needed by a hero) by being the first to go against the almighty God.
Your page is truly awesome and I don't know where i would be without it. THANKS!!!!!
I can't improve on your analysis. Good job.
This is the philosophy that the good which ultimately evolves as a result of the fall--God's mercy, the coming of Christ, redemption, salvation, etc.--leaves us in a better place, with opportunity for greater good than would have been possible without the fall.
After Michael gives Adam all the prophecies of what is to come, both good and bad, as a result of his fall, Adam sums up the spirit of 'the fortunate fall' pretty well in his emotional speech at xii.469-478.
His reason makes perfect sense--as does the reason why a crook robs a bank.
We understand your frustration. Some reasons a question might not be posted are: time limitations, space limitations, brain limitations - ours, not yours - yes, sometimes, believe it or not, we just don't know the answer.
Sometimes a topic may have already been covered--several times.
But our favorite reason is that we don't wish to participate in what we call the stuck pages phenomenon, that is, the question suggests that the student's copy of Paradise Lost has pages still sticking together from the printing process (from never having been opened, get it?) These students may someday be appreciated in the business world for their talent in efficiently eliminating the middleman. If their plan succeeded, the question would go straight from the teacher to us, and our answer straight back to the teacher, with no interference from the student.
Check out Ebay. Many old PL editions are constantly up for bid.
Jealousy, revenge, pride. The happy couple took over his place of importance in God's universe--literally--since God created humanity to eventually fill the space left in heaven by the fallen angels. All pleasures lost to him were now theirs. Pride would not allow him to accept defeat in his revolt against God, and he knew a return to battle was futile. But these two human favorites of heaven were vulnerable.
Read lines 358-392 in Book IV to see how Satan regarded them and how he struggled with his own conscience, such as it was.
Then too, sometimes bad people do bad things just because they've got nothing better to do. Eternity is a long time to spend in hell. You know, "idle hands ..."
Yes, PL is a cornucopia of them.
The hordes of defeated devils are sprawled across the lake of fire "thick as autumnal leaves that strow the brooks in Vallombrosa."
Satan walks across the burning soil, supporting his shaky steps with his spear, "to equal which the tallest pine hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the mast of some great Admiral, were but a wand."
(Next time please make your question more succinct.)
Your second question answers your first. Though there are others in addition to Adam and Eve. The angels, for example, are audience to God's explanations.
But, yes, the big production number is Raphael's lengthy message to the pair. God's purpose in sending Raphael was to cover his own behind (sorry) by making sure A & E knew full well what was at stake and where the threat was coming from, that they understood they had complete freedom to do as they chose, and needed no more power than they were already given to succeed. [V:224-247] God's goal wasn't to change their behavior--he knew they would fail--but to endow them with absolute and perfect free will, which by definition, unfortunately, included suffering the dire consequences.
I'm not sure. I don't think anybody is. Milton gives a wobbly explanation in Book I, lines 209-220.
Then again there's the theory of the "fortunate fall." Look it up.
Milton must have thought delving deeply into Satan's ways would help support his thesis. But it is mostly God himself whose explicit revelations to the angels in Books III--later expanded upon by Michael in Book XII--enlighten us about his intent. If one wanted to sum it all up in a phrase, your quote would do it.
A successful premise? Atheists and devout alike have praised the poem's greatness, while at least one Christian, T.S. Eliot, considered it a travesty against his beliefs.
Prometheus may have more similarities with the Creator than with Satan, since he made man and was man's friend, even to the point of undergoing great torture for his service to man, comparable to the crucifixion. What he has in common with Satan is rebellious behavior, as by bringing fire to man he angered Zeus. This indirectly caused the Pandora's box incident, as retaliation from above, releasing all man's ills to the world. It's a bit of a stretch, but you could liken this to Satan bringing sin to earth, and its consequences.
It would be anachronistic to complain that he was not politically correct. Besides, the prototype was already dictated by the Bible, and Milton had no desire to change it.
Basically, light = good, dark = evil:
God is so bright even the angels cannot look at him directly. [iii.375]
Nighttime in heaven is no darker than our twilight. [v.642]
Hell is so dark even the flames issue no light. [i.61]
Creation brings light out of darkness. [vii.243]
Satan's visage darkens and deteriorates as he descends further into depravity. [iv.835, 850, x.449]
Adam and Eve's morning prayers ask God to dispel the evil night may have wrought. [v.205]
Milton invokes the light of spiritual revelations to circumvent his physical blindness. [iii.1-55]
And many more: Satan hates the sun [iv]; After sinning, Adam wants to hide in the shadows; etc.
No shortage of pics of Adam and Eve by the old masters and in medieval artifacts. The most revered depiction of Genesis is Michelangelo's Sistine ceiling. Many illustrations done specifically for Paradise Lost can be found on this website. The most famous, and generally considered best, are by Gustave Doré.
We’ll skip the dictionary definition (we know you read that) and just point out that Calvinism includes the doctrine that God never changes. But there are at least two instances in PL where God changes his mind, both out of mercy. He changes the penalty for the sin of Adam and Eve from immediate death to death far removed to the future. The second instance is mentioned in Book XI, lines 885-895.
Just barely. The Renaissance is said to have extended to the mid 17th century--about when Milton was beginning to work on Paradise Lost.
Uh, could you be a mite more specific?
She bought it, hook, line and sinker.
Absolutely his own free will, by PL or any other interpretation I ever heard of--that is, if you are referring to the real Satan, who was created by God. If, on the other hand, you are referring to the fictional Satan, created by Milton, the answer may be a little different. Without Satan and his fall, there would be no story, no Paradise Lost, no earth, no us. So I don't think Milton could afford to give him "free will," do you?
It’s not unusual for major movie projects like this to take a long time to materialize. It’s a difficult and complicated process, with way too many cooks in the kitchen and megabucks at stake.
The real question is: should it ever be made?
(He means dichotomy, folks.)
Though Eve holds the onus of being the first sinner and Adam's lure, general theology grants that she underwent heavier temptation, by the devil himself, while Adam merely succumbed to female charms. PL supports this by Satan's elaborate temptation speech, and by Adam's earlier portentous admission that Eve has him so spellbound that anything she says or does seems right [viii.524-559]. But at the precipitous moment, Milton injects a Romeo/Juliet (or "Backdraft") influence: "If she goes, I go."
When the devils regroup in hell after their defeat, Satan addresses them with a rousing speech. In it, he accuses God of a dirty trick, which caused their fall. The sentence is at i.637-642, and it's Satan's weakest and most pitiful "sour grapes" argument of all his otherwise powerful early speeches.
Villains are important to any story, so it's not surprising that the most important villain there ever was would tend to upstage everybody else in the book.
(Sources--kids always looking for sources. And we love that backhanded compliment: "Your website is awsome--know any better ones?)
Had sex, is more like it. Adam and Eve were married by God and enjoyed conjugal lovemaking with his blessing in their innocent state. In Milton's version, after eating the fruit, however, something came over them which changed their behavior in all ways.
Milton's style is strongly influenced by Latin. His sentences do not follow the structure we are used to. For example you will often find the direct object placed before the verb.
She, as a veil down to the slender waist,Milton's sentences are long, again as in Latin, with phrase after modifying phrase. If you separate the clauses and phrases it will help you to decipher the message.
Then there are the words. Since we are in a 17th Century context, sometimes even annotations don't help. If all else fails, there's that old standby, the dictionary. Sometimes words you think you know will have other, rare or archaic uses. And Milton is famous for finding them.
These, lulled by nightingales, embracing slept,After 'fix', Webster's second definition of 'repair' is 'renew' - in other words, after the roses shed their petals on the sleeping couple, the next morning they grew back again.
That's how things were in Paradise.
These four question-packs are clearly submitted by one and the same, and obviously copied verbatim from your given assignment.
Most of your collection of topics is addressed, to varying degrees, in about a dozen different places herein. And that's all you're gonna get from me.
The purpose of this question and answer page is to boost you over the rough spots in a difficult study topic and spark your imagination, not become your accomplice in all out cheating.
See previous answer.
See see previous answer
See previous answer.
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Well, you're not lazy about writing long questions are you? Anybody who considers Milton a feminist didn't get that view from his Eve. He was a Puritan with a capital P--not necessarily "puritanical" as in today's parlance. In PL, Adam and Eve do not have premarital sex; they are married by God as soon as they meet. After this your inquiry gets real fuzzy. (Felix Cupa?--never met the guy.)
I think what you're saying is, why weren't Adam and Eve content with what they had, which was all so fine. Why did they reach for some vague, unknown prize of wisdom or whatever, risking everything in so doing. A) They are exhibiting absolutely normal "grass is greener on the other side" human nature. B) There would be no story if they hadn't. C) Looking at it through today's eyes, there is little in modern culture which lauds blind obedience or complacence, and every admiration for curiosity and enterprise. Who can resist Eve's plea: "If this be our condition, to dwell in narrow limits drawn by a foe, then perhaps he has already gained his hoped success." It doesn't jive, does it. But then paradox is one of the ingredients which make PL a great tale.
Since you give your permission to skip the last question, I'll take it.
What's obvious to one is not so obvious to another. To me, it's not intemperance that is the problem with sex, it's whether you're married or not. There's no speed limit within the married state, but one small indiscretion can result in disaster--morally, legally, socially, hygienically, psychologically, and financially. (Your spouse won't like it either.)
In Paradise Lost sexual intemperance is not a plot element. Rather, Milton stresses the difference between love and passion [viii.588] and uses A & E's passion immediately after the fall to symbolize their degraded state.
So throw away those twelve pages and start again. Just kidding. I'm sure you can squeeze out a paragraph or two cleverly intertwining the implications of passion and intemperance.
There is a point well before the end where Adam 'chooses' to forgive Eve. It's not too much of a stretch to read "upraised" to mean both emotionally and physically with his hands [x.945]. (When Eve found Adam's hands not open to her she tried his feet [x.909].)
You have outlined your concept of hands as a unifying symbolic element that underscores the pair's choices quite well. To fill your 12 pages you may want to explore and analyze Milton's layered language in greater detail in those lines that illustrate your theme.
One hint about combating writer's block: . . . Write. Seriously. Write anything--no matter how bad it feels--then rewrite it. Good writing doesn't materialize on white sheets--it comes through the process of rearranging phrases, replacing words, and gradually making bad sentences less bad--all made easy in this computerized age.
There is a point well before the end where Adam 'chooses' to forgive Eve. It's not too much of a stretch to read "upraised" to mean both emotionally and physically with his hands [x.945]. (When Eve found Adam's hands not open to her she tried his feet [x.909].)
You have outlined your concept of hands as a unifying symbolic element that underscores the pair's choices quite well. To fill your 12 pages you may want to explore and analyze Milton's layered language in greater detail in those lines that illustrate your theme.
One hint about combating writer's block: . . . Write. Seriously. Write anything--no matter how bad it feels--then rewrite it. Good writing doesn't materialize on white sheets--it comes through the process of rearranging phrases, replacing words, and gradually making bad sentences less bad--all easy stuff in this computerized age. Read and reread your work. In the process, new ideas will be inspired to flesh it out.
None of it. Possibilities in Book IV, though.
I'll tell you Milton's two stated goals.
1. To "leave something so written to aftertimes, as they should not willingly let it die."
2. To "justify the ways of God to men."
We all know he accomplished at least one of them.
Nothing wrong with it at all. Other than being told not to by God (repeatedly).
So let me get this straight. If God appeared in person like he did to Adam, in your kitchen, and commanded you face to face to do or not do something, you’d say, “Oh, well, I don’t know about that, God. Let me check with my spouse and get back to you.”
When Jesus fasts in the wilderness, Satan offers him a feast. Ultimately he offers him all the kingdoms of the world, if Jesus will "fall down, and worship me as thy superior lord."
You're not confused, just disappointed, as anyone is who expects a sequel to Paradise Lost. It is not a sequel but a different kind of poem entirely--didactic rather than action-oriented. Critics agree that if it had been composed by some other poet, and not subject to the comparison with PL, it would be more widely hailed as a great work.
So would I. I suspect your instructor gave you a little more to go on than that, because, as stated, I don't know what you're/he's/she's getting at.
In perhaps his most sympathetic moment, his voice cracks as he is choked with emotion, standing before his assembly of wretched, war-torn followers who are looking to him as their last hope [i.619].
Well, there are no indications of severe discipline, hard work, frugality, or democratic church government. No penalties for drunkenness or games of chance, no prohibition of theatrical performances. Adam and Eve did offer morning and evening prayers. Is that a Puritan custom? I don't know.
Milton was a Puritan, which was something very different than our American Puritans. Back then Puritanism meant having politically radical views. And at one point Milton was actually jailed for recording them on paper.
Above all, PL is a series of arguments put forth by the characters, which in turn ultimately expresses Milton’s personal truth. It is, in that sense, a Puritanical work.
Parallel: Both volunteer while the masses hang back [ii.417-429] = [iii.217-226]
Contrast: Satan uses his volunteerism to glorify himself and intimidate the others [ii.465-477] while the Son's first consideration is to please his Father. [iii.266-273]
continued . . . Hi, i forgot to add a little thing in my last question...in book 3, the question which place is more fun, heaven or hell, and WHY?...thanks...this will be such a BIG help!!!
Hell is always more fun than heaven--in any book of PL or anyplace else for that matter (as long as you're on the outside looking in)--particularly in reverent depictions as in PL. Satirical scenes in heaven can be fun, but there is no way to interestingly portray unvarying bliss, love, peace, and (yawn) benevolence. The only fun in heaven in PL comes when Satan raises hell there.
Ever hear of the forbidden fruit? (I've learned it's presumptuous to assume everyone has.)
Also, the visit by Raphael in Book V, where he relates the story of the war in heaven, begins with a shared meal elaborately prepared by Eve. At this meal he discusses how angels eat. Later, in his story, he tells how the angels feasted in heaven [v.632].
Adam, in fallen state, seduces Eve with language playfully equating food with sex [ix.1017-1033]. In hell, the devils are punished with trees that spring up resembling the forbidden Tree of Knowledge. They are overcome with irresistible hunger, but the fruit turns to bitter ashes in their mouths [x.548].
This is the big one. The main theme in this chapter is choice and change--the worst choice ever made and the personal change from innocence to guilt.
Talk about the change which the act produces in Adam and Eve. Do the personality changes they experience come from some magical quality in the fruit, or would they have occurred between any two people involved in making a terribly bad choice? How closely do their reactions resemble, say, a boy and girl having an unprotected sexual encounter, then facing some very bad consequences.
In addition to her bout with the serpent, some interesting conflicts occur for Eve, such as when persuading Adam to let her leave his side for awhile, and later her quandary whether to share or not share with him the supposed power revealed in the fruit. Are these the seeds of woman's liberation?
Eve is often portrayed as weaker, but her temptation was greater than Adam's, tempted as she was directly by the master of all evil. But Milton also emphasizes Adam's susceptibility to Eve's charms. You can look at this two ways: A woman's sex appeal is a force as powerful as any devil--or, is it an indication of weakness in Adam? Eve faced Satan, but Adam was in double jeapardy--from both the devil and his wife.
To analyze the psychological causes of their fall, read the thoughts and speeches of each just before they give in to temptation. For example Eve mentions how the very forbidding of the fruit makes it more appealing [ix.753-755]--something so familiar to our experience that we have coined the phrase "forbidden fruit" to symbolize this effect.
Eve is characterized as feeling constrained by "narrow limits drawn by a foe" [ix.322]-- another contemporary theme manifest in our fenced domiciles, locked doors, and barred windows. Today's big city parks could be characterized as small paradise-like oases, which can also be dangerous places to be alone in. If one refuses to give up the right to freely roam the park, and as a result is assaulted, who do you blame?
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They have hell, such as it is. They remain free to build a kingdom there. Read lines 249-283 in Book II. Satan points out that at least their position is relatively secure, for no one will want to challenge the throne of hell.
They also have the freedom to visit this world as they choose and exert their influence here, thus they have their revenge. And when that's all you've got, you make the most of it, as conditions in this world testify.
Beginning at 356 in Book I, Milton spends several pages describing the future earthly incarnations of the highest of the fallen angels--as the false gods of Egypt, Greece and the ancient world.
In both, God sends forth his Son, Messiah, to accomplish a great mission. The first is a mission of war, to defeat the rebel angels and cast them out of heaven. The second is a mission of peace, to create a new world and new creatures that will eventually fill the space in heaven left by the fallen angels. In both, Messiah returns to his place in heaven, triumphant, where the angels sing his praises.
Eve's supplication is cause for some controversy as handled by Milton in the last few pages of this chapter. She falls to her knees and begs Adam's forgiveness. Then winning his pity, she suggests they commit suicide as their only out, leaving Adam to admonish her. How do you feel about this pitiful representation of woman? Granted, the Bible renders woman secondary to man, but did Milton have to go this far?
Good quote. We’ll have to wait and see. First announced in 2005, there’s still no sign of any actual movie-making going on.
Hard to find any that are not important. And hard to find a page without any. Milton's very elaborate personifications are, of course, Sin, Death, and Chaos. He also briefly personifies Grace and Liberty, Night [ii.961; vi.406], the Sun (male) and Moon (female), and, in an important line, Justice [iii.210 ]. Why not find some imagery that appeals to you.
Well, Satan certainly manipulates Eve, by insinuating himself into her dreams [iv.799 & v.26], and later by the world famous temptation. But I never thought of him as manipulating Sin. Perhaps you interpret his sweetness toward her at the exit of hell as a con to get her to open the gate? An unusual take. Later, he praises her construction of the bridge to earth, and sends her and Death forth with his blessing. It all seems sincere to me. After all, their goals are the same. Maybe you should reconsider the word "manipulation."
My favorite one is that at least his position is relatively secure, for no one will want to challenge the throne of a crummy place like hell.
In Book IX, Adam wants to protect their virtuous state by sticking together to pool their strength--at least, that's what he says. But does he really view Eve as weak and vulnerable? Eve thinks virtue isn't worth much untested, which puts her in agreement with God. The serpent perverts her reasoning about virtue, which after tasting the fruit, becomes even more convoluted. Adam, distracted by his love for Eve, sees sharing her fate as a virtuous act. Later, Eve sees self-destruction as an honorable solution, while Adam regards it as unvirtuous anguish and "pleasure overloved."
You will rarely see a network TV movie with an African American criminal unless there's also an African American detective, judge or police chief, or at least a few Caucasion accomplices. Balancing every plot with a cross section of politically correct models produces a pretty sorry excuse for drama--except in Paradise Lost--the only story in the world which centers around the one and only prototypical man and woman.
That leaves this portrayal of woman the only one legitimately subject to feminist evaluation. Every conceivable kind of woman has walked the earth and you could write a story about any one of them, but only one--Eve--is obligated to fulfill a universal prototype.
This may not answer your question, but I feel much better now.
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Deceptively simple question. And a subjective one. That means you have to decide. Here's a hint: The popular choices would be, alphabetically, Adam, Messiah, Satan. If you want to be unconventional, consider Raphael or Michael. If you want to be reverent, choose God, the Father. If you want to be politically correct, choose Eve. Trouble is, you've got to become pretty familiar with the overall poem to make your choice.
1.By corrupting Adam and Eve, Satan hopes to corrupt the whole human race.
1.By corrupting Adam and Eve, Satan hopes to corrupt the whole human race.
1. Ah, a trick question! because if Adam and Eve
will die before they reproduce, do they not then constitute the whole human race? Even
Satan seems confused. Look up lines 381-385 and line 527 in Book IV.
Good point. So, did Milton fail in describing the prototypical woman? In fairness, we have to consider the age he lived in. (Interesting note: The actor slated to portray Adam in the upcoming movie version is Hispanic . . . Diego Bonita.)
The phrase is Latin.
Here on earth we usually sympathize with uprisings against dictators. To Christians, however, God's benevolent "dictatorship" is unreproachable. That works for heavenly images of goodness and love, mysterious and incomprehensible. But as characters in his story, Milton transforms God and angels into palpable beings--humans with wings. Suddenly Satan sounds like any earthly proponent of "freedom".
The position of the underdog rebelling against a dictator resembles that of a hero, and would be, among humans, normally a sympathetic one. Heaven, however, is rightfully a benevolent dictatorship. But we are just not used to regarding the dictator as the good guy, especially one who we cannot sympathize or identify with in a dramatic setting because he is perfect and has no human qualities.
Literary character development requires inner struggle and change. God is perfect--he does not change and has no inner conflict. Satan, on the other hand, goes from high ranking angel to rebel leader to defeated failure to vengeful outcast, with (according to Milton) moments of regret and remorse along the way. There's obviously a lot to relate to there.
They say there are no stupid questions. Thanks for disproving that with your first one.
Now for your intelligent question . . .
PL fits the classic definition of tragedy in that an unhappy ending is brought about by the moral weakness of the main characters. But tragedies are not without positive elements which can transcend the negative.
The ending of Paradise Lost is very moving. There is the tragic loss of Paradise, but simultaneously the birth of a new world--our world. You can feel the unsteady steps of the frightened couple as they leave the only home they know, yet with them goes all the hope and guidance brought by Michael.
If you have any creative inclination, wouldn't it be fun to devise your own interpretive illustration based on the poem's description? Yeah, right, just what you wanted to hear from me. O.K., here is an interesting diagram of Milton's cosmos from an old edition of PL.
He was. He became completely blind at the age of 43. "Why" is a question only God can answer. How he went blind has not been established. Modern researchers do not agree on a diagnosis, although glaucoma is a likely cause.
But this amazing blind man produced one of the world's greatest literary masterpieces. He did it by dictating the lines to others, who transcribed them. He could not make notes, or review them. He had to keep everything in his head--everything.
This parallels the miraculous work of Beethoven, who was completely deaf when he wrote his greatest symphonies.
Adam states it, Wizard of Oz style, in Book XII, lines 552-573.
They were not crossroads in the usual sense of a traveler having a choice between two paths. Satan was bound to his mission to earth, and the steps to heaven were there, Milton says, merely to taunt him, with no access possible. At this "crossroads" Satan is much more in awe of the new universe that opens at his feet anyway, and in a state of mind to prefer this new adventure if he did have a choice.
So what's the symbolism? Illusion. A look back at the point of no return that has already been crossed. Choice that is really no choice. A view of what the future could have been, juxtaposed with the future that must be. A graphic representation of Satan's own "paradise lost."
(By the way, there is no stairway down to Paradise in Milton's poem, Cliffs Notes notwithstanding.)
(They're on to us!)
Even if you passingly accept the antihero as hero, the best you can say is that the early parts of the poem resemble romantic adventure. You'll need to discount a lot, though. Romance combines love and adventure in a light, melodramatic way. Here the lovers inhabit a separate world from the swashbuckler, both worlds laden with heavy issues.
There is a wealth of art from past ages that draws upon the events and inhabitants of Eden for subject matter. A modest sampling can be found on this site.
Get hold of yourself, Minny.
It's only a homework assignment, your term paper, your education and whole future that's at stake.
What makes a tragic hero is not only that he is the hero and comes to a tragic end, but that he brings it on himself, through his own human--or in Satan's case, superhuman--faults. And please get enough grip on your sanity to remember Satan is not really a hero, can never be a hero, he is the devil, and only assumes the perverse characterization of hero in Milton's poem because Milton humanized him. He had to. There is no way to construct a central literary character without endowing him with human characteristics, whether the creature is human, animal, superhuman, or the Brave Little Toaster.
Satan ruminates his own "tragic" descent in these excerpts: iv.32-113 and ix.99-178.
Paradise Lost brings the 'forbidden fruit' cliché to life. You could analyze seductiveness in the temptation scene.
Or if you want to stir up some controversy, try this. There can be evil without good; but there cannot be good without evil. Any disruption of the neutral state is negative. The return to neutrality is good--not the neutrality, only the process of returning. But you must have a negative to return from. The relationship between good and evil works the same as the relationshib between pleasure and pain. For example, we experience the pleasure of eating to eliminate the pain of hunger. After we accomplish this, we are then in a state of neutrality, experiencing neither pain nor pleasure. But to experience the pleasure of eating requires the pain of hunger.
What's more, pleasure is limited, while pain is limitless. The pleasure of eating lasts only as long as the meal, but the pain of hunger can last indefintely.
Which way? Overthrow one's sovereign?--no irony in that. Lots of irony in PL, though. You need to clarify.
Something quite different from the monster of The Exorcist or The Omen, who got his kicks from inflicting pain and violence on individuals. [ix.282] This Satan represents the gentle enticement that led a man and woman to make the single mistake that brought down the whole human race.
It is ironic that in a work intended to "justify the ways of God," Satan is regarded by so many as the most interesting--even sympathetic--character. You will find examples in his earlier speeches, but it is the overall portrayal, and the contrast with a sometimes less sympathetic God, that creates the irony.
All of Book I is played out against the backdrop of hell's fiery landscape, before the devils renovate it to their taste. Later, as Satan embarks on his voyage to earth, the open gates of hell "like a furnace-mouth cast forth redounding smoke and ruddy flame." The icy region of hell is mentioned only briefly in Book II [lines 587-603].
Interestingly, Dante chose to construct the center of his Inferno out of ice.
Yes and yes.
Prepare yourself for a shock! . . .
Paradise Lost PAGE ONE, lines 1-5: Milton states the theme of Paradise Lost.
In Book IX, the complete phrase is:
The phrase describes her tools, but art refers to Eve's rude (rudimentary) craftsmanship in forming them. Guiltless here means without experience--in other words, her skills did not include knowledge of the use of fire to make tools. Milton's multi-layered poetry is also suggesting association with the "guilt" of Prometheus' act of bringing fire to earth, and consequently, as the myth goes, the Pandora's box full of evil. In this scene, Eve is still guiltless of bringing evil into the world through her sin.
The last part of the phrase tells us some of the gardening tools were brought to her by angels.
Better yet, I'll let God describe it to you: iii.94-128; v.230-245; viii.633-643.
Lots of luck. Critics and authors who get published rarely give their work away for free on the net.
They liked each other a lot. [lines 138-142]
Their thoughts are in sinc completely about the fate of man, and need not be uttered, but they verbalize them question & answer style to educate the angels (and us)--and fulfill Milton's poetic purpose. [150-172]
In typically idealized father-and-son fashion, the Son will do anything to please his Father [262-265], and the Father is bursting with pride in his Son [305-311], their mutual goal being to help man out of the terrible mess they foreknow he will get himself into before the poem is over.
At the conclusion of the 5th. (Sorry, but I really don't know what you want.)
Think of providence as God’s task and foreknowledge as his tool. His task is to influence future events and turn the tragedy of the fall into something positive. In his planning he uses his foreknowledge, imparts it to Adam, educating both Adam and the reader, and fulfills Milton’s stated purpose to “assert Eternal Providence/And justify the ways of God to men.”
You got it.
Can't. Gene Michael Anderson might sue us for copyright infringement.
Another amazing coincidence? or one person cleverly disguising his style and submitting at different times of day to throw us? Either way--you or you all--are not trying very hard. This site overflows with answers to these questions.
I think you got it backwards. He used Paradise Lost to interpret the Bible. The "Bible" section of this site gives examples.
It's true that any sympathies with Satan come earlier in the story in his conflict with God. Later we take the side of Adam and Eve against him. But Christ--a.k.a. Messiah or the Son of God--comes off well throughout the epic--as self-sacrificing Savior of mankind [Book III], warrior-defender of heaven [Book VI], Creator [Book VII], and finally merciful Judge [Book X].
Look closely and you’ll see most answers are only partial answers, but even if we do give away too much too easily sometimes, there’s more than one student listening. The goal is to help all visitors get past the traumatizing “PL shock” many experience the first time they encounter the poem’s dazzling language, and to stimulate their interest in exploring its many layers.
The architect of Pandemonium, Satan's palace, had formerly designed structures in heaven [i.730]. The dignitaries who inhabit this hall are also former high ranking heavenly spirits and will become the future false gods of earth, in Egypt, ancient Rome, etc. (the White House was not mentioned) The list is long--from line 356 to 521, Book I.
Our first glimpse of Satan in the lake of fire: [i.195-208] ... the huge sea-monster Leviathan, which the Norwegian sailors mistook for an island.
The beaten angels scattered across the lake: [i.301-311] ...autumn leaves in the brooks of Vallombrosa (a tree covered valley in Florence) and Pharaoh's chariots that pursued the Hebrews and were washed away when Moses' parted sea enfolded them.
The assembly of fallen angels: [i.573-587] ...the warriors of Troy and the Iliad, the knights of King Arthur, Charlemagne, Orlando Furioso, etc. (not to mention the many allusions to all the future false gods of earth they would become [i.381-521])
Pandemonium, Satan's palace: [i.692-730] ...Babylon, Egypt, and ancient palaces of the underworld.
The smells of Eden: [iv.153-171] ...sailing by the Cape of Good Hope, Mozambique (of Portugal), Arabia, and the myth of Tobias, wherein an angel instructed him to burn fish to ward off a demon--Milton points out the delicious aromas of Paradise had the opposite effect on Satan.
The food of Eden: [v.331-349] ...compares to that of 'India East or West' (tropical Asia and tropical America) and the 'Punic Coast'--the southern shore of the Black Sea, where fish were a Roman delicacy.
Paradise: [iv.264-283] ...where Pan, god of nature, brought perpetual spring, plus a host of mythological references to gardens, springtime, and the fertile earth.
The abode of Adam and Eve: [iv.705-719] ...more secluded than those of the nymphs and fauns, with Eve compared to Pandora, in beauty and 'in sad event' (See No. 97).
Eve departs from Adam's side carrying her gardening tools, his last look at her before she loses her innocence: [ix.385-396] ...Diana, who led her wood-nymphs in the hunt, and Ceres, who taught men to raise crops.
Whew! . . . got a little carried away there.
"With Ev'ning Harps and Matin*" [vii.449]
But that's not the answer you want, is it? You've been here before and I'm still at a loss as to what you are asking. Please try again. You've got me curious.
(*Matin: morning prayers)
Michael tells of man's tendency to corruption. [Books XI & XII], but it's Adam and Eve who literally represent all of mankind in PL. They were weak enough to make a super blunder, but in the end showed strength and promise. Perhaps the moral is to pick yourself up and move on, even if you can't entirely undo the damage of your mistakes.
God said, man fell because he was deceived, therefore he shall find grace and mercy. [iii.129-134]
The Son said, their prayers of repentance show the grace you endowed them with bears fruit. [xi.22-30]
God said, yeah but I know how changeable he can be. I wouldn't be surprised if he helped himself to another one of those apples. So out of Paradise he goes. [xi.90-96]
Good question. Even bigger and better than you think. Because it goes beyond Paradise Lost, to the very nature of life. What good is a perfect world if there's nothing for you to do? Sure, you could sunbathe and play tennis. But if you analyze these and all other recreational or pleasurable experiences, you will find they are based upon a natural or manufactured need or challenge or imperfection, and the pleasure comes from the action of meeting the challenge, or satisfying or eliminating the need. In fact this is the only way to get pleasure. And once the need is satisfied, thereby ending the process, the pleasure ceases. Rest is only pleasurable if you are tired, and the tastiest food is unpalatable if you have no appetite. And yes, it's corny to say but, if not now, someday you will agree: There is no greater pleasure than accomplishment through hard work.
If this sounds like a paradox, it's because it is, as is all of life, and certainly all of Paradise Lost. (or should I say 'Paradox Lost'?)
Well, I'm not about to read a whole chapter hunting out names you might possibly be referring to--got housework to do. Try again, and be specific.
And are you guys still of the opinion that we send individual email responses? Not to mention the intrusion of privacy you risk by including your email addresses.
I need a vacation.
Okay this is really gruesome and not for the squeamish. "Viewer discretion is advised." They didn't have a child ... exactly.
Satan finds two creatures guarding the gate of hell. One is a beautiful woman above the waist, her bottom half that of a snake. The other is a dark formless shape, who threatens Satan. The woman prevents their fight, and reminds Satan that she is his daughter, called Sin, who sprung from his head when he first conceived his rebellion in heaven. They had made love, the result being this dark son/grandson, named Death, that sits beside her. His violent birth deformed her lower part into its present shape. The monstrous newborn's first act was to rape his mother, who became pregnant with a pack of howling hell hounds, which perpetually return to her womb to gnaw at her insides.
Well . . . you asked.
comment: I would like to see it on the screen pretty soon, I wonder what
will be the look of the Almighty God, and His Son. This will be, I
think, the bomb.
comment: I don't think a movie would work, even if they did it "Beowulf"
style with actor animation. In fact, animation would be the only possible
way to show most of it...but it could end up being startlingly cheezy, and
comment: Scott Derrickson ?? Not even Heath Ledger coming back from
the dead to be Satan can save this film now!
comment: Sean Connery,would be a great ,Lucifer.Voice is mature as
certainly his acting. Ready to buy the Movie.
comment: THE GRATEST AND BEST VILAIN OF THE WORLD IS SATAN'S CHARACTER.
comment: Ahhhh! Neither please! Why can we only rarely see a movie that
actually values the heart of its original story? The longevity, beauty and
interest in Paradise Lost stem from timeless messages that appear to have
been easily eliminated from either of these versions. It's beauty,
challenges and intrigue make a great story and could make a great movie.
After reading Lanzara's novelization, which I expected to be disappointed
in but was not, I actually had hope that a movie could be beautifully done
and inspiringly told with the zing needed for a box office draw. Instead
we're seriously talking 3D!!!!!
comment: hi well i read this book in my world lit class and i learned so
much about life from it. I'm hoping ya'll can really capture the points
that I got from it and that most readers will take away from the book. I
know its built on rhetorical debate like u said and would be hard to put
into a movie but I'm hoping you will find a way as this has really helped me learn alot about life and made me think and reconsider my decisions and relationships between people and God.
comment: It appears that the indie film is attempting to remove the main
references to religion which circumvents the whole point of the poem and
story, and the excision of the discussion of the War leads to a possible
plot-hole regarding the tale beginning in media res. Further the
hollywood films focus on the war above all else is akin to taking the
premise for a really great spy-film and forcing 3/4 of it to be a cheesey
car chase. The problem of
nudity on screen could be minimised by the use of appropriate camera
angles (such as viewing from behind or having a discretionary branch in
the way) and having the actresses hair cover her bosom. I also criticise
the planned heavy use of CGI as opposed to being bothered with location
scouting and other special effects as used in the past and which have been
proven to have verisimilitude unlike noticeable CGI. Thank you for
comment: Paradise Lost has been one of the greatest unmade Hollywood epic
movies of all time. The right execution could spell out a HUGE payback. This movie could make Avatar look insignificant
by comparison. Who wouldn't
want to see battling angels flying through the sky with todays special
effects potential? Anyways, there is my 2 cents worth, this is a movie
that has been waiting to be made since cinema began, I sure hope they
bring it justice and do it right.
comment: I would be more interested in seeing Blockbusters movie than
Intie's for the simple fact that Milton's story of Adam and Eve's downfall
was more about the attatudes of time he lived in than theology. Battling Angel's, great action flic if it's well
done. On the other hand, the noble smarter man, the weak stupid woman,
sex is a sin and the trinity exsisted at the dawn of time? I can live
comment: I will say this that if it is done right every christian on the
planet will go see it and can you imagine how much money that would
generate! This studio holds the holy grail of movie scripts in
their hands. I hope they go for it and really portray the fight scenes
like 300 and not hold back. The war against God and Satan and the Angels
unleashed on the screen in 3D and carrying the weight of what is at stake
TO BE GOD! O'MAN WHOOH I CAN'T WAIT.
comment: I'm excited.
comment: I would like to see it on the screen pretty soon, I wonder what will be the look of the Almighty God, and His Son. This will be, I think, the bomb.
comment: I don't think a movie would work, even if they did it "Beowulf" style with actor animation. In fact, animation would be the only possible way to show most of it...but it could end up being startlingly cheezy, and probably will.
comment: Scott Derrickson ?? Not even Heath Ledger coming back from the dead to be Satan can save this film now!
comment: Sean Connery,would be a great ,Lucifer.Voice is mature as certainly his acting. Ready to buy the Movie.
comment: THE GRATEST AND BEST VILAIN OF THE WORLD IS SATAN'S CHARACTER. FROM HARICHANDRA.
comment: Ahhhh! Neither please! Why can we only rarely see a movie that actually values the heart of its original story? The longevity, beauty and interest in Paradise Lost stem from timeless messages that appear to have been easily eliminated from either of these versions. It's beauty, challenges and intrigue make a great story and could make a great movie. After reading Lanzara's novelization, which I expected to be disappointed in but was not, I actually had hope that a movie could be beautifully done and inspiringly told with the zing needed for a box office draw. Instead we're seriously talking 3D!!!!!
comment: hi well i read this book in my world lit class and i learned so much about life from it. I'm hoping ya'll can really capture the points that I got from it and that most readers will take away from the book. I know its built on rhetorical debate like u said and would be hard to put into a movie but I'm hoping you will find a way as this has really helped me learn alot about life and made me think and reconsider my decisions and relationships between people and God.
comment: It appears that the indie film is attempting to remove the main references to religion which circumvents the whole point of the poem and story, and the excision of the discussion of the War leads to a possible plot-hole regarding the tale beginning in media res. Further the hollywood films focus on the war above all else is akin to taking the premise for a really great spy-film and forcing 3/4 of it to be a cheesey car chase. The problem of nudity on screen could be minimised by the use of appropriate camera angles (such as viewing from behind or having a discretionary branch in the way) and having the actresses hair cover her bosom. I also criticise the planned heavy use of CGI as opposed to being bothered with location scouting and other special effects as used in the past and which have been proven to have verisimilitude unlike noticeable CGI. Thank you for reading.
comment: Paradise Lost has been one of the greatest unmade Hollywood epic movies of all time. The right execution could spell out a HUGE payback. This movie could make Avatar look insignificant by comparison. Who wouldn't want to see battling angels flying through the sky with todays special effects potential? Anyways, there is my 2 cents worth, this is a movie that has been waiting to be made since cinema began, I sure hope they bring it justice and do it right.
comment: I would be more interested in seeing Blockbusters movie than Intie's for the simple fact that Milton's story of Adam and Eve's downfall was more about the attatudes of time he lived in than theology. Battling Angel's, great action flic if it's well done. On the other hand, the noble smarter man, the weak stupid woman, sex is a sin and the trinity exsisted at the dawn of time? I can live without that.
comment: I will say this that if it is done right every christian on the planet will go see it and can you imagine how much money that would generate! This studio holds the holy grail of movie scripts in their hands. I hope they go for it and really portray the fight scenes like 300 and not hold back. The war against God and Satan and the Angels unleashed on the screen in 3D and carrying the weight of what is at stake TO BE GOD! O'MAN WHOOH I CAN'T WAIT.
comment: I'm excited.
A lot of it comes from Eve's own lips (despite a few feistier moments) [See iv.440-448 and ix.378-383]. While Adam converses with Raphael [Book VIII] and Michael [XI], Eve willingly retires to let the men talk. God also defines her place [x.144-156].
You have to remember the Bible had already fixed Eve's station, and Milton couldn't have done a whole lot to lift her up if he wanted to.
Milton started out as a Calvinist but ultimately rejected the doctrine. Calvinism or predestination doesn't carry much weight in Paradise Lost. Milton's God goes out of his way to validate free will.
The garden is fertile - the deadly tree grows in the garden - the tree can (before God mitigated their sentence) cause the death of Adam and Eve, bringing their fertility, and the human race, to an end. How's that?
Milton plunged into the "midst of things" and left the narrative of earlier events for the middle of the poem, creating a kind of symmetry, and balancing the first half which eminates from Satan's viewpoint with the second half favoring Adam's.
Given the right doses of passion and reason, i.e. 10% former, 90% latter, liberty would be well served. Since human nature is inclined to reverse those proportions, we tend to exercise our liberties poorly.
Since you didn't ask what this has to do with Paradise Lost, I'll let you figure it out for yourself.
This quote is from Adam [x.1031], recalling God's earlier judgment directed to Satan [x.181]: "Her seed shall bruise thy head, thou bruise his heel."
Milton got this metaphorical prophecy, almost verbatim, from the Bible [Gen 3:15]. And he explains it fully in Book XII, lines 375-435.
"Seed" is an archaic way of referring to offspring, especially offspring which hasn't been born yet--in this case, Eve's ultimate descendant, Jesus. The bruising of the heel of the seed, is metaphorical for the crucifixion. And the bruising of the serpent's head is what Jesus accomplished in his sacrifice to mitigate Satan's victory in Eden.
There is an effective short passage at the end of the council in hell where Milton harshly contrasts mankind's perpetual discord with the devils' brotherly cooperation [ii.482-505]. But your original choice is just as good.
(and I've never heard a more vivid characterization of the legal profession.)
Milton is stating his purpose in composing the epic--to show us the series of events at the beginning of creation that led God to allow so much evil and suffering into the world.
It means "How can anybody be free, if they are inferior to others (in knowledge). More specifically, how can a woman be independent if she must depend on her mate's knowledge and wisdom.
Eve has just eaten the forbidden fruit and imagines herself having increased in wisdom. Since she had considered herself inferior to Adam in this respect, now she thinks she has become his match and maybe even a little superior. She's wondering if she should keep it that way by not sharing the fruit with him.
Though it doesn't rhyme, Paradise Lost is a poem. Your grandmother probably has an economy edition which saves space by separating lines with an X rather than returning to the left hand of the page for each new line.
This was a medieval form of drama based on Bible stories, some including those on which PL is based. They developed over several centuries throughout the Old World. In 15th century England, the York cycles were performed in public squares. Stages on wheels moved from square to square, where a "cycle" of scenes was played out--this is the origin of our "pageant." Like PL, they dramatized and expanded on Scripture. Today's "passion play" is a survivor of this style of drama.
The more compelling analogy is between Adam and the monster. Both were created as prototypes for a new race of creatures, and both experiments went badly, more or less.
An analogy can only be made between two things that are like each other in some aspect. There will also be differences--many more differences than similarities. You can't make an analogy between two things that are exactly the same, because ... there's nothing to compare ... they're exactly the same!
1) No excuse for missing this one.
Probably seems so to some people. Moral logic is subjective. To me he makes a lot of sense. He knows everything he's done has turned out badly. But he also knows he's not capable of sincere repentance, and that he would resent a return to servitude and inevitably rebel again.
Verbal irony means saying the opposite of what you mean. Sarcasm is a form of verbal irony.
Dramatic irony is a little different. It occurs when characters are clueless to what is obvious to the reader, as when Adam and Eve happily enjoy life in the Garden of Eden, unaware of their impending fall.
At one point a cocky Satan and his cohort let fly a stream of ironic statements or wise cracks to deride the opposing angels when they naively believe they are winning the war against God. [Book VI, lines 558-567 & 607-627] Note how this example illustrates both kinds of irony.
The easy answer is that Adam and Eve's love was perfect before the fall and imperfect after, but in Milton's version Adam accepts the fruit from Eve because he places love for her above obedience to God. He had been warned earlier by Raphael to curtail his passion [viii.460-594].
It is a theological belief system based on Hebrew and Christian literature concerning the end of the world. The book of Revelation in the New Testament is also called the Apocalypse, though apocalyptic elements appear throughout the Bible.
The premise of Paradise Lost is rooted in apocalypticism, in that the loss of Paradise in Eden sets up a chain of events which culminates in the fulfilling of these prophecies. This is delineated in Books III and X of the poem. While the Bible's version is rich with enigmatic imagery and obscure symbols, Milton's explanation, through God's words, is quite explicit. Apocalyptic prophecy fuels the debate about predestination.
Urania is one of the nine Greek goddesses of the arts--astronomy was her speciality. She is the muse Milton calls upon to inspire him to write Paradise Lost. There are four invocations throughout the poem, at the beginning of Books I, III, VII and IX. Milton did not balk at mixing mythology with Christianity in PL.
Pandemonium. Wild uproar or riotous confusion; a place where this exists; the abode of all demons.
(Thought you had me, huh?)
Wow! Some of you actually are smarter than me.
“Girl, don’t go into that bar alone. I know you can take care of yourself if guys hit on you, but just the fact that they would try it would be an insult to you, wouldn’t it? Let me go in with you. They won’t try anything with me there beside you, and if they do, they’ll have to deal with me first.”
No, but some of the questions we get bring Daffy Duck to mind.
If you mean legally, the work is in the public domain. If you mean ethically, well, adaptations from one medium to another are done all the time. It's up to the marketplace to decide if they're worth the price of admission.
You ask too much.
Everything in the poem up to the critical moment, delineates the causes. And everything following gives the consequences.
At that moment Satan merely slipped out of sight. Later his speech to his followers evinced boastful pride--cut short as they are all physically changed into snakes.
Physically, Eve lost her immortality and eternal youth. She would now grow old and die. Her emotions ran the gamut, from elation, to cunning, to love, to lust, to shame, to grief, to belligerence, to contrition, to name a few. And these are just some of the immediate consequences. Michael takes up most of Books XI and XII enumerating others to come, and he barely gets past the Old Testament. And, oh yes, she lost Paradise.
Both are rebels against authority, antiheroes propelled by jealousy and revenge, which, "at first though sweet, bitter ere long back on itself recoils." [ix.171]
comment: Thank you very much for your magnificant work! You help Milton to
stay alive also in our times. Greetings from Germany, P. N.
comment: No poem could reach the perfectness such PARADISE LOST.
Khalid Razak. Iraq/Baghdad
comment: My name is Pedro Argumedo, I read the novel when I was 13 or 14.
The challenge to display on the screen this story is big, congradulations.
comment: I am a reader from Taiwan. Thank you for all you information you
offered in this website, and thanks for letting more and more people
understand John Milton's works.
comment: Thank you for your wonderful site. I am Muddling through the poem
and your site has been very useful. I am writing an exam on monday and
hope that I manage to pass!! Thank you Carla (South Africa)
comment: I am an italian student and i just wanted to thank you for your
work. I think you should make simpler to get a password
comment: Thank you very much for your magnificant work! You help Milton to stay alive also in our times. Greetings from Germany, P. N.
comment: No poem could reach the perfectness such PARADISE LOST. Khalid Razak. Iraq/Baghdad
comment: My name is Pedro Argumedo, I read the novel when I was 13 or 14. The challenge to display on the screen this story is big, congradulations.
comment: I am a reader from Taiwan. Thank you for all you information you offered in this website, and thanks for letting more and more people understand John Milton's works.
comment: Thank you for your wonderful site. I am Muddling through the poem and your site has been very useful. I am writing an exam on monday and hope that I manage to pass!! Thank you Carla (South Africa)
comment: I am an italian student and i just wanted to thank you for your work. I think you should make simpler to get a password
See lines 931-938. Flying through the vastness of chaos on his way to earth, Satan encounters a vacuum. He drops ten thousand fathoms till a thunder cloud shoots him back up again. The science of Milton's day held that thunder occurred when hot and cold elements mixed, igniting sulfer and casting forth matter with the same forceful effect as gunpowder.
Lines 292-295 in book 1 (not 2) tell us what he used to keep from falling "on the burning Marle".
According to my calculations, you sent this email around midnight Sunday. Adding 24 hours for response brings you to midnight Monday--to get a suggested topic for your paper due on Tuesday. I'm not a mathematician, so I won't try to figure out how this can work.
Satan's physical journey to earth, with many psychological overtones, is the big one, but since you're pressed for time why not center on Raphael's descent. It is briefly and quite beautifully described. The theme simply stated could be that of a celestial presence entering the physical world.
Raphael receives his assignment [v.219-320]
yes sir! no sir! .. uh … s-sorry sir – uh – ma’m? – uh, …… just plain “ho”…
We deeply regret the effort that will be required to scroll up and down to find the answers you require for the research paper your doing on the book you don’t have because hello they’ve already been asked and answered. (Sarcastic? Moi??)
It’s been a pleasure to serve you.
Any political subtleties here are buried under a hawkish thirst for war--the only thing he knows or is good at. There is some military strategy in all his emotionalism. He proposes bringing the very hellfires designed for their torments up with them to fire back at God's forces in heaven. You might infer that his definition of power, political or otherwise, is through nothing more complicated than the use of force.
To analyze Milton's complex and unconventional portrayal, start with some simple insights. Satan becomes disturbingly sympathetic in the first part of the poem, while reverting to the "perfect villain" in the latter half--for one important reason. God is much more powerful than Satan, so his rebellion is doomed; but Satan is more powerful than Adam and Eve, and wins his contest with them. Morality aside, quite simply, we do tend to empathize with the underdog.
This is Satan's first attempt to corrupt Eve. Before he tempts her in the form of a serpent he comes to her in this dream disguised as a friendly angel who successfully tempts her to eat the forbidden fruit. Immediately upon eating the fruit she and the angel fly up into the sky like gods, when suddenly ... to be continued ... when you read lines 799-821 in book IV for yourself.
See the Dramatis Personae for a complete roster, with book & line references.
Or go directly to Book I, lines 381-534. (also 678 & 740) Many of Milton's demons are destined to become the gods of ancient civilizations. See annotations or consult an encyclopedia. In Book II, several of them give long speeches at the council, which expose their personalities. In Book VI, lines 355-372 (also 446 & 620), some are singled out in their battle with the good angels. Beelzebub, Satan's second, is prominent in Books I & II.
Don't know what you mean by their "bringing the end." Paradise Lost keeps them pretty busy just getting started with their mischief. If you mean Armageddon, that is God's plan, of which at this point the devils have no knowledge.
It's the real thing. See the Book of Revelation, xii.4, 7-9, and Isaiah, xiv 12-15. Early church writings had fleshed out these brief biblical accounts by the time Milton began his.
Sin is the breaking of religious law. Religion is an earthly phenomenon. (writings by humans that supposedly qoute the words of God) Milton's only indication of law-making for the angels in heaven is the Father's edict that both he and his Son should be unquestioningly and equally obeyed. The fact is, we don't know what the laws were in heaven. There are certain unstated axioms everyone can accept, however. It's reasonable to assume, for example, that a king's subjects are not allowed to wage war against him.
For the most vivid descriptions of heaven consult v.574-648, and for hell i.670-751 and ii. 570-628. Milton does not define the hierarchical structure in heaven in PL. He alludes to it briefly in v.584-594.
You think you've covered everything when you offer to accept "comments and questions" on your website, but innovative visitors invent yet new categories. What do you think, folks, should we change our submission form to "comments, questions and headings"?
They were banished from the Garden, which was in Eden. Eden is the name for the whole surrounding region. God "planted a garden eastward in Eden"--Genesis 2:8, though sometimes the "Garden of Eden" is loosely referred to as "Eden," just as heaven and the Garden of Eden are both called Paradise, or as the United States is called "America," which is, more accurately, a couple of continents.
The Biblical reference is Cain's flight from Eden after murdering Abel. Without referring to the phrase or naming the participants, MIlton describes a vision in which Michael shows the event to Adam (xi.429-460), the first of many visions that will illustrate the sad consequenses of Adam's sin.
Michael is saying there is greater joy and satisfaction to be had from inner peace and harmony than any that can be got from without, even from a setting like the Garden of Eden.
Eve verbalizes this new awareness to Adam in the expulsion scene: "To go with you is to stay in Paradise; to stay without you is to leave Paradise behind."
This quote comes from the novel's paraphrase of the poem's somewhat confusing lines:
...with thee to go,
Excellent example of how not to get your question answered: Transfer your entire assignment over to us, copied verbatim (we love that), preferably including three or four or five compound essay type questions. An avalanche of typos will add just the right touch.
1674 "woman" was obviously not the same thing as 2008 "woman" (not to mention Scriptural "woman"). You're probably too young to remember, but there was a time when the terms "man," or "he" in hypothesis, by definition included men and women. (So far, we have not been reprimanded for respecting that tradition here, or for always saying "Adam and Eve," never "Eve and Adam.") I don't see a separation in Milton's intent. He was speaking to both, and accusing both of the sin of disobedience.
Eve's pulling away from Adam in IX may have led to her downfall, but by today's standard it's one of her more normal moments. Milton's dialogue argues both male and female sides so well in this scene it's hard to tell whether he is accusatory or in sympathy with her.
Blank verse is verse that doesn't rhyme, and is composed in the rhythm of iambic pentameter, which is all of Paradise Lost. For Milton's unsympathetic views on rhyming see his preface to PL, "The Verse," which he added to the second edition along with the Arguments.
Paradise Lost has many of the elements that define epic form: It is a long, narrative poem; it follows the exploits of a hero (in this case, anti-hero); it involves warfare and the supernatural; it begins in the midst of the action, with earlier crises in the story brought in later by flashback; and it expresses the ideals and traditions of a people. It has these elements in common with the Aeneid, the Iliad, and the Odyssey.
Yes but he squelches it in line xi.176; after all, don't forget, her "liberated" walk in the woods did turn into disaster.
In Book IX, line 250, discussing Eve’s proposal that they do their gardening in separate areas, Adam preludes his objection with, “And short retirement urges sweet return” (followed by “But…)
It’s Milton’s spelling of “entranced.” Most editions of PL convert to today’s spelling and punctuation. You are reading the original version. Very brave of you, I must say.
Adam’s senses (“spirits”) have been put into a kind of magical hypnotic trance that will allow the angel to impart visions to him that transcend mortal sight and hearing.
The monster himself will explain it to you quite clearly in Chapter XV of Frankenstein.
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comment: DUDE!! I just read some of the ques. & ans. and man is this site the bomb. Can I also get the works cited information for this site? I can use it for my bibliography. THANKS! email@example.com
comment: this site is AWESOME!!!! you helped me trek through paradise lost and SURVIVE!! i live to tell others about it!!
comment: GOD BLESS YOU, GOD BE WITH YOU, the only thing I want to say is BE IN JESUS CHRIST bye PRAISE THE LORD
comment: its not a good work
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Paradise Lost is derived entirely from the Christian Bible. It is unlikely that the Bible would be taught in Asian places of worship. It is fascinating, though, to compare the Bible with other religions' "secrets".
The Plain English version translates these lines as follows:
"His head glowed with excitemsnt as he led her on. They say sometimes a person is lost in the woods at night and they follow a light, but it's really an evil spirit that leads them into quicksand."
All the troubles of the entire human race are traceable to the sin of Adam and Eve. You could say it’s the biggest ancestral curse there ever was.
In Book X: lines 872-873, Adam calls her a “defect of nature.” (He’s pretty pissed about the apple thing) But is it only a thoughtless epithet?
Paradise is an ambiguous word. It can mean Heaven, or the Garden of Eden, or any place or feeling of great pleasure or happiness. In the poem it has two meanings. The superficial meaning is the Garden of Eden, which Adam and Eve lost by committing original sin. The greater meaning, and theme of the poem, is the loss of the state of paradise that the entire world would have enjoyed if Adam and Eve had not sinned. These two people were God's test of whether the human race was worthy of paradise. They failed the test.
Well, both come out of a part of the body of the male person they are destined to mate with. See [II:746-767 ] and [VIII:452-477 ]. And each springs forth from thoughts or needs the male has--Sin from Satan's bad thoughts, and Eve from Adam's loneliness. Interestingly, Milton calls Sin Satan's daughter, since she was born out of him. This allows Milton to accuse Satan of incest. But he conveniently fails to arrive at that interpretation with Adam.
A real God, if one exists, would by definition be above such aspects as behavior or motivations. He would be the originator of all motivating forces. His "behavior" could not be measured with respect to propriety, since he would set the rules of all conduct. But in any story, the rules of plot structure require the inteplay of these mundane forces. So Milton embroils his God in a power struggle, has him plotting military strategy with his son, and shows him using his power of prophecy to carefully engineer an intricate balance of justice, mercy, and the "loophole" through which man can redeem himself from his fall from grace, all without ever disrupting the endowment of perfect free will in man, the angels, and Satan.
All the outcomes within the story can be traced to what God does or does not allow, since he has it in his power to control everything. Therefore, the most interesting way to approach an analysis of God's character is to figure out why he holds back his power in any given situation, and lets things progress to their natural, chance, or man-made conclusion, whether the result be good or, as is often the case, very, very bad.
Adam and Eve were originally created human but immortal. Death is the penalty God ordains for eating the forbidden fruit. But when they commit the act, in his mercy he postpones it many years, to allow the pair the opportunity to repent and prove themselves worthy of heaven. The Son of God, Messiah, offers to take on man's punishment by becoming himself human at a future time and suffering death by persecution, thereby saving them from death and hell, which would also have effectively aborted the whole human race. [iii.222] Expulsion from Paradise takes the place of instant death.
In their remorse over having sinned, Adam wishes for death, and Eve actually proposes double suicide. [latter part of Book X]
In Book XI, Michael produces visions of future events to teach Adam about death. First Adam witness his firstborn son, Cain, slay his brother, Abel. Then in a harrowing scene within a hospital he is shown the many ways of natural death by disease. He also sees death by war, and the holocaust of the Great Flood. Imagine his reaction to these visions of death for his descendants, knowing his own fall from grace is the cause.
Death is also personified as a living creature who is the son of Satan, conceived through Satan's incestuous union with his daughter, Sin. Death is a fearsome shape who's first act after being born is to rape his mother. He threatens even Satan on their first encounter, but later the three unite in their common goal to conquer earth.
comment: My husband is writing a paper comparing PL, The
Tempest, Apocalypse Now and Raging Bull. Had a
hard time with the connection until reading your FAQS. Thank you!
comment: My husband is writing a paper comparing PL, The Tempest, Apocalypse Now and Raging Bull. Had a hard time with the connection until reading your FAQS. Thank you!
Yes, in Hebrews i.6, and Psalms ii,6-7. It is also supported by the theology of St. Thomas.
Milton implies indictment of these sins in the all embracing act of eating the forbidden fruit. Gluttony and lust, for example, are overtly present. Covetousness and envy of the "gods" is instilled in Eve by the serpent. Eve feels pride in her imagined superiority. Adam and Eve slothfully retreat to a shady spot and sleep after food and sex; and finally, spew angry accusations at each other.
You certainly state your question in a very restrictive way.
Also, what exactly do you mean by "power relationships"? Do you mean relationships based on a contest for power--that that could be the basis of all human interactions? I don't think Milton shows any evidence of such extreme cynicism.
Christian beliefs vary widely on woman's role, so no doubt many Christians would be in total sympathy with A Doll's House, though you are correct that it is at odds with the fundamentalist portrayal in PL.
This is not measurable science, but social viewpoint and subjective judgment. Regarded as political statements, either one can be "right" depending on the mores of the day, or that of the individuals rebelling against it. Both writers are "right" in their dramatic portrayals in the sense that there will always be women like Eve and there will always be women like Nora.
Milton's angels are all male [x.889], and Raphael implies that they do express love in a semi-physical way [viii.626]. Whether that makes them gay or not is debatable, to say the least.
Before she meets Adam, Eve falls in love with her own reflection in a pond. You could say that was understandable, but in a comical moment, her first impression on seeing Adam causes her to reject his less than soft appearance and head back to the pool [iv.460-486].
Sodom is referred to, where Lot offered his daughters to intruders [i.505] to save his male visitors from being raped--thought of as a worse kind of rape.
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comment: I have always found your site to be an invaluable resource in my own studies and now I'm teaching Paradise Lost to my 10th graders. Your latest revisions make it even more useful. *****@fau.edu
comment: Amazing translation! I am teaching portions to a fifth grade class who can't wait to hear what happens next. I omit some sections.
comment: Wow. This looks fantastic. I'm teaching Paradise Lost and Elements of the Gothic this year. Your site has been really useful. Thanks
The Genesis tales originate from many sources and many authors. Early Sumerian and Babylonian creation mythology contains familiar elements, including a beautiful earthly garden, a wicked serpent, plants offered and eaten, gods getting angry, one man’s sore rib, and a beautiful mother of mankind.
Milton didn’t expand the poem, he merely split a couple of the extra long chapters in two. The later, 12-book version is the preferred one, especially since he added summaries at the beginning of each book to help us out.
Here is a comparison:
Books I thru VI
Books I thru VI
Can you give me some feedback on the representation of marriage in PL?
There was never any question that Adam and Eve were ever anything but a married couple--the ceremony performed by God himself only moments after the two met. But while the Bible is unclear about exactly when their marriage was consummated, Milton isn't.
The other interesting question from our cultural standpoint, which rejects inequality in marriage, is just how broad is the hierarchic spread depicted in this first, archetypal marriage. You'll find many comments here on this issue.
Judging from what spews from the boomboxes these days I'm surprised you would doubt the relationship between music and hell.
Rather than describing an audible concert, your excerpt is metaphorical, likening the rising of the great temple to a symphony. But, yes, there was music in hell. The fallen angels were, after all, angels, to whom music, like architecture, was no small talent.
Milton occasionally parodies heavenly and hellish elements, such as the holy and unholy trinities, or the volunteerism of Christ and Satan. Note the use of music as entertainment at the celebration in heaven [v.618-627], and then later to pass the hours in hell, waiting Satan's return [ii.546-555].
First of all, change "supports" to "reflects" or better yet, "mimics." Recognize that these ideals do not apply in heaven the same as they do on earth.
You could spend a lot of time looking for what others have to say about this subject, but your best resource is in the words spoken by Satan in PL. Your energy is best spent studying them in several well annotated editions.
Depends how deeply you want to get into Milton and his poetry. They're not essential to the plot, but the question does come up, doesn't it, just who is this narrator and how does he know every detail of heaven, hell, and the beginning of the world?
The Renaissance belief was that great epic poetry could only be written through divine illumination. In Book III's invocation, Milton calls upon his "Celestial Light" to surpass his physical blindness and "shine inward."
(By the way, it's 1, 3, 7 & 9. Were you testing me?)
He believes Satan and his followers had total free will in all they did before and after they fell from heaven. You know because Satan and his lieutenant spend these pages discussing their options and choices, having just lost the war, and expressing decisiveness and determined vengeance against God.
No, Michael didn't use Ithuriel's spear, though both angels' weapons came from the same armory as mentioned in the excerpt you read, which was adapted from vi.320.
You can find out about Michael in the Dramatis Personae.
God's only commandment to Adam and Eve in the beginning was not to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, which would impart knowledge of good and evil that would eliminate their innocence--innocence not entirely different from the innocence of children and animals, who have no understanding of good and evil.
Satan argued that without knowing evil, how can you know how to avoid it? or how to enjoy what is good, not knowing what is good?
Raphael told Adam not to concern himself with curiosity about the stars in the heavens, but to attend to practical matters. But, paradoxically, Raphael proved Satan's point, since his primary mission was to bring the knowledge of Satan's evil to Adam, so he could avoid it.
One archaic, biblical definition of knowing is having sexual intercouse: "Adam knew Eve." This definition may have influenced, or been influenced by, the popular notion of the forbidden fruit having awakened sexual feelings.
Not getting enough, eh? :-)
Yes, Milton is definite about it, Adam and Eve did consummate their marriage with honest to goodness, bona fide, real sex before the fall. He waxes passionate in praise of conjugal lovemaking and ridicules prudes who assert Paradise is incompatible with such things. It's all in Book IV, lines 736-775.
Book V contains two brief but powerful allusions to the nudity of Adam and Eve: Adam as he treks out to greet Raphael [350-357], and Eve--of all things--serving dinner, (her sensuousness juxtaposed with the sumptuous delicacies) [443-450].
In The Nude: A Study in Ideal Form, Kenneth Clark describes the difference between nakedness, which is to be deprived of one's clothes, with the accompanying embarrassment felt in this "huddled and defenseless" state--and nudity, which is the image of the "balanced, prosperous, and confident body." You could say Adam and Eve were "nude" before the fall, and "naked" after.
In another vein, perhaps you could form a fun question out of these interesting tidbits. Line 363 mentions Raphael in battle--but wait--isn't Raphael telling the story? How come he doesn't say "I" or "me"? And how does Raphael know what was said in private between Satan and his followers? Did Milton goof?
Yes, it's a long, tough poem. No, Milton wasn't whacked. He wrote it in a time when, as you say, there was no internet, no TV, no movies, no video games. Writing was the only way people could enter other worlds, and they were more willing than we are to make the necessary effort.
You can find a complete explanation without going past the first two pages of the poem.
In Book I, lines 522-619, between the description of the foulest demons and the rousing speech by Satan, there is a sequence most sympathetic to the plight of the fallen angels. Also read Satan's speech at the beginning of Book IV. You can also find inklings of Satan's regret later in this chapter as he stalks Adam and Eve, and even in Book IX, as he approaches Eve in the form of the serpent, [lines 455-466] where he is briefly softened by her beauty.
We are introduced to the grand "horticulture" of the Garden of Eden in Book IV, along with Satan, on his first visit there. He immediately learns that one element there, the Tree of Knowledge, provides the key to the downfall of the human race, and the ideal revenge for Satan.
In Book V, the angel Raphael dines with Adam and Eve on the delicious fruits of the Garden, as he brings them his teachings and warning. He relates the creation of the world and its grand landscape in Book VII. And in VIII, Adam tells Raphael what he remembers of his first view of the Garden of Eden.
In IX, on the fateful day, Adam goes to find Eve, bringing a garland of flowers for her [ix.838]. With a bough of forbidden fruit in her hand, she reveals to him her sin , and in shock and horror he drops the garland . After both have sinned, they seek large fig leaves to cover their shame.
In Book X, God punishes the devils with visions of fruit trees that lure and torment them.
The ultimate unifying device is in the finale and in the very title "Paradise Lost"--the loss of innocence and immortality, symbolized by the loss of the Garden of Eden.
English. Nevertheless, amazingly, there are in existence half a dozen or so various translations of the poem into English.
I’ll say there is! There are whole books about it. Check out Richard Dawkins and William Dembski.
God, Satan, angels, heaven, hell, and all those allusions to religion or mythology--they all concern the supernatural, that is, forces which supersede the natural world. Very little in PL is not concerned with the supernatural. Would you say Adam and Eve were natural humans, considering the way they were created and their original immortal state?
Anybody can make up anything about heaven (and they do). The only universally respected sources of information are of course the Bible, and to a lesser extent, Paradise Lost and Dante's Paradiso. For biblical references you will have to stick to the subject of angels, rather than "heaven" per se. Though heaven is mentioned in the Bible hundreds of times, it is always in its relationship to earth.
I suppose you could theorize that Satan was addicted to evil, or that Adam was addicted to Eve, or make a case for the temptation and irretrievable loss of innocence being like experimenting with drugs (forbidden fruit), then finding out too late one is hooked.
But the best analogy comes in the punishment God inflicts on Satan and his followers in hell for tempting Eve. After turning them all into snakes, he makes a grove of fruit trees appear, similar to the forbidden one in Paradise. Then he makes them ravenously hungry for the fruit so they cannot resist going after it. But when they bite on it, the fruit turns to bitter ashes in their mouths. They fall to the ground spitting it out in distaste. But immediately the hunger returns, and the image of delicious fruit is again irresistible, so they repeat the process over and over.
As with real addicts, it makes no matter that they learn repeatedly that the promise of fulfillment is an illusion and the end result will be bad. The craving supersedes all reason and free will is lost. Such is the case with all forms of addiction, once the habit progresses to excess--alchoholism, gambling, even smoking.
But even the devils' punishment is not as bad as the real hell of addiction, for it is temporary. After an uncertain period of time God returns them to their normal state. Few addicts receive that blessing.
In Book IX, lines 135-143, he brags that he "freed from servitude" almost half the angels, and that he ruined in one day the world it took God six to create.
In other words, prevent flight. Milton is invoking his muse, without whose inspiration his poetry will not be able to "soar." (In addition to the regular definition, "intended" here also means "extended" or "outstretched.")
Read lines 563-576 in Book V, where Raphael explains to Adam that he’s going to narrate spiritual events through physical representations—the only way he, or we, can understand them (or artists could paint them).
For hers, yes. You probably mean THE fall--hers and Adam's and everybody else's, because she gave in first and tempted Adam. No, Adam had free will also.
Which brings up an interesting question. Where would we be if Eve ate the fruit and Adam said "no thanks"?
Shakespeare came before Milton so it may have been the other way around. In fact, young Milton’s first published poem was an elegy to Shakespeare. PL’s Satan has been compared to Iago, the villainous master of deception in Othello, and to Macbeth.
I read the chapter you cite and see no reference to PL. I also doubt these particular PL lines would be pertinent. Please check your information and write again.
ItisdescribedinBookIII,lines430-497. (puff puff)
On his journey to earth, Satan alights on the outer shell of our universe. Wandering about on the barren surface, he comes to a windy place, a future "limbo" which would be occupied by the souls of those who spent their lives in vain pursuit of praise and empty worldly values.
The only human one is Eve. But there are many female personifications, beginning with Sin, daughter of Satan. Urania is the Christian Muse which Milton invokes repeatedly throughout PL for inspiration. All of the angels are male (or perhaps unisex), but certain other minor passing personifications have been deemed female, such as Grace and Liberty.
Not surprisingly, PL's sun is male, with a female moon "borrowing her light from him" [vii.377]. That pretty well sums up women's place from the beginning of the world till about 1968 or so, wouldn't you agree?
PL underscores the notion that humanity does not produce perfect, moral humans. But PR gives us one. As in PL, the struggle is about resisting temptation. Unlike PL, Christ succeeds. It’s easy to be good when the promised result is all good. But morality is about holding fast to a difficult path against the temptation of easy rewards.
Satan (to the chagrin of many) fits the epic mold as hero in the first half of PL. Later the story tends to center around Adam.
But here's an interesting statistic to consider. If you count all the questions about Adam or Eve in this archive, you'll find four times as many inquiries about Eve than about Adam.
Done that already.
And as for your second question . . . wha?!? . . . When given a question like this to deal with, my best advice is to respond in kind with like mix of eloquent babble and pseudo-intellectual gobbledygook, deliver it with a straight face, and hope for the best.
Well, they do turn into the Bickersons.
They were definitely not without God. See xi.334-354.
While they are not abandoned by God, they will probably have no more personal appearances from him or the angels as they did in Paradise. Adam senses this in xi.315-333.
But mainly they qualify as "solitary" because they are the only two people--now ordinary mortals like you and me--in the world.
Sometimes the simplest, most obvious answer is the answer...
You're correct in that the two speeches parallel each other closely. Both lament mistakes made, and the dire results. Both persons are in a state of desperate hopelessness. Both regret bringing down so many others by their actions. Line x.840-841 underscores this. But while Adam feels responsible for the plight of future humanity, and is willing to take all the burden onto himself, Satan's main concern is his hurt pride, and he resolves devotion to evil as his only relief.
Please don't yell. Go back to the home page and look up "A Simplified Summary"--all the books are summarized.
By beginning the story with Satan just having been thrown into hell, we get a full picture of his character as he reacts to his loss with anger and increased defiance. His desperate situation is even more intense than that which precipitated his rebellion in heaven. When he calls his legions together, he is choked with emotion, that so many have fallen while following his cause and yet still look to him for leadership.
If only I had a magic wand.
As you know, entelechy is the philosophy of actuality as opposed to potentiality. God says he is presenting Adam and Eve with the potentiality of a perfect world. But we know a perfect world is an impossibility. (If you don’t think so, try to imagine one – not just the superficial pleasures, but the details of how life would or could function. You’ll soon realize it doesn’t work.) Instead we have the actuality of the inevitable fall, which produced not a perfect world or perfect people, but inevitably, perfect Christianity. Is that the potentiality God had in mind all along?
The devils have just lost the Big One. How to handle defeat: