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Summary ”Paradise Lost” Book 1-4 Essay Sample

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Summary ”Paradise Lost” Book 1-4 Essay Sample

Book 1
Book I of Paradise Lost begins with Milton describing what he intends to undertake with his epic: the story of Man’s first disobedience and the loss of Eden. His main objective, however, is to justify the ways of God to men. The scene opens in a fiery, yet dark, lake of hell. Satan, confused, seems to be coming to consciousness after his fall and finds himself chained to the lake. He then broke away from his chains and stood, and saw his second in command, Beelzebub. They then gather the rest of the fallen angels, and call a meeting to figure out what to do next. Book 2

In book 2 of Paradise Lost Satan debates whether they should go to war to regain Heaven. He then opens the floor for the other fallen angels to suggest ideas. Moloch then suggests they go to an all-out war with God saying that fighting was better than being in Hell. Belial contradicts Moloch by saying we shouldn’t go into war with God we should just be peaceful, and hope god will forgive them and take them back. Next, Mammon suggests that they should stay in Hell and make it their kingdom, and that he will never bow down to God again. Lastly, Beelzebub tells them that there were rumors in Heaven saying God was creating a new world, and creating Man, who God will favor more than the angels. He tells the other fallen angels that they should get back at God by corrupting this new creation of God. Book 3

In Book 3 of Paradise Lost, Milton focuses on Satan and his evil doings onto God. Also, God and his son are looking back at all that has happened so far. God has seen Satan trying to destroy man. Also God predicts that man will fall easily due to his own volition. God explains that he created man “sufficient to have stood, but free to fall.” Book 3, Line 99. In other words, man has free will with which he can choose to do right or wrong. God also predicts that Adam will eat the fruit of the forbidden Tree of Knowledge, even after Adam and Eve have pledged their obedience to God. Book 4

In Book 4 of Paradise Lost, Satan, now back on earth, has a moment of doubt and despair; he comments, “The hell I suffer seems a heav’n.” Book 4, line 78. Meanwhile, he has let down his disguise and Uriel realizes that he has been tricked. Satan regains his courage, leaps over the wall of Eden, and sees a magnificent world. Milton describes all the varieties of trees. Satan turns himself into a seabird and flies into the Tree of Life. Next to it is the Tree of Knowledge. Satan then notices two humans – Adam and Eve. He notices that they are “both not equal, as their sex not equal seemed.” Book 4, lines 295-6. Satan explains that Adam’s “eye sublime declared absolute rule.” Book 4, lines 300-1.

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