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The Fall of Satan from Paradise Lost . John Milton. Paradise Lost Book I. Invocation and introduction of poem's theme An account of Satan's revolt and expulsion from Heaven Dialogue between Satan and Beelzebub The other devils' rallying around Satan - the demonic host listed

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paradise lost book i
Paradise Lost Book I
  • Invocation and introduction of poem's theme
  • An account of Satan's revolt and expulsion from Heaven
  • Dialogue between Satan and Beelzebub
  • The other devils' rallying around Satan - the demonic host listed
  • Satan's speech to the legions (about the creation of man)
  • The building of Pandemonium

“Of Man’s first disobedience, and the fruit

Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste

Brought death into the world, and, all our woe,

With the loss of Eden, till one greater Man

Restore us, and regain the blissful seat,(1-5)

  • refers to original sin of Adam and Eve
  • brought humans death for the first time

“Sing, Heavenly Muse…

That shepherd, who first taught the chosen seed

In the beginning how the Heavens and Earth

Rose out of Chaos…” (6-10)

  • not asking for tradition Greek muse
  • asking for Holy Spirit to inspire him as he did Moses to write the Ten Commandments and Genesis
  • His poem will be better than all other classical writings
  • Reason for writing
    • “And justify the ways of God to men” (26).
      • Why God permits humans to suffer and die
    • His poem will tell of the epic battle between God and Lucifer
disobedience of adam and eve
Disobedience of Adam and Eve

“Say first, for Heaven hides nothing from thy view,

Nor the deep tract of Hell, say first what cause

Moved our grand parents in that happy state,

Favored of Heaven so highly, to fall off

From their Creator, and transgress his will

For one restraint” (27-32).

  • God saw the transgression of Adam and Eve
  • Questions how this came about
disobedience of adam and eve7
Disobedience of Adam and Eve

“Who first seduced them to that foul revolt?

The infernal Serpent, he who was, whose guile,

Stirred up with envy and revenge, deceived

The mother of mankind, what time his pride

Had cast him out from Heaven, with his host

Of rebel angels…” (33-38).

  • Satan corrupted God’s plan out of vengeance
  • God allows evil to exist in order that good may arise from it
  • Satan thrown out of Heaven by God
  • He is to blame for original sin
  • He wanted to be like God
  • Rebelled and was punished

“To set himself in glory above his peers,

He trusted to have equaled the Most High,

If he opposed; and with ambitious aim

Against the throne and monarchy of God,

Raised impious was in Heaven and battle proud

With vain attempt.”(39-44)

satan and hell
Satan and Hell

“Him the Almighty Power

Hurled headlong flaming from the ethereal sky

With hideous ruin and combustion down

To bottomless perdition, there to dwell

In adamantine chains and penal fire

Who durst defy the Omnipotent to arms” (44- 49).

  • Thrown out into depths of hell by God
  • Milton uses darkness and imagery to indicate the horridness of Hell
    • “fiery gulf (52)
    • “dungeon horrible” (61)
    • “No light, but rather darkness visible” (63)
    • “discover sights of woe” (64)

“Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace

And rest can never dwell, hope never comes

That comes to all; but torture without end

Still urges…

Such place Eternal Justice had prepared

For those rebellious, here their prison ordained

In utter darkness, and their portion set

As far removed from God and the light of Heaven” (65-73).

  • Physical torment- fiery yet dark
  • Physiological pain
    • “doom” “Lost happiness” “dismay”
  • Eternal punishment
  • Light and dark imagery

“He soon discerns, and weltering by his side

One next himself in power, and next in crime,

Long after known in Palestine, and named

Beelzebub” (78-81).

  • Second in power under Satan
  • Bemoans their place in Hell

“’If thou beest he- but O how fallen! How changed

From him, who in the happy realm of light

Clothed with transcendent brightness didst outshine

Myriads though bright- if he whom mutual league,

United thoughts and counsels, equal hope

And hazard in the glorious enterprise,

Joined with me once, now misery hath joined

In equal ruin: into what pit thou seest

From what height fallen!” (84-91)

  • Tells Beelzebub he has been transformed for the worse by God’s punishment
  • Mourns heaven when he sees the state of Beelzebub
  • Does not repent for his rebellion

“…so much the stronger proved

He with his thunder; and till then who knew

The force of those of those dire arms?” (92-94).

  • Did not realize the strength and power of God
  • Sees himself as the enemy of God

“Yet not for those,

Nor what the potent Victor in his rage

Can else inflict, do I repent or change,” (95-97).

“Innumerable forces”

Two “powers”

Engage in “dubious battle”

Heaven as a “lost field”

God is Satan’s “lost foe”

“eternal war” (93-124)

  • Presents them as his army
  • Diction represents war

“the unconquerable will,

And study of revenge, immortal hate,

And courage never to submit or yield:

And what is else not to be overcome?” (106-109)

  • Driving force for Satan
  • God was upset by the battle- he was uncertain about the outcome
  • Will continue was for eternity

“since by fate the strength of gods

And this emerged substance cannot fail,

Since through experience of this great event,

In arms not worse, in foresight much advanced,

We may with more successful hope resolve

To wage by 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.” (116-124)

  • Will wage war against God’s tyranny
  • God in heaven rejoicing
  • Take action once again
beelzebub s response
Beelzebub’s Response

“That with sad overthrow and foul defeat

Hath lost us Heaven, and all this mighty host

In horrible destruction laid thus low,

As far as gods and heavenly essences

Can perish…/

Here swallowed up up in endless misery.”


beelzebub s response20
Beelzebub's Response
  • Doubtful
  • Can we overpower God and his supremacy?
  • Realizes the horridness of their situation
beelzebub s response21
Beelzebub's Response

“That we may so suffice his vengeful ire,

Or do him mightier service as his thralls

By right of war, whate’er his business be,

Here in the heart of Hell to work in fire,

Or do his errands in the gloomy deep?

What can it then avail, though yet we feel

Strength undiminished, or eternal being

TO undergo eternal punishment?” (148-155).

beelzebub s response22
Beelzebub’s Response
  • Questions if they are still slaves of God’s
  • Their punishment in hell is to do God’s bidding in hell
satan s response
Satan’s Response
  • “to be weak is miserable” (157)
  • “To do aught good never will be our task,

But ever to do ill our sole delight

As being the contrary to his high will

Whom we resist” (158-162).

    • Only commit deeds of evil
    • God cannot control that
    • His evil will equal God’s goodness
satan s response24
Satan’s Response

“Seest thou yon dreary plain, forlorn and wild,

The seat of desolation, void of light,

Save what the glimmering of these livid flames

Casts pale and dreadful?” (180-183)

  • Satan’s perspective of Hell
  • He realizes the horror of it and is repelled by it
satan s response25
Satan’s Response

“And reassembling our afflicted powers,

Consult how we may henceforth most offend

Our Enemy, our own loss how repair,

How overcome this dire calamity,

What reinforcement we may gain from hope,

If not, what resolution from despair.” (186-191)

  • Satan’s plan of action
  • Seek vengeance for the offence

“Prone on the flood, extended long and large,

Lay floating many a rood, in bulk as huge

As whom the fables name of monstrous size,

Titanian or Earth-born, that warred on Jove,

Briareos or Typhon whom led the den

By ancient Tarus held, or that sea-beast

Leviathan, which God od all his works

Created hugest that swim the ocean stream.” (195-202)

  • Indicates the hugeness and vastness of Satan
  • Compared to Titans and giants from Greek Mythology

“…this is the seat

That we must change for Heaven, this mournful gloom

For that celestial light? Be it so, since he

Who now is sovereign can dispose and bid

What shall be right: farthest from him is best,

Whom reason hath equaled, force hath made supreme

Above his equals.” (243-249)

  • Accepts his new placement and wants to reign sovereign
  • Happy to have his own kingdom to rule
  • Proves he is God’s equal
  • Pride
  • “Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven” (263)
  • Eager to rally his forces- needs support to rebel against God
epic simile
Epic Simile
  • Something in the poem is compared to something quite outside the poem
    • Compares Satan to Titans and Greeks from mythology (196-208)
    • Compares his landing to smashing of a hill or volcano which create an explosive force (230-237)