Paradise Lost ...

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The University Press, 1918
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Kingdom of Utterance from the Lady of Christ
“ The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a Heav’n of Hell, a Hell of Heav’n. What [does it] matter where, if I be still the same?”
The mind in its own disobedience can fall in a delusional state that place called “hell”. What happens when you revolt from your own reality and truth? Satan's disobedience and the loss thereupon of Paradise brought him to his own place accompanied by legions of angels also driven out by G_d, a place of utter darkness, that place where the mind dances with its own chaos. I believe Milton chose to begin his epic of the Lost Paradise with the fall of Satan, because Satan represented chaos and perhaps that is where Miltons’ mind was at the time he decided to write about his epic. This quote from Paradise Lost serves to illustrate Satan’s fall into chaos, his decent from Hell and the metaphor of Milton’s own biographical circumstances at the time.
"If thou beest he — but O how fallen! how changed From him who, in the happy realms 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: so much the stronger proved He with his thunder; and till then who knew. The force of those dire arms? Yet not for those, Nor what the potent Victor in his rage. Can else inflict, do I repent, or change”
In the opening line “If thou beest he” Milton is clearly a leading rebel of his period, in his opening speech with utterance Milton talks about the will of humankind and how resilient we can be when we are ignored by our countrymen “All is not lost — the unconquerable will, can else inflict, or do I repent, or change?” Perhaps, Milton felt as one of the legion’s angels rebelling in hell, divided and humiliated. “Joined with me once, now misery hath joined”, Miltons’ opening was more about a warning to humankind, the journey of heroic men and the consequences of disobediences, regardless. This place called “hell” where Satan, now calls heaven with his angles lying on the burning Lake, of “transcendent brightness” had become Miltons’ battle ground for authority and worldview. This place where Satan and his angels found comfort after their miserable fall from Heaven, and the place where Milton found glorious “In equal ruin”. Perhaps Milton could relate to Satan’s fall, and betrayals. Betrayed infected by political or religious systems he trusted at the time; the heroes who perhaps failed him, each whom presided over a different disobedience, and the chaos he shared with G_d, and his own Satan.
The opening of the epic is also a metaphor for Milton’s superiority and authority perhaps over other poets. In his epic he wanted to remind the world of the classical stories that shaped humankind, but clearly voicing his authority on the subjects of antiquity, his subordinates and the oracles subscribed on his Christina views. Milton is clearly greater than Satan, above it all, as he is Satan’s creator in this epic. Miltons’ inspiration and valor may have come from Satan soul, that place in the mind where Satan finds a way to awaken all his Legions, like warriors of light. In my estimation Milton opening was an offering to Satan an awaking to his angels, “the gods” who may have doubted his ideologies and worldviews. The utopia of gods and angels, the hell of this place where Miltons’ biographical circumstances defines Paradise Lost “Heaven and Hell” the utterance of Satan’s opening speech in hell preparing his followers, as Milton was preparing humankind for life, or in the same manner as Satan does "confounded"; directed his speech to his angels.
I can see how Miltons’ opening speech grasp the broader issues of the human tragedy; human nature, men’s motives of “the unconquerable will” Paradise

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I thought it was a little boring for the first four chapters but as you really get into it you start to appreciate the writing of this epic. The diction of this poem is hard to understand if you have not been exposed to copius amounts of the language.



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Page 58 - Looks through the horizontal misty air Shorn of his beams, or from behind the moon In dim eclipse disastrous twilight sheds On half the nations, and with fear of change Perplexes monarchs.
Page xxviii - I began thus far to assent both to them and divers of my friends here at home, and not less to an inward prompting which now grew daily upon me, that by labour and intense study (which I take to be my portion in this life), joined with the strong propensity of nature, I might perhaps leave something so written to aftertimes, as they should not willingly let it die.
Page xxvi - Perhaps my semblance might deceive the truth, That I to manhood am arrived so near ; And inward ripeness doth much less appear, That some more timely-happy spirits indu'th.
Page 57 - In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground, for out of it wast thou taken; for dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return. And Adam called his wife's name Eve ; because she was the mother of all living.
Page xxxii - Time serves not now, and perhaps I might seem too profuse to give any certain account of what the mind at home, in the spacious circuits of her musing, hath liberty to propose to...
Page 42 - Justification towards God, and peace Of conscience, which the law by ceremonies Cannot appease, nor man the moral part Perform ; and, not performing, cannot live.
Page 23 - O what are these ? Death's ministers, not men, who thus deal death Inhumanly to men, and multiply Ten thousand-fold the sin of him who slew His brother ; for of whom such massacre Make they but of their brethren, men of men ? But who was that just man, whom had not Heaven Rescued, had in his righteousness been lost?
Page xxi - I was confirmed in this opinion, that he who would not be frustrate of his hope to write well hereafter in laudable things, ought himself to be a true poem ; that is, a composition and pattern of the best and honourablest things; not presuming to sing high praises of heroic men, or famous cities, unless he have in himself the experience and the practice of all that which is praiseworthy.
Page xxx - I applied myself to that resolution, which Ariosto followed against the persuasions of Bembo, to fix all the industry and art I could unite to the adorning of .my native tongue...
Page 19 - To what thou hast ; and, for the air of youth, Hopeful and cheerful, in thy blood will reign A melancholy damp of cold and dry To weigh thy spirits down, and last consume The balm of life.

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