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JOHN MILTON PARADISE LOST BOOK 1

The title makes referrence to a story from the Bible, the story of Adam and Eve, who were created by
God, and after that, they were banished from the Garden of Eden.

The last, the main and the most beautiful creation of God is man. First of all, God created Adam
according to His appearance, then, he created Eve, starting from one of Adam’s bones, his rib. They
received a rule: not to eat the fruits of a tree in the Garden, the tree of all knowledges (the tree of
knowledges about good and evil). Eve was tempted by the snake (satan) to eat from the fruits of that
tree, then she convinced Adam to eat. After breaking the rule, they were banished from heaven, but this
is not the most important consequence. The most important consequence is that, afetr doing that thing,
the death appeared in the world ( Adam and Eve had three children: Cain, Abel, Seth ; Cain envyed Abel
because he was more loved by his parents and by God, so he decided to kill his brother; so the loss of
heaven brought the death of Abel).

John Milton writes this story in his own manner. The fisrt line presents the subject of the story: man’s
first sin and its consequences. Milton asks a muse to teach him the things that he is going to write, so he
writes in a traditional way, like Homer or Vergilius, like the Romans and the Greeks used to write. It is
an epic poem because it has characters, an epic line, a story. Actually, there are two themes in this
poem: man’s first sin and its consequences, the relation between God and man (because one of the
purposes of this text „is to justify God’s ways to man”, in this context, justify does’nt mean to judge, it
means to clerify, to make the story more clear and that’s Milton’s intention; man in inferior to God).

The epic poem is characterised by 2 main events: the fall of angels and the fall of man: both falls brought
sorrow and sandness, also the desire to come back, through them the fallen angels and the first man
lost heaven, both of them wanted to return, but only man managed to do it, thanks to Jesus Christ.

The fall of angels: Lucifer (the most beautiful and loved angel), revolted against God. There was a war
between them two, lost by Lucifer. After that, he and his angels fell from heaven to hell, they reached
hell nd there remained. They transformed into demons. Hell was something bottomless, having
adamant chains (the hardest substance in the world) and infinite fires that were meant to brong sorrow,
pain, destruction. Since the demons were immortals and they were but in that fire, they were dumed to
suffer infinite pains. There was also a complete darkness, a „visible darkness” because there wasn’t the
presen e of God (God is light and in the presence of God there is light and life, where there isn’t God,
there isn’t anymore light), in the middle of hell was also a terrible dungeon,where were kept the worst
ones. So we can tell that God had taken his revenge, because this text was inspired from the Old
Testament, where God was something without mercy, something to be afraid of, something that takes
revenge. The New Testament brought God’s mercy and love because he gave his own son, Jesus, in
order to sacrifice himself to deliver us from evil.

The demons were burning, then Satan rose his head and had a speech in order to give them hope. He
was heard by his commander, Beelzebub and his demons. He said that even if they were defeated, there
was still hope for them because they still could defeat God. Since God is invincible, the only possible way
in which they could defeat him was to attack his most beautiful and loved creation: man, to turn God’s
main creation into a disobedience for Him. Satan propesed to fly to heaven and to corrupt man, he
found God’s weak point. We can figure out a difference between the way in which the good and evil act.
The evil ones attack only when they are in shadow, in darkness, because they have something to keep
secret, otherwise they would lose their power nad their plan would be destroyed, so they act indirectly,
through intermediars, through nasty things. In the sime time, the good ones attack only when they are
in light, because they have nothing to keep secret.

In this way, Satan could hurt God and defeat him. God knew about this thing, He knew that man would
betray him, but he didn’t know that this act would bring death in the world, he did not know abut Abel’s
death. In this poem there is a concept that wasn’t allowed by the Reformation: the free-will (the
possibility to make your own mind, to decide for yourself). Satan represents this concept.

Stan started his journey and he crossed a sort of space, which is presented by Milton in a very poetic
way. He flew among the stars and he saw the beauty of the world (the mountains, the sea, the rivers,
the nature). After this thing, he discovered God’s power to create beautiful things and he realised that
he was wrong and God was right. He almoost changed his mind and felt sorry about the thing that he
would do, but his pride did not let him to rennonce. We can say that the hero of this poem is Satan,
because his actions created the story and the epic line, he was presented in a very special way: like a
human (he did mistakes, he was proud, he almost felt sorry). He reached heaven, turned into a snake.
Heaven was full of light (beacause God was there), full of life, flowers, trees.Heaven is presented in
opposition with hell, and was inspired from Dante Aligheri’s book, but also from Elysium Fields.

Satan made his way to the tree of all knowledges, where was a river, flowers, a cristal mirror and a
fountain made out from precious gems.satan wasn’t impressed by these things. He tempted Eve, telling
her that God envyed them, that He had blinded them, he had kept secrets that they did not know and
the only way in which they could have found out those things was to eat from the forbidden tree. Eve
became courious, she ate and she convinced Adam to eat. He ate, and in that moment Satan fulfilled his
plan because his purpose was to corrupt Adam, who was the main creation (God created Adam from His
appearence, then created Eve from Adam’s rib= Eve was a secondary element). God found out, the
archangel Michael (the divine justice) came and accompanied Adam and Eve towards the exit of heaven.
The greatest punishment that they received was that they weren’t allowed to see God anymore, and the
death came and spread in world. Satan was also punished.