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Paradise Lost by John Milton. Download this LitChart!
Themes All Themes. Symbols All Symbols. Theme Wheel. Themes and Colors Key. LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Paradise Lost , which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.
Though his story is sad, Milton declares that it is more heroic than the epic tales of Homer or Virgil because it deals with morality, not just physical strength.
Milton hopes she will visit him in his sleep and inspire him, as he worries he began this task too late in life and cannot finish it alone. Milton now places his epic within the tradition of tragedy, as it involves the fall of a great man through some special flaw.
Milton both reaffirms his ability and speaks with appropriate Christian humility, mentioning his old age and asking the Holy Spirit to finish the poem through him.
The Fall of Man will be the tragic climax of the poem, but there is no suspense about its outcome whatsoever, as it has been foretold from the start and is part of Christian doctrine.
Active Themes. Disobedience and Revolt.
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Related Quotes with Explanations. On the eighth day Satan returns to Eden disguised as a mist, following the Tigris River and rising up in the fountain next to the Tree of Life. Milton mocks the more tedious parts of the classical epics and the knightly romances of the Middle Ages. For him, the ultimate hero is not measured in physical strength but in moral power. Milton has already described the extravagant war in Heaven, but in the end it was more about obedience and revolt than feats of martial prowess.
God again allows Satan to enter Eden undeterred. He decides that Earth is more beautiful than Heaven ever was, but as he praises its glory he laments how he cannot take any joy in this wondrous new creation.
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In the actual account in Genesis, Satan is never mentioned, and it is merely the clever serpent who tempts Eve. It is only Christian doctrine that later associates Satan with the serpent. Hierarchy and Order. Satan now recognizes that it would have been better to remain good, but he still clings to his despair and is unwilling to repent.
God did indeed create humans partly to spite Satan and repair his number of worshippers, so in a way Satan had that small victory. Download it! Satan has totally devolved in his transformations by now — beginning as the brightest Archangel, then a dark, terrible warrior, then a cherub, then a cormorant, toad, mist, and serpent.
The image of the maze returns as a negative image of forbidden knowledge, which leads one to become lost. The next morning Adam and Eve wake up and give their usual spontaneous praise to God.
Then Eve proposes that she and Adam work separately instead of together as she usually do, as she hopes to get more work done this way. Milton again associates natural procreation with the innocence of Eden. Eve replies that the proud Satan will surely seek out Adam first, so she is in little danger.
Milton breaks in again to emphasize the acuteness of the tragedy that is about to occur. He restates all the beauty and innocence of Paradise before it is snatched away by one act of disobedience. Sin and Innocence. Meanwhile Satan has been seeking out the pair, hoping but not expecting to find them separated.
He is then delighted to see Eve by herself, tending to her flowers. Milton portrays the pre-Fall serpent as a magnificent animal with a crest on its head and the ability to lift itself upright.
Again this physical verticality symbolizes moral righteousness, as the serpent is still a sinless beast before the Fall. Satan makes himself a beautiful physical spectacle, knowing that Eve is easily diverted by vain appearances.
Satan explains that he found a tree with beautiful, delicious apples , and when he ate the fruit he suddenly found himself with the ability to speak and with an expanded intellect, able to perceive both heavenly and earthly knowledge.
He says the apples also made him seek out Eve so that he could give her the praise and worship she deserves. Milton approves of knowledge, but only when it is made subject to obedience. Satan offers to show her, and Eve follows him the short distance to the Tree of Knowledge. Satan asks about this commandment, and Eve reaffirms that she and Adam can eat the fruit of any tree except that of the Tree of Knowledge, or else they will die.
Eve is initially armed with repeated obedience, but she has overestimated her own strength in asking to work separately from Adam. Satan says that he himself has proved that the fruit does not bring death, as he ate of it and still lives. Satan also argues that it would be unjust for God to punish Eve for such a small thing, and if he is not just then he is not worthy of being God.
Satan uses several arguments that seem persuasive on their own, yet are contradictory when taken together, and Eve shows her inferior intellect by being persuaded by them. Milton expands on the Biblical account by having the serpent claim to have already eaten the fruit — in Genesis the serpent just tells Eve the fruit will make her more godlike.
If he, a serpent, achieved speech and intelligence from eating the fruit, then surely Eve will become a goddess if she eats it. This argument seems like it would be unappealing to the relatively ignorant, unambitious Eve, but when combined with the earlier flattery and barrage of arguments, it wins her over. It seems wrong that such magical fruit would be denied to humans if beasts are allowed to eat it. Satan immediately slinks back into the undergrowth.
Paradise Lost, Book 9 By John Milton: Urdu/Hindi Translation; Lines 1-13 #BlankVerse #EpicPoem
She resolves to give him the fruit as well, as she loves him and wants to share everything with him, whether life or death. At first the Tree does not bring feelings of guilt and sin, so Eve is convinced she has made the right decision. Her character grows even more negative as her first thought after eating the fruit is leading Adam also into her disobedience.
Her temptation of Adam brings up another traditional aspect of the Fall — love and sexuality.
The couple choose each other over God in a perversion of the hierarchy of love, in which love of God should come first. Eve bows to the Tree of Knowledge and then goes to find Adam , who has been weaving a wreath of flowers to give to Eve.
Adam meets her and sees the forbidden fruit in her hand, and Eve hurriedly explains that the serpent ate it and learned to speak, and so convinced her to try it as well. Adam, still innocent and unfallen, has been making a wreath out of his pure but over-extravagant love of Eve.
This wreath, the last image of their unfallen relationship and the idea of marriage as God intended it, falls symbolically to the ground. He is horrified that Eve has succumbed to temptation, and he realizes that all is lost, but then Adam immediately decides that he cannot live without Eve, as no new unfallen woman could replace her. He knows he will be dooming himself by eating the fruit , but reasons that surely God would not destroy them or punish them too harshly.
The faded roses of the wreath become the first thing to wilt and decay in Paradise. Nature groans again and the sky weeps a few drops of rain, but Adam feels immediately invigorated and more godlike. Afterward they fall asleep briefly, and when they wake up their minds are in turmoil and they recognize that they have fallen.
This shame at being naked is taken directly from Genesis, as everything about humanity begins to be corrupted into its current state.
The couple now realize the point Milton has been trying to prove — knowledge is important, but not all knowledge leads to good, especially when it involves being disobedient to God and disrupting his order. Adam blames Eve for wanting to work separately, and Eve says that the serpent would surely have tempted Adam as well if he had been there.
She says Adam should have been firmer with her, which makes Adam angrier, and he calls her ungrateful, reminding her that he ate the forbidden fruit just so they could be together. He curses himself for listening to her and trusting her, and promises to not trust a woman again. The two keep arguing for hours.
One of the immediate effects of sin is for Adam and Eve to blame each other and the serpent. This then becomes the first real argument on Earth, and the beginning of the corruption of the inner lives of all people.
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