Paradise lost lines 1 - 83

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Paradise lost lines 1 - 83

  1. 1. Paradise Lost Book 1 Lines 01 – 26 The Invocation
  2. 2. Of man’s first disobedience, and the fruitOf that forbidden tree, whose mortal tasteBrought death into the world, and all our woe,With loss of Eden, till one greater manRestore us, and regain the blissful seat, 05Sing heavenly muse, that on the secret topOf Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspireThat shepherd, who first taught the chosen seed,In the beginning how the heavens and earthRose out of chaos: Or if Sion hill 10Delight thee more, and Siloas brook that flowedFast by the oracle of God; I thenceInvoke thy aid to my adventurous song,That with no middle flight intends to soarAbove the Aonian mount, while it pursues 15Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme.
  3. 3. The opening five lines state the argument or subject of the epic just asthe opening lines of Homer’s Odyssey and Iliad announce the subject ofthose classical epics. 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 loss of Eden, till one greater man Restore us, and regain the blissful seat,Sing, goddess, the anger of Peleus’ son Achillesand its devastation, which put pains thousandfold upon the Achaians,hurled in their multitudes to the house of Hades strong soulsof heroes, but gave their bodies to be the delicate feastingof dogs, of all birds, and the will of Zeus was accomplishedsince that time when first there stood in division of conflictAtreus’ son the lord of men and brilliant Achilles. . . .The Iliad (trans 1951 Richard Lattimore) Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story of that man skilled in all ways of contending, the wanderer, harried for years on end, after he plundered the stronghold on the proud height of Troy. The Odyssey (trans 1961 Robert Fitzgerald)
  4. 4. Sing heavenly muse…?In classical Greek mythology, Calliope(Καλλιόπη "beautiful-voiced") was the museof epic poetry, daughter of Zeus andMnemosyne (Memory), and is now best knownas Homers muse, the inspiration for theOdyssey and the Iliad.Calliope had two famous sons, Orpheus andLinus. She taught Orpheus verses for singing.Calliope is always seen with a writing tablet inher hand. At times, she is depicted as carryinga roll of paper or a book or wearing a goldcrown.Who might be Milton’s ‘heavenly’ muse if notCalliope?
  5. 5. Sing heavenly muse, that on the secret top Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire That shepherd, who first taught the chosen seed, In the beginning how the heavens and earth Rose out of chaos:By adding details of Oreb and Sinai Milton associates himself with Moses the lawgiver,who brought the ten commandments from Sinai, and Moses ‘that shepherd’ and bard ofthe Jews, who taught them their history and revealed their future.Specially the day that thou stoodest before the LORDthy God in Horeb, when the LORD said unto me,Gather me the people together, and I will make themhear my words, that they may learn to fear me all thedays that they shall live upon the earth, and that theymay teach their children.Deuteronomy 4.10 And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the LORD called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up. Exodus 19.20
  6. 6. …Or if Sion hill Delight thee more, and Siloas brook that flowed Fast by the oracle of God; I thence Invoke thy aid to my adventurous song, That with no middle flight intends to soar Above the Aonian mount...Here Milton invites comparison to the classical Muses who also favoured mountains andtheir nearby streams. The oracle at Delphi was by the Catalian spring on MountParnassus; the oracle of God was on Mount Zion by Siloa’s brook. The classical Museswere thought to live near the spring Hippocrene on the side of Mount Helicon, ‘th’AonianMount’ inhabited by the Pegasus, the winged horse that symbolized poetic inspiration asit could fly to Mount Olympus above ‘the middle flight’ - above the ordinary… …while it pursues Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme. This isn’t Milton saying he’s Charlie Big Potatoes (well, maybe a bit). This is a translation of a line from Ariosto’s Italian Renaissance epic Orlando Furioso (1532) (the Frenzy of Orlando) which is about a war that takes place between Christian Charlemagne and his paladins and the invading Saracen heathens. Milton is emphasising the greatness and seriousness of his undertaking.
  7. 7. And chiefly thou O Spirit, that dost prefer Before all temples the upright heart and pure, Instruct me, for thou knowest; thou from the first Wast present, and with mighty wings outspread 20 Dove-like satst brooding on the vast abyss And madst it pregnant: What in me is dark Illumine, what is low raise and support; That to the heighth of this great argument I may assert eternal providence, 25 And justify the ways of God to men.Q. What effect does the opening ‘invocation’ have?
  8. 8. An epic poem is:A long narrative poem;On a serious subject;Written in a grand or elevated style;Centred on a larger-than-life hero.Epics also tend to have the following characteristics:An opening in medias res;An invocation to the Muse;A concern with the fate of a nation or people;A correspondingly large scale, often ranging around the world (and in Miltonscase, beyond the earth and into heaven);The intervention of supernatural figures, who are interested in the outcome of theaction (the system of gods, demons, angels, and such is often called machinery);Extended similes, generally called epic similes;Long catalogues, whether of ships, characters, or places;Extensive battle scenes;A few stock episodes, including a visit to the underworld.Q. To what extent does the opening of ‘Paradise Lost’ conform to theconventions of the epic poem?
  9. 9. Paradise Lost Book 1 Lines 27 – 49 The Scope
  10. 10. Say first, for heav’n hides nothing from thy viewNor the deep tract of Hell, say first what causeMoved our grand parents in that happy state,Favoured of Heaven so highly, to fall off 30From their Creator, and transgress his willFor one restraint, lords of the world besides?Who first seduced them to that foul revolt?The infernal serpent; he it was, whose guileStirred up with envy and revenge, deceived 35The mother of mankind, what time his prideHad cast him out from Heaven, with all his hostOf rebel angels, by whose aid aspiringTo set himself in glory above his peers,He trusted to have equalled the most high, 40If he opposed; and with ambitious aimAgainst the throne and monarchy of GodRaised impious war in Heaven and battle proudWith vain attempt. Him the Almighty PowerHurled headlong flaming from the ethereal sky 45With hideous ruin and combustion downTo bottomless perdition, there to dwellIn adamantine chains and penal fire,Who durst defy the Omnipotent to arms.
  11. 11. Say first, for heav’n hides nothing from thy viewNor the deep tract of Hell, say first what causeMoved our grand parents in that happy state,Favoured of Heaven so highly, to fall off 30From their Creator, and transgress his willFor one restraint, lords of the world besides?Who first seduced them to that foul revolt?
  12. 12. The infernal serpent; he it was, whose guileStirred up with envy and revenge, deceived 35The mother of mankind, what time his prideHad cast him out from Heaven, with all his hostOf rebel angels, by whose aid aspiringTo set himself in glory above his peers,He trusted to have equalled the most high, 40If he opposed; and with ambitious aimAgainst the throne and monarchy of GodRaised impious war in Heaven and battle proudWith vain attempt. …
  13. 13. …Him the Almighty Power Hurled headlong flaming from the ethereal sky 45 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. …Long is the way …from mornAnd hard, that out of Hell leads up to light. To noon he fell, from noon to dewy eve,Our prison strong, this huge convex of fire, A summer’s day; and with the setting sunOutrageous to devour, immures us round 435 Dropt from the zenith like a falling star, 745Ninefold; and gates of burning adamant, On Lemnos the Aegean isle:Barred over us, prohibit all egress. PL Book IPL Book 2 Q. What techniques does Milton use to introduce Satan?
  14. 14. Him the Almighty PowerHurled headlong flaming from th’ ethereal sky,With hideous ruin and combustion, downTo bottomless perdition, there to dwellIn adamantine chains and penal fire,Who durst defy th’ Omnipotent to arms.
  15. 15. Paradise Lost Book 1 Lines 50 – 83Introduction to Hell
  16. 16. Nine times the space that measures day and night 50To mortal men, he with his horrid crewLay vanquished, rolling in the fiery gulfConfounded though immortal: But his doomReserved him to more wrath; for now the thoughtBoth of lost happiness and lasting pain 55Torments him; round he throws his baleful eyesThat witnessed huge affliction and dismayMixed with obdurate pride and steadfast hate:At once as far as angels ken he viewsThe dismal situation waste and wild, 60A dungeon horrible, on all sides roundAs one great furnace flamed, yet from those flamesNo light, but rather darkness visibleServed only to discover sights of woe,Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace 65And rest can never dwell, hope never comesThat comes to all; but torture without endStill urges, and a fiery Deluge, fedWith ever-burning sulfur unconsumed:Such place eternal justice had prepared 70For those rebellious, here their prison ordainedIn utter darkness, and their portion setAs far removed from God and light of HeavenAs from the center thrice to the utmost pole.Oh how unlike the place from whence they fell! 75There the companions of his fall, overwhelmedWith floods and whirlwinds of tempestuous fire,He soon discerns, and weltering by his sideOne next himself in power, and next in crime,Long after known in Palestine, and named 80Beelzebub. To whom the arch-enemy,And thence in Heaven called Satan, with bold wordsBreaking the horrid silence thus began.
  17. 17. Nine times the space that measures day and night 50To mortal men, he with his horrid crewLay vanquished, rolling in the fiery gulfConfounded though immortal: But his doomReserved him to more wrath; for now the thoughtBoth of lost happiness and lasting pain 55Torments him; round he throws his baleful eyesThat witnessed huge affliction and dismayMixed with obdurate pride and steadfast hate:
  18. 18. At once as far as angels ken he viewsThe dismal situation waste and wild, 60A dungeon horrible, on all sides roundAs one great furnace flamed, yet from those flamesNo light, but rather darkness visibleServed only to discover sights of woe,Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace 65And rest can never dwell, hope never comesThat comes to all; but torture without endStill urges, and a fiery Deluge, fedWith ever-burning sulfur unconsumed:A land of darkness, as darkness itself; and of the shadow of death, without any order,and where the light is as darkness.Job Chapter 10 Lines 20-22
  19. 19. Such place eternal justice had prepared 70For those rebellious, here their prison ordainedIn utter darkness, and their portion setAs far removed from God and light of HeavenAs from the center thrice to the utmost pole.
  20. 20. Oh how unlike the place from whence they fell! 75There the companions of his fall, overwhelmedWith floods and whirlwinds of tempestuous fire,He soon discerns, and weltering by his sideOne next himself in power, and next in crime,Long after known in Palestine, and named 80Beelzebub. To whom the arch-enemy,And thence in Heaven called Satan, with bold wordsBreaking the horrid silence thus began.And Ahaziah fell down through a lattice in his upper chamber that was in Samaria, and was sick:and he sent messengers, and said unto them, Go, inquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron whetherI shall recover of this disease.2 Kings 1.2-3But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebubthe prince of the devils.Matthew 10.24Baal Zebub means ‘lord of the flies’…
  21. 21. Q. Do we sympathise with Satan’s situation here?How pictorial is Milton’s description?Q. Essay question on lines 1 – 83How are the opening lines similar, and different to atraditional epic poem? What similarities anddifferences can you draw between the opening ofParadise Lost and the opening of the Duchess of Malfi?
  22. 22. http://www.paradiselost.org/8-Search-All.html http://bible.cc/2_kings/1-2.htm

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