Whom does Milton call upon at the beginning of the epic? What question does he ask about Adam and Eve?
He calls upon the Heavenly Muse. He asks why Adam and Eve violated God’s one restriction on their freedom
What is Milton’s purpose in writing this epic poem?
His purpose is to affirm God’s benevolence and to explain God’s treatment of humanity
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Why was Satan cast out of heaven?
He leads a rebellion of angels against God
In his first speech, what does Satan tell Beelzebulb that he will never do? What course does he favor instead?
He will never “repent or change”. He seeks revenge by ruining God’s plans and mounting another attack against heaven
According to lines 210-220, who allows Satan the freedom to pursue his evil intentions?
“All ruling heaven”, that is God
In his last speech, what does Satan claim are the advantages of life in hell?
He and his angels are assured freedom there
According to Milton, how is the rebellion of Satan and the angels against God connected to “mans first disobedience” and the origin of evil in the world? How does Milton explain the existence of evil in a world created by a loving God?
Out of vengefulness, Satan plans to corrupt God’s original plan for humanity. According to Milton, God allows evil to exist in order that good may arise from it
How is hell both a phsychologicl state and a physical place? What do you make of the poet’s use of an oxymoron in the phrase ” darkness visible”?
Hell is a place of physical torment because it is fiery yet dark. Words and phrases such as “doom”, “lost happens”, and “dismay” suggest physiological pain. The oxymoron “darkness visible” hints at the character of hell , a state of horror beyond human comprehension
In his opening speech, Satan vows never to change. Nevertheless, where can you catch hints that the angels long for his former state? How might this yearning relate to Milton’s mention of ” the thought of lost happiness” in lines 54-55?
Satan’s tone is mournful when he laments Beelzebulb’s lost glory and when he compares the sight of hell to the memory of heaven. His greatest sorrow is losing his happiness and status in heaven
In lines 210-220 the speaker offers assurance that despite all of Satan’s power the devil is still subject to God’s purposes.
How do these lines contribute a level of dramatic irony to Satan’s ringing assertion of freedom in lines 242-270?
Satan’s assertion of independence contrasts sharply with Milton’s statement that his actions are allowed by “high permission of all ruling heaven”. Since he only exists with God’s permission, he can never be free of God. This is an example of dramatic irony.
The reader grasps this fact while Satan does not
How do people today still use the arguments and rationalizations used by Satan and his old crony Beezlebulb in lines 143-168?
Some people believe that evil is as much under God’s control as is good. That God created both and anything good has potential for evil and vice versa
Judging by this excerpt does Milton succeed in explaining the cause of evil and suffering in this world?
Milton’s explanation is logical and satisfying assuming one believes in God. Other explanations for the existence of evil and suffering tend toward chaos and randomness, which some people may find to believe than Milton’s view