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Who durst defy the omnipotent to arms. But his doom Reserved him to more wrath; for now the thought Both of lost happiness and lasting pain Torments him. Round he throws his baleful eyes, That witnessed huge affliction and dismay, Mixed with obdurate pride and steadfast hate.
At once, as far as Angel's ken, he views The dismal situation waste and wild. Such place eternal Justice had prepared. As far removed from God and light of Heaven As from the centre thrice to the utmost pole. Oh how unlike the place from whence they fell! And till then who knew The force of those dire arms?
Yet not for those, Nor what the potent victor in his rage. What though the field be lost, All is not lost; the unconquerable will, And study of revenge, immortal hate, And courage never to submit or yield, And what is else not to be overcome.
To bow and sue for grace With suppliant knee, and deify his power, Who, from the terror of this arm, so late Doubted his empire,—that were low indeed, That were an ignominy and shame beneath This downfall. Since by fate the strength of Gods And this empyreal substance cannot fail; Since, through experience of this great event.
In arms not worse, in foresight much advanced. To wage Eternal - Paradise Lost - The Past And The Present (CD) force or guile eternal war, Irreconcilable to our grand foe, Who now triumphs, and in the excess of joy Sole reigning holds the tyranny of Heaven. But what if he our conqueror—whom I now Of force believe almighty, since no less Than such could have o'erpow'red such force as ours— Have left us this our spirit and strength entire, Strongly to suffer and support our pains.
What can it then avail, though yet we feel Strength undiminished, or eternal being To undergo eternal punishment? If then his providence Out of our evil seek to bring Eternal - Paradise Lost - The Past And The Present (CD) good, Our labor must be to pervert that end; And out of good still to find means of evil; Which oft-times may succeed, so as perhaps Shall grieve him, if I fail not, and disturb His inmost counsels from their destined aim.
Of Heaven received us falling; and the thunder, Winged with red lightning and impetuous rage, Perhaps hath spent his shafts, and ceases now To bellow through the vast and boundless Deep. Let us not slip the occasion, whether scorn Or satiate fury yield it from our foe. On each hand the flames Driven backward slope their pointing spires, and, rolled In billows, leave in the midst a horrid vale. Then with expanded wings he steers his flight.
Be it so, since he, Who now is sovran, can dispose and bid What shall be right; furthest from him is best, Whom reason hath equalled, force hath made supreme Above his equals. Farewell happy fields, Where joy for ever dwells! Infernal world! What matter where if I be still the same, And what I should be, all but less than he Whom thunder hath made greater. But wherefore let me then our faithful friends, The associates and copartners of our loss, Lie thus astonished on the oblivious pool, And call them not to share with us their part In this unhappy mansion, or once more With rallied arms to try what may be yet Regained in Heaven, or what more lost in Hell?
His spear—to equal which the tallest pine Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the mast Of some great ammiral, were but a wand— He walked with, to support uneasy steps Over the burning marle, not like those steps On Heaven's azure; and the torrid clime Smote on him sore besides, vaulted with fire.
He called so loud that all the hollow deep Of Hell resounded: "Princes, Potentates, Warriors, the flower of Heaven, once yours, now lost, If such astonishment as this can seize Eternal Spirits. Or in this abject posture have ye sworn To adore the conqueror—who now beholds Cherub and Seraph rolling in the flood With scattered arms and ensigns—tilt anon His swift pursuers from Heaven-gates discern The advantage, and descending tread us down, Thus drooping, or with linked thunderbolts Transfix us to the bottom of this gulf?
They heard and were abashed, and up they sprung Upon the wing; as when men wont to watch, On duty sleeping found by whom they dread, Rouse and bestir themselves ere well awake. Nor did they not perceive the evil plight In which they were, or the fierce pains not feel; Yet to their general's voice they soon obeyed, Innumerable.
Forthwith, Eternal - Paradise Lost - The Past And The Present (CD), from every squadron and each band. Nor had they yet among the sons of Eve Got them new names, till wandering o'er the Earth, Through God's high sufferance for the trial of man. At the final battle, the Son of God single-handedly defeats the entire legion of angelic rebels and banishes them from Heaven.
Following this purge, God creates the Worldculminating in his creation of Adam and Eve. While God gave Adam and Eve total freedom and power to rule over all creation, he gave them one explicit command: not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil on penalty of death. The story of Adam and Eve's temptation and fall is a fundamentally different, new kind of epic: a domestic one. Adam and Eve are presented as having a romantic and sexual relationship while still being without sin.
They have passions and distinct personalities. Satan, disguised in the form of a serpent, successfully tempts Eve to eat from the Tree by preying on her vanity and tricking her with rhetoric. Adam, learning that Eve has sinned, knowingly commits the same sin. He declares to Eve that since she was made from his flesh, they are bound to one another — if she dies, he must also die. In this manner, Milton portrays Adam as a heroic figure, but also as a greater sinner than Eve, as he is aware that what he is doing is wrong.
After eating the fruit, Adam and Eve have lustful sex. At first, Adam is convinced that Eve was right in thinking that eating the fruit would be beneficial. However, they soon fall asleep and have terrible nightmares, and after they awake, they experience guilt and shame for the first time. Realizing that they have committed a terrible act against God, they engage in mutual recrimination. Meanwhile, Satan returns triumphantly to Hell, amid the praise of his fellow fallen angels.
He tells them about how their scheme worked and Mankind has fallen, giving them complete dominion over Paradise. As he finishes his speech, however, the fallen angels around him become hideous snakes, and soon enough, Satan himself turns into a snake, deprived of limbs and unable to talk.
Thus, they share the same punishment, as they shared the same guilt. Eve appeals to Adam for reconciliation of their actions. Her encouragement enables them to approach God, and sue for grace, bowing on supplicant knee, to receive forgiveness.
In a vision shown to him by the Archangel MichaelAdam witnesses everything that will happen to Mankind until the Great Flood. Adam is very upset by this vision of the future, so Michael also tells him about Mankind's potential redemption from original sin through Jesus Christ whom Michael calls "King Messiah".
Adam and Eve are cast out of Eden, and Michael says that Adam may find "a paradise within thee, happier far. Satanformerly called Luciferis the first major character introduced in the poem. He was once the most beautiful of all angels, and is a tragic figure who famously declares: "Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.
Satan's desire to rebel against his creator stems from his unwillingness to be subjugated by God and his Son, claiming that angels are "self-begot, self-raised,"  and thereby denying God's authority over them as their creator. Satan is deeply arrogant, albeit powerful and charismatic. Eternal - Paradise Lost - The Past And The Present (CD) argues that God rules as a tyrant and that all the angels ought to rule as gods.
According to William McCollom, one quality of the classical tragic hero is that he is not perfectly good and that his defeat is caused by a tragic flaw, as Satan causes both the downfall of man and the eternal damnation of his fellow fallen angels despite his dedication to his comrades.
In addition, Satan's Hellenic qualities, such as his immense courage and, perhaps, lack of completely defined morals compound his tragic nature. Satan's status as a protagonist in the epic poem is debated. Milton characterizes him as such, but Satan lacks several key traits that would otherwise make him the definitive protagonist in the work. One deciding factor that insinuates his role as the protagonist in the story is that most often a protagonist is heavily characterized and far better described than the other characters, and the way the character is written is meant to make him seem more interesting or special to the reader.
By some definitions a protagonist must be able to exist in and of themselves and the secondary characters in the work exist only to further the plot for the protagonist. Satan's existence in the story involves his rebellion against God and his determination to corrupt the beings he creates in order to perpetuate evil so that there can be a discernible balance and justice for both himself and his fallen angels.
Therefore, it is more probable that he exists in order to combat God, making his status as the definitive protagonist of the work relative to each book. Following this logic, Satan may very well be considered as an antagonist in the poem, whereas God could be considered as the protagonist instead.
Satan's status as a traditional hero in the work is similarly up to debate as the term "hero" evokes different meanings depending on the time and the person giving the definition and is thus a matter of contention within the text. According to Aristotle, a hero is someone who is "superhuman, godlike, and divine" but is also human. While Milton gives reason to believe that Satan is superhuman, as he was originally an angel, he is anything but human.
However, one could argue that Satan's faults make him more human than any other divine being described in Milton's work. Torquato Tasso and Francesco Piccolomini expanded on Aristotle's definition and declared that for someone to be considered heroic one has to be perfectly or overly virtuous.
Therefore, Satan is not a hero according to Tasso and Piccolomini's expanded definition. Satan goes against God's law and therefore becomes corrupt and lacking of virtue and, as Piccolomini warned, "vice may be mistaken for heroic virtue. Satan achieves this end multiple times throughout the text as he riles up his band of fallen angels during his speech by deliberately telling them to do evil to explain God's hypocrisy and again during his entreaty to Eve.
He makes his intentions seem pure and positive even when they are rooted in evil and, according to Steadman, this is the chief reason that readers often mistake Satan as a hero. Although Satan's army inevitably loses the war against God, Satan achieves a position of power and begins his reign in Hell with his band of loyal followers, composed of fallen angels, which is described to be a "third of heaven.
As scholar Wayne Rebhorn argues, "Satan insists that he and his fellow revolutionaries held their places by right and even leading him to claim that they were self-created and self-sustained" and thus Satan's position in the rebellion is much like that of his own real world creator.
Adam is the first human being created by God. Finding himself alone, Adam complains and requests a mate from God, who grants his request and creates Eve to be Adam's conjugal companion and helpmate.
God appraises Adam and Eve most of all his creations, and appoints them to rule over all the creatures of the world and to reside in the Garden of Eden. Adam is more gregarious than Eve, and yearns for her company. His complete infatuation with Eve, while pure of itself, eventually contributes to his deciding to join her in disobedience to God. Unlike the biblical Adam, before Milton's Adam leaves Paradise he is given a glimpse of the future of mankind by the Archangel Michael—including a synopsis of stories from the Old and New Testaments.
Eve is the second human created by God, who takes one of Adam's ribs and shapes it into a female form of Adam. Not the traditional model of a good wife, Milton's Eve is often unwilling to be submissive towards Adam. She is the more intelligent of the two and more curious about external ideas than her husband.
Though happy, she longs for knowledge, specifically for self-knowledge. Her first act in existence is to turn away from Adam to look at and ponder her own reflection. Eve is beautiful and though she loves Adam she may feel suffocated by his constant presence. In her solitude, she is tempted by Satan to sin against God by eating of the Tree of Knowledge.
Soon thereafter, Adam follows Eve in support of her act. The Son of God is the spirit who will become incarnate as Jesus Christthough he is never named explicitly because he has not yet entered human form. Then when Adam and Eve are created, the poem partly shifts its focus to mortal love and the idea of marriage. Paradise Lost. Plot Summary. LitCharts Teacher Editions. Teach your students to analyze literature like LitCharts does. Detailed explanations, analysis, and citation info for every important quote on LitCharts.
The original text plus a side-by-side modern translation of every Shakespeare play. Sign Eternal - Paradise Lost - The Past And The Present (CD). Already have an account? Sign in. From the creators of SparkNotes, something better. Sign In Sign Up. Literature Poetry Lit Terms Shakescleare.
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