Paradise Lost Book 1 Summary
Book I of Paradise Lost begins with a prologue during which Milton performs the normal epic task of invoking the Muse and stating his purpose. He invokes the classical Muse, Urania, but also refers to her because the “Heav’nly Muse,” implying the Christian nature of this work. He also says that the poem will affect man’s disobedience toward God and therefore the results of that disobedience. He concludes the prologue by saying he will plan to justify God’s ways to men.
Following the prologue and invocation, Milton begins the epic with an outline of Satan, lying on his back with the opposite rebellious angels, chained on a lake of fireside. The poem thus commences within the middle of the story, as epics traditionally do. Satan, who had been Lucifer, the best angel, and his compatriots warred against God. They were defeated and cast from Heaven into the fires of Hell.
Lying on the lake, Satan is described as gigantic; he’s compared to a Titan or the Leviathan. Next to Satan lies Beelzebub, Satan’s second in command. Satan comments on how Beelzebub has been transformed for the more severe by the punishment of God. Still he adds that it’s his intention to continue the struggle against God, saying, “Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven” (263).
With effort, Satan is in a position to free himself from his chains and rise from the hearth. He flies to a barren plain, followed by Beelzebub. From the plain, Satan calls the opposite fallen angels to hitch him, and one by one they rise from the lake and fly to their leader. As they are available, Milton is in a position to list the main devils that now occupy Hell: Moloch, Chemos, Baalim, Ashtaroth, Astarte, Astoreth, Dagon, Rimmon, Osiris, Isis, Orus, Mammon, and Belial. Each devil is introduced during the formal cataloging of demons. These fallen angels think that they need to escape from their chains through their power, but Milton makes it clear that God alone has allowed them to try to to this.
This devil army is large and impressive but also conscious of its recent ignominious defeat. Satan addresses them and rallies them. He tells them that they still have power which their purpose is going to be to oppose God, adding, “War then, War / Open or understood must be resolv’d” (661-62).
This speech inspires the devil host, and under Mammon’s direction, they immediately begin work on a capital city for his or her Hellish empire. They find natural resources within the mountains of Hell and quickly begin to construct a city. Under the direction of their architect, Mulciber, they construct an excellent tower that involves symbolizing the capital of Hell, Pandemonium. The devil army, flying this manner, is compared to an excellent swarm of bees. When the work is completed and therefore the capital completed, all of them assemble for the primary great council.Paradise Lost Book 1 read more..
Milton begins Paradise Lost within the traditional epic manner with a prologue invoking the muse, during this case Urania, the Muse of Astronomy. He calls her the “Heav’nly Muse” (7) and says that he will sing “Of Man’s First Disobedience” (1), the story of Adam and Eve and their fall from grace. because the prologue continues, it becomes apparent that this muse is quite just the classical Urania, but also a Christian muse who resides on Mt. Sinai, actually the Holy Ghost. In these first lines, Milton thus draws on two traditions — the classical epic exemplified by Homer and Virgil and therefore the Christian tradition embodied within the Bible also as Dante’s Divine Comedy and Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene.
Milton further emphasizes within the prologue that his theme is going to be Man’s disobedience to God’s Will, implying not only Adam’s disobedience, but all mankind from first to last. He does add that his subject will include the “greater Man” (4) who saved all others from the first disobedience. Moreover, his intention is going to be to “justify the ways of God to men” (26) through the help of “Eternal Providence” (25). By “justify,” Milton means quite simply to explain; he means he will demonstrate that God’s actions about a man are just. This goal suggests that Milton wasn’t bothered by any sense of false modesty, a thought underscored by his statement that he will write during an haute couture and attempt a purpose never tried before. The one truly poignant line during this prologue is Milton’s request of the muse, “What in me is dark / Illumine” (22 — 23), with its oblique regard to Milton’s blindness, a topic he will return to more directly within the prologue that begins Book III. At no point during this prologue and invocation does Milton mention Satan, who, though he’s the most character of the poem, isn’t the particular subject. Paradise Lost Book 1 read more..
Following the invocation and prologue, Milton continues within the epic style by beginning in medias res, within the middle of things. Satan is first seen lying within the pit of Hell. That an excellent religious epic focuses on Satan, presents him first, and in some ways makes him the hero of the poem is certainly surprising and something of a risk on Milton’s part. Milton doesn’t want his audience to empathize with Satan, yet Satan is a beautiful character, struggling against great odds. Of course, Milton’s original audience quite his modern one would are cognizant of the ironies involved in Satan’s struggles and his comments concerning power. the facility that Satan asserts and thinks he has is illusory. His power to act derives only from God, and his struggle against God has already been lost. To the fashionable audience, Satan could seem heroic as he struggles to form a Heaven of Hell, but the first audience knew, and Milton’s lines confirm, that Satan’s war with God had been lost absolutely before the poem begins. God grants Satan and therefore the other devils the facility to act for God’s purposes, not theirs.
Also, at now within the narrative, Satan is at his most engaging. He has just fallen from Heaven where he was the closest angel to God. He has not completely lost the angelic aura that was his in Heaven. because the poem progresses, the reader will see that Satan’s character and appearance grow worse. Milton has carefully structured his work to point out the results of Satan’s actions.
The catalog of demons that follows Satan’s shake the burning lake follows an epic pattern of listing heroes — although here the list is of villains. This particular catalog seems almost an intentional parody of Homer’s catalog of Greek ships and heroes in Book II of the Iliad. The catalog may be a means for Milton to list many of the fallen angels also as how to account for several of the gods in pagan religions — they were originally among the angels who rebelled from God. Consequently, among these fallen angels are names like Isis, Osiris, Baal, et al. that the reader associates not with Christianity but with some ancient, pagan belief. Of the devils listed, the 2 most vital are Beelzebub and Belial. (For an entire description of every devil, see the List of Characters.) Paradise Lost Book 1 read more..
The final part of Book I is that the construction of Pandemonium, the capital of Hell. particular unintentional humor pervades this section of Book I also as Mammon’s argument in Book II. In both cases, a way of civic spirit seems to beat the devils, and that they act on the thought that “Hell is bad, but with a couple of improvements we will make it lots better, even attractive.” In both Mammon and therefore the hellish architect, Mulciber, the attitude of the mayor whose village has been bypassed by the Interstate comes out. They both seem to think that with improvements Hell could also be nice enough that others might want to relocate.
Milton’s real goal here, though, is to determine Hell’s capital, Pandemonium — a word which Milton himself coined from the Latin pan (all) and Timonium (demons). Thus, the capital of Hell is the place of all demons. With the passage of your time, the word came to mean anywhere of untamed disorder, noise, and confusion. this concept is subtly emphasized with Milton’s choice of Mulciber because of the architect. Mulciber was another name for Hephaestus, the Greek God of the Forge, who was tossed from Olympus by a drunken Zeus. Mulciber is consequently a figure of some ridicule and not the foremost likely architect to create an enduring monument.
One other aspect of the development of Pandemonium is worth consideration. Mammon and therefore the other devils find natural resources including gemstones in their look for building materials. This discovery of resources suggests that the Hell Milton has imagined maybe a multifaceted place. within the first scene, as Satan and therefore the others lie chained on the burning lake, Hell seems an area of fiery torture and ugliness. the development of Pandemonium shows that there’s more to Hell. Geographic features like a clear and hill, a natural resource like gemstones, and even the likelihood for beauty seem to exist in Hell. Other aspects of Hell are going to be brought forward in later books. beat all, Milton depicts a Hell that has quite one essence, or, a minimum of within the opening books, seems to.
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