John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book 1

[Music] foreign we would be looking at Milton’s poem Paradise Lost   and I mentioned that it was an epic but  I know that and some of you who were with   me last semester are acquainted with the  Epic because we did four of them in total.  

We looked at the Odyssey we looked at Virgil’s  Aeneid we looked at actually five we did briefly   Ovid of its metamorphosis although we just talked  about the beginning of it just to compare it   to Genesis how the creation accounts differ  and are similar for that matter in some ways  

Uh we looked at Dante’s Divine Comedy and then  we looked at the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf which   is a little different than the others because  it doesn’t follow the Greco-Roman conventions   but it struck me I should say some of the things  that uh or summarize what I said last semester  

Even for those of you who were here um some  of the things that I lecture upon um are not   it’s not that you didn’t hear them it’s that you  didn’t see the importance of because it seemed   sort of peripheral uh the conventions of the  Epic are significant in terms of identifying the  

Features just from a literary perspective when  we read stories we tend to be trying to derive   the meaning like what’s going on in the story like  who are the main characters how does the plot work  

Um and and so forth and and basically we’re  trying to get that out of it but from a literary   perspective we’re trying to look at the devices  that are used to create the meaning and the form  

And the content go together and the one uh in  fact I’m going to say from a literary perspective   the form is what allows the content to be  powerful and it’s even part of the content   and that’s particularly the case with poetry  most people don’t read poetry these days  

Um they read blog posts they read maybe if they’re  interested in fiction they might read long novels   novels are can be artistic but  they’re not the form of the novel   is in general less sophisticated  and certainly less conspicuously  

Um artistic than a poem is the poem it jumps out  at you particularly if it’s an older poem in which   we find a meter a regular beat in the poem and  things like rhyme and other literary devices well  

One of the poem types of poetry that we looked at  is the Epic last semester and the reason for that   is actually down in the I’ve listed them here in  advance because my my leash is a bit short here  

And I didn’t want to yank this all down but also  just to save me a bit of time is in the seventh   point this is the reason that I’m looking  at an epic uh in a intro to literature class  

Even though there are all sorts of different  types of writing I’m I’m I’ve placed a great   deal of emphasis on the Epic because an epic is an  encyclopedic poem you can’t read it you can come  

Forward if you can’t I can’t no no any of you I I  don’t know if you can read it or not down so low   it’s encyclopedic what’s an encyclopedia  encyclopedia is you’ll it’s just a a compository  

Of books uh intended for children and it contains  all the information and we WE Post 18th century we   alphabetize it A to Z and there will be entries  under it you’ll maybe see a picture there’ll be   a little write-up and it’ll explain what’s in  there and an encyclopedia is really everything  

That you could know and presented at the audience  at a basic level it’s not meant to be exhaustive   or anything like that that’s what encyclopedia is  within the word encyclopedia is that word paidea   and it’s an and paideia is in reference  to Children a child in Greek is Pais  

A child and uh and the encyclos everything  around that around childhood so it’s to educate   uh children so that they understand the world  around them it’s for us it’s just a form of   knowledge that’s what an encyclopedia is  it’s just a list it’s just information  

In the Epic tradition encyclopedia  contains far more than what we have   reduced uh knowledge to be which is  we’ve reduced it to be information   and and just that but the moral component  and the component of learning how to live  

In other words wisdom is in part is a  part of the Epic encyclopedic tradition   and the purpose of it is pi Daya now what why  do I mention that and why is that significant   to us well because in uh Ephesians 6 4  Paul says that parents should educate  

Their children in the fear and admonition of the  Lord one of the words there for that is paideia   admonition there is actually it’s  not as it it’s it’s a bad translation um piide and nuthasia fear and abolition  it’s a strange translation let me tell you  

It’s got It’s not even close to the original  sense there’s a interpretation going on there   but it’s to bring children up in the fear of  the Lord that’s why the fear is put there and   that’s the right way to educate um but  Paul is intensely interested in the uh  

Path of Education it’s Central to the biblical  witness as well so in in Deuteronomy 6 as well   um Moses uh says that we should hear o Israel  it’s called the Shema Shema or Israel you are   to love the Lord with all your heart all  your soul all your mind all your strength  

You’ve heard that before who says that in your  recognition it’s probably not Moses who says that   that phrase and in what context sure Jesus  yes yes Jesus and in response to what question was the greatest commandment and he cites  Deuteronomy where Moses is talking to Israel  

About teaching because he then goes on to say and  you are to teach these things to your children   and you’re to write them on your foreheads on  your arms on the doors of your homes and on the  

Gates of the city in other words it’s to govern  your thoughts your actions your domestic sphere   and the Public Square and that is uh part of the  piidea of God it’s to teach in that context but  

It’s also to live rightly now the encyclopedic  Epic does the same thing I’m not saying that it   is equivalent but I’m saying it’s trying to do  the exact same sort of thing it’s particularly   intended towards how to understand the world and  how to live it and in what sense does it cover  

Those things well it it has certain conventions uh  I’ll skip the first one here and the second one it   talks in the third one about the Council of the  Gods it teaches us about the nature of the Gods  

This is not just any old story most narratives  don’t do this as I say an encycl an epic is a   long narrative heroic poem but most heroic poems  these days don’t deal with the gods the nature of  

The Gods and how they relate to us but epics do  they begin that way they’re written in app with   epic diction so in this case it’s written in a  style that is an exalted style It’s a grand Style   conspicuously Grand so if you find you’re  reading Milton you find this is really  

Hard to read it’s written in very literary  language well that’s intentional on his part   he could have done otherwise but he wants it  to have a a weightiness to a greatness about it   and he’ll use epic similes and so forth  I’ll I’ll show those to you when we come  

Upon them it will also contain a descent into  the underworld so it will only talk about the   gods above but also what happens below in other  words uh the underworld is the realm of the Dead and as I say it’s encyclopedia it will contain  everything it’ll talk it’ll give us an account  

Of human history we’ll find that in Paradise Lost  I don’t think we’re going to look at it in this   class but in Paradise Lost 11 and 12 it will give  an account of human history from the beginning   which is where this whole epic begins in  Paradise all the way to the present day  

And going forward to the second coming of Christ  it will give the whole account of human history   well we got that in the underworld in Homer and  Virgil all that was given it was on the uh say  

De virgils or to Aeneas he was given an account of  what would happen after he founded Rome what Rome   would go on to do so it was looking prospectively  towards the future so it was not only telling us  

About the gods about the nature of of Good and  Evil uh what’s happening to the dead afterwards   but also the whole trajectory of human history  so it’s telling us everything about everything   not many not many forms of  literature do this but an epic does  

And we’re going to look now at Milton’s  account which is a a Christian take on   this so the pagans had a certain view of this  the Pagan Greeks the Pagan Romans what’s the   Christian view of the nature of the Gods what’s  the Christian view of the nature of heroism

What’s the Christian form of the  understanding of what happens in death and what’s the Christian notion of paideia  all those things are going to be brought   into Focus here and we’re going to see that  we can compare and contrast the Greek and  

The Roman understanding of these things with  the Christian understanding of these things   and that’s that comparison is explicit but in  order to make the comparison Milton does what I think is entirely sensible to do and  is the traditional way of approaching  

It which is to use the uh let’s say  the flagpole that’s already been set   up by his foregoors and to to run  up his own flag up the flagpole   so when I say that Milt if I say that Milton’s  Paradise loss is the greatest poem ever written  

Um I could just be expressing my feelings about it   but uh you might say so what I don’t feel that way  myself and I don’t I think I don’t think it is the   greatest I will be able to say and doesn’t mean  I’m going to persuade you but I’m going to be able  

To say yes but compare Milton to his uh the other  candidates for the greatest poem ever written   and how will we compare it well we’ll look at  how they use the exact same devices and the same  

Methodologies Etc and see which one is greater  and we’ll be able to compare them side by side   this has happened this happens today in uh in all  manners of uh life usually in sports and so forth  

Who is the the goat the greatest of all time  that sort of stuff right music whatever well   how do you do that well you compare like  with like and you set them alongside one   another and you’ll look at statistics and stuff  like that I’m not interested in statistics here  

I don’t think that’s actually a good way  to compare people and I I find it in those   athletic comparisons they’re always talking about  athletes from different eras and looking at their   points totals or number of yards or who knows what  and you’ll say but the game is very different now  

Than it was then and I saw that guy play and I saw  that guy play and that guy who played whose stats   aren’t as good as better than that guy and you’ll  say okay whatever so it’s all qualitative then  

Yes and this is but this is the objective form  of a qualitative observation we can look at   how they follow certain conventions  and these are the Epic conventions   and we can talk about them as a literary literary  features and every successive poet who wants to  

Say this poem deserves to be compared to the great  poems of the past will follow the conventions even   if they’re going to try and outdo the foregoing  Apex but you can’t outdo them if you don’t follow   in their footsteps so there is a certain um  course of action that every generation follows  

And this is why you go this is what education is  about education doesn’t begin from Ground Zero   each generation it builds on what came before  it I’m speaking the English language it’s a an   inheritance which is Rich and deep and long and  I didn’t invent the language I don’t even invent  

Many words uh and if I did you wouldn’t know what  I meant by them until they started to be used and   then they become uh you know fashionable for a  little while and then people forget it and think  

Well that was sort of yeah it was trendy at the  time and oh yeah that sounds really stupid now   like the word cool I don’t know if cool is  cool anymore what’s the cool word for cool now  

Is it anything no I don’t even know I’m too  uncool to know what’s cool so I I don’t even   try to do that after a while when you get  old enough you realize that the worst the  

Least cool thing you can do is to try to be cool  when you’re old is just you know give up on that and so I have so those are the Epic features uh  in general now we’re going to see how they apply  

In Milton’s Paradise law so let me put this  up on the screen here and I’ll have to push   this out of the way try not to  bring the whole house down here so it worked

So as I said the uh one of the Epic conventions  the first one on the whiteboard there was that it   begins with invoking a muse now what is a muse the  muses there were nine of them in classical Greek  

And Latin poetry they were the goddesses of memory  or they were born from their mother whose memory   that was her name and they were her children  and the nine children were associated with   particular Arts there was an epic Muse there  was a muse for history Cleo there was an app  

There was a muse for lyrical poetry there’s a  muse for history etc etc there’s all different   types of Muses there’s one specifically dedicated  to the epic poem however and this is the one that   Milton will uh invoke now when he does so Milton  being a Christian could be accused of paganism oh  

I need to backtrack a little bit  I was I didn’t finish a thought which is that uh Milton is following the footstep  of of foregoing poets but he could have said what   does a Christian have to do with paganism at all  why am I bothering following Pagan conventions

Christianity is true it’s it’s it’s it’s  it’s the true revelation of who God is and   all other Revelations of the gods are nothing  but idolatry it’s why would I even bother with   it what does Athens have to do with Jerusalem  let’s just let’s let’s start all over again

As I say he could have done that and you you  could have said that’s a legitimate path to to uh   to follow but all I can say is that you would  lose a great deal of the force of persuasion  

In in Christian teaching if you ignored all the  cultures of the world around you you couldn’t say   look how much greater the gospel is than you’re  teaching about the gods look how much more loving   God is in the Christian understanding than the  gods of this world if you didn’t even bother with  

A comparison I’m not even going to use any forms  of comparison as I say you could do that because   you would say all of these are Idols they’re  nothing the gods of this world are not Gods at all   people worship them but there’s nothing there  

But that’s not what Milton does and that’s  never what people uh who uh have gone out as   missionaries the world have done either they have  spoken to people in the terms of the culture in   which they’re living and and made the comparison  so that they can understand now this is the thing  

About Christianity it is a rational Faith it’s a  it’s a persuasive means conversion is not beating   people into submission it’s it’s drawing them  helping them to understand it’s part of the piidea   it’s it’s it’s showing them teaching them and  you do that by comparison so you talk about  

Gichi Manitou I’m going to tell you  about Jesus Jesus is God the son   and let me talk to you and we’ll but I’ll do it  in comparison with terms of gods in which you   already understand this is what happened in the  Greco-Roman world and it moved into let’s say the  

Germanic world into uh every country of the earth  now and so there it was used comparatively anyway   so sorry going back to this so he begins  with an invocation of a muse but he also  

Begins with his theme his great theme Here because  I said to you as I think it was point eight that   each epic writer seeks to compare himself to the  foregoing epic writers but also to outdo them  

To outdo them well what were the Greek and Roman  epics for those of you who didn’t do them here   um what was the main theme well in The  Iliad the first great epic it was the   Rage of Achilles the very first line  the word first word was Roth the wrath  

Of Achilles that was what the whole of the  Epic was about and then the question was why   is he angry and he was angry because he  was being shown disrespect by Agamemnon and uh he said I deserve the utmost of respect  I need to be treated as the greatest among the  

Greeks and you’re not treating me so so it’s  about Achilles sense of greatness and his and   his pride in other words uh the Odyssey by Homer  is about a man by the name of Odysseus who is wise   it was about the wisdom of Odysseus in both  cases they’re just Greek princes dealing with  

Individuals the Roman epic goes a bit further than  that because that’s just for the Greek world that   uh Achilles and Odysseus are considered great  although Alexander the Great slapped with a   copy of The Iliad under his bed when he went and  conquered the whole known world so it’s not that  

It had no influence it was part of his paideia  to look up to Achilles and to want to be like   Achilles and he became Alexander the Great but  Aeneas in Virgil’s rendition uh he be the Virgil  

Begins his poem of arms and of a man I sang a  reference to the war of uh Troy and of the man   Odysseus so the two epics of Homer are being  compared to the one Epic of Virgil and he’s  

Saying my my man is greater and why because  the Roman Empire is far greater than the Greeks   he is this this hero is going to go on to found  Rome which is the greatest city of its time in  

Fact there’s a whole empire it it encompasses the  whole Known World and here’s the beginning of that   so it’s not just an ancient historical epic it’s  related to the present here and now and it will be  

An Empire which will um we’re living in a golden  age says Virgil so it’s a greater epic says he   ah I’ll skip over the other epics let’s just come  to this one here’s Milton’s theme of Man’s first   disobedience and the fruit of that forbidden  tree which brought death into our world and  

All our woe with loss of Eden till one greater  man restore it and regain the Blissful seat sing   Heavenly Muse that on the secret top of orobor of  Sinai okay sing Heavenly Muse so is he referring  

To the muses of the of memory the Pagan Muses no  it’s the Heavenly Muse well and there’s only one   and in this case we probably say it’s the Holy  Spirit well why would we say that because he   makes repeated references to inspiration he  refers to Aura Mount Orab or Mount Sinai did  

Inspire that Shepherd who first taught the  chosen seed who is that well that’s Moses he’s appealing to the same spirit that taught  Moses to write down the the first five books   of the Bible the pentateuch or a reference to  soloa’s Brook that flowed fast by the Oracle  

Of God again references to the Holy Spirit  Milton is invoking the holy spirit as his God   as his Divine Muse to tell this story  so even in the invocation of his Muse   he’s out doing the foregoing epics because  this is a grand theme by God himself not  

One of the nine Muses dedicated to memory  but the god of Gods who is always taught but note he mentions two men  here this is very interesting   a man’s first disobedience till one  greater man restore us who are these men

Yes yes very good so Man’s first  Disobedience that will be Jesus or Adam   not Jesus that would be a problem and yet he will also include a second man or  as it says in Paul’s Epistles the second Adam

And he will restore what was lost now this the  Epic here is called Paradise Lost but it will   include within it not only how Paradise was lost  but how it will in future be restored that’s not  

The subject matter of this poem but it’s being  it will be brought to our attention at the end   of the poem it’s not all lost there here’s what’s  going to happen in the future to redeem what you  

Adam have lost your one of your seed well regain  what all you lost and will restore Paradise to you but note how it begins and note the style it long  sentences I I said you should read it aloud and  

This is the reason because it if you don’t read it  aloud it’s easy to get lost in the in the long uh   uh Clauses and the lengthy syntax which is often  uh twisting and turning and so forth but there he  

Wants us and he announces his subject matter  he’s going to describe the loss of Eden and   its restoration and us to sing of these or if  it’s not going to the height of the mountain   where we first where God reveals himself to  Moses and gives him the Ten Commandments and  

Also reveals to him the account of his human  history from its early Beginnings rights in   Genesis remember this is the these are the books  of Moses Moses wasn’t there for this it’s been   revealed to him here’s what happened here’s how  creation began Etc or if you don’t want to talk  

About it in terms of the the Mountaintop  let’s talk about it as a little Brook   silos Brook the water that symbolizes the holy  spirit in a very like it’s trickling Beneath Your   Feet it’s not up on the mountain where you’re  terrified it’s down here but Milton invokes  

Thy Aid Thai is a reference a personal  reference to God here I invoke thy Aid   to my adventurous song that and here’s the  again the attempt to outdo with no middle   flight intends to soar above the aeonian  amount above the Greek Mountain far above

While it pursues things  unattempted yet in prose or rhyme and chiefly thou o Spirit the dust  prefer before all temples the upright   heart and pure oh I didn’t even  want to use this one this one instruct me for thou knowest  thou from the first was present  

And with Mighty Wings outspread Dove like shots  brooding on the vast abyss and made strip pregnant   what in me is dark illumine what is low  raise and support that to the height of   this great argument I may assert Eternal  Providence and justify the ways of God to  

Man now no poet has ever claimed to or even  tried to do what Milton’s trying to do here   Dante did not try to do it in his  Divine Comedy there is no claim to uh   call upon the holy spirit like this at  the outset and to recount these things  

And to outdo the foregoing epics it was not  it was never so explicit Milton is very bold others will be very critical of Mr Milton  for what he will eventually do which is   depict God himself speaking  that Dante does not do that  

He gets it at the end of The Divine  Comedy there’s a vision of the trinity   which he can barely uh comprehend he can’t even  look at it it’s So Glorious so there’s an element   of humility that’s not here in Milton Milton is  is saying here’s how God has revealed himself so  

I will be bold if he has said this is the way I am  to be understood I will not say I’m being humble   by denying that I’ve seen this I will I will  lean on the Revelation and say that it is so  

But note that he is going to do things  unattempted yet in proza rhyme to assert   Eternal Providence Eternal Providence so it’s  going to comprehend all of human history is   it greater than the epics before well of  course it is because it’s not confined  

To the Roman Empire the Roman Empire which  in Milton’s day is now no longer an Empire and he has one final feature of it which is an  interesting one here there’s a recognition despite   the boldness of his attempt that he is not only  unable to articulate it on his own but his own  

Person is darkened by what  we Christians will call sin he has a a moral problem a spiritual problem  which is that he’s a sinner that’s not the   epics of the Pagan world don’t even acknowledge  the category of sin as as such they understand  

Moral transgression and so forth they do  that but they they they’re not going to   acknowledge that they are morally incapable  of telling the tale while telling the tale so Melton needs God to be able to tell about God  

So this is a real appeal it’s and and you can  only see that by comparison with the foregoing   epics how different this is how comparable  it is but also how different it is so this uh  

Beginning here is is often called the prologomina  or just the uh invocation of the Muse by the way   there’s going to be four of them in Paradise Lost  there’s one here there’s another one in book three   which will be the place where we will go  down to the underworld which in Milton’s  

Understanding is actually not the underworld  he’s going to go to heaven in book three   when he goes to see God and describe the  courts of God he will invoke The Muse again

He’ll do it in book Seven he’ll also do it in book  nine he’ll do it in book Seven when he’s going to   describe the heavens as in the uh the Stars  astronomy and he’ll do it again in book nine  

We’ll see this in a couple classes when he talks  about the fall of mankind so four times he invokes   The Muse and he does it with slightly different  language but I’ll look at those as we do it as  

Well any comments or questions about this thus far  I spend a fair bit of time on the beginning here   and throwing a fair bit at you yes yes in what sense do you mean that though well well his Revelation was the  one that ended up in the Bible

No he’s not trying to add to revelation I mean  at the end of John’s uh Revelation it says that   no man if anyone who seeks to add to this will  be anathema right there’s a he’s not going to  

Add to Revelation he is going to take what is  a revelation and put it in the clothes of the   Pagan epic and he’s going to show the man that  is in these clothes is like the Hulk he pops the  

Clothes apart this is a man that can’t be  constrained by the clothes of Bruce Banner   that’s sort of what’s going on here right so  here’s the man and let me show you what becomes   of the man when the Christian story comes in  it and what I’ve said there is inappropriate in  

The sense that his notion of heroism is going  to be the exact opposite of worldly heroism   the the uh understanding of worldly heroism we’re  about to meet him in in book one his name is Satan

The proud Satan the indomitable Satan the man who  or or the being who will not bow to anyone who’s   going to be the greatest he’s going to beat his  chest like Achilles he will be angry and he will  

Be proud and he will bow to no one that’s not  Milton’s heroism so he’s gonna he’s also going   to completely reforge the understanding of heroism  when he comes to give his Christian paidea to us  

And again we see this by looking at the Pagan epic  and how it develops and then take the Christian   epic and alongside it by the way when I say the  Pagan epic that’s the Greco-Roman one but I would  

Say it’s the world’s epic like that the idea of  human greatness a great man leading his country   that’s in every country of the  world not just the Greco-Roman   to our day think of the pop stars the  athletes whatever these are the heroes

You know what it’s not just that they’re  athletically gifted it’s they have an indomitable   Spirit they get up when they get knocked down and  they will not stop they’re Relentless we admire   their Spirit that’s what makes them great Milton’s  heroism is going to be far greater than that how

While he’s going to talk about it at the  end of the Epic his hero will be humble and he will bear the sins of the  world the sins that he did not have for a people that he loved but they did not  deserve him it’s a totally different way of  

Understanding heroism it’s not the sly lying  Odysseus it’s not the proud indomitable Achilles it’s the humble Shepherd born of a virgin in  a Backwater of Jerusalem right right or on   the outskirts of Jerusalem in Bethlehem born in a  manger that’s going to be his hero okay who’s the  

Anti-hero then well let’s come and meet him now  say first says Milton now he’s speaking to the   muse or the Holy Spirit say first for heaven hides  nothing from thy view nor the Deep tract of hell   say first what cause moved our  grandparents in that Happy State  

Favorite of heaven so highly to fall off from  their creator and transgress his will for one   restraint Lords of the Earth the world besides  who first seduced them to that foul revolt   answers his own question The Infernal serpent  he it was whose guile stood up with envy and  

Revenge deceived the mother of mankind what  time his pride had cast him out from heaven   and all his hosts of Rebel Angels by whose Aid  aspiring to set himself in glory above his peers   he trusted to have equaled the most high if  he opposed and with ambitious aim against the  

Throne and monarchy of God raised impious war in  heaven and battle proud with vain attempt so how   did it happen and who did it who brought this all  about Satan and when did it begin it actually did  

Not begin in the Garden of Eden it began before  that so Milton is going to give us a count which   predates what we read in Genesis  but is mentioned in Scripture there’s a there was a war in heaven and Satan  and the rebel Angels were thrown down a third of  

Them from the courts of God they rebelled against  him Satan was once Lucifer he was the he was the   bearer of light he was one of the angels of God he  sought to be on par with God to be a god-like gods  

And he for his sin and sin we’re going to come  to the origins of sin he was cast down that’s who   and he’s going to go backtrack and show us what  began before the beginning there’s a supernatural   element to human life there’s a  war amongst the gods if you will or  

In this case between God and the  one who pretended he could be God it was him and what happened so we’ll we’ll  give the account now he’s going to begin this   unlike the foregoing epics  he’s going to begin it in hell  

Having begun with the invocation he says  well how did this fall from Paradise happen   it happened because of Satan well now  that I’ve mentioned him let’s look at him for which reason some people later and I say so  he brings the underworld right to the front of the  

Epic and usually it doesn’t come till much later  so in in the Odyssey I believe it’s in book 11. Odysseus goes down to the underworld  to find information about his uh his   father and and how to get home and  all that sort of stuff in the Aeneid  

Aeneas goes down to the underworld in book  six he goes down a Trojan he comes up a Roman   very different character but note it’s in the  middle of the book Milton pulls it to the front   of the book and so for some people they have  suggested that Milton’s hero is actually Satan

Because we’re going to be introduced  to this Grand character of Satan at the   beginning and he has terrifically  powerful and persuasive speeches and uh so one romantic author  William Blake says that Milton   was of the devil’s party without  knowing it he was too successful

In fact he’s going to say that his Satan is more  admirable than his God is we’ll come back to that   when we look at Milton’s God next time but  he raised and Pious war in heaven and battle   proud with vain attempt the attempt fails him the  almighty power hurled headlong flaming from the  

Ethereal sky with Hideous Rune and combustion  down to bottomless Perdition there to dwell   in adamantine chains and penal fire who dirstify  the omnipotent to Arms nine times the space that   measures day and night to Mortal men he and his  horrid crew lay vanquished so now they’re on the  

Floor of hell if you could call it a floor  because it’s not a floor it’s a Lake of Fire rolling in the fiery Gulf  confounded though Immortal but   his Doom that is Satan’s Doom reserved him to more   wrath for now the thought both of lost  happiness and Lasting pain torments him

Here’s Satan’s problem he is not only left the  place of utmost Joy beholding God to a place where   he not only does not see God but he remembers what  he’s lost in seeing God and he’s he’s surrounded  

By Everlasting pain will he will he recant will  he seek to uh call for forgiveness he will not for all of the things that he has lost for all  the pain that he suffers he will not relent  

And so we’ll come to a speech and that but he  looks around he throws his baleful eyes that   witness huge Affliction and dismay mixed with  object pride and steadfast hate at once as far   as angels can he views the Dismal situation  waste and while the dungeon horrible on all  

Sides around as one great furnace flamed  yet from those Flames no light but rather   Darkness visible served only to discover sites  of Woe regions of Sorrow doleful Shades where   peace and rest can never dwell hope never comes  that comes to all but torture Without End still  

Urges in a fiery Deluge fed with ever burning  sulfur unconsumed such place Eternal Justice had   prepared for those rebellious hear their prison  ordained in utter darkness and their portions set   as far removed from God and Light Of Heaven  as from the center Thrice to the utmost Pole  

I will come back to that in a second but  note these uh things note the comparison   between Darkness and Light first of all  God’s presence is associated with light Jesus is the light of the world God is  presented as uh Thy Word is a lamp unto  

My feet and a light unto my path God is  presented as light his word is presented   as light not only because it illumines us but  because it shows us which way we should walk   right but God is associated with light  what is Hell associated with then Darkness  

Because God is not present in hell he  is removed from hell in some sense hell   is this is characterized by being removed  from everything that is good which God is now Milton’s problem here is that how can  he describe what he’s going to describe  

In in hell if there’s no light there  because you need light in order to see you could just have Satan hearing terrible scary  noises like you know when you’re in your bedroom   and you’re having nightmares and it’s total pitch  darkness and you hear things and you’re terrified  

He could have done that he instead uses a bit of a  paradox he calls it Darkness visible there’s it’s   it’s it’s metaphysically and physically impossible  the darkness is not visible you need the light to  

See it but he no longer has God and so he he can’t  see he’s blind literally but he describes the   uh landscape of hell and it’s painful to him what he Milton is doing is using the augustinian  notion of of Good and Evil God is good evil is the  

Absence of good God is associated with light  Hal is associated with the absence of light   it’s the privation of the good it’s a way  it’s a an orthodox way of describing evil and   it’s necessary to hold on to the Orthodoxy here  because otherwise we will be fall into the Trap  

And misunderstanding that the romantics did of  seeing Satan as a sort of com um competitor to God in which case you fall into  the problem of of dualism and manichaeism for that matter there’s there’s  a there’s a good power and there’s an evil power  

And they’re opposite to one another and there’s  the fight between good and evil and it’s it’s   too equal and opposite powers vying for Supremacy  here that’s not Milton’s account Milton’s account   is that God is supreme and there is only  one God and Satan is his creature and he  

Is also his slave he’s his drudge he’s going to  serve God’s purposes that’s Christian teaching   again the romantics don’t understand this or  they misrepresent it in part because they have   departed from Christian Orthodoxy on this and  they misread the text but it’s quite clear if you  

Read Milton’s words that Milton calls one God and  the other is just simply not he claims to be God   simply because again as a spiritual being  he has been created and his he’s not going  

To be destroyed by virtue of the fact that he’s  been thrown down to Hell so in that sense he has   Eternal existence but that’s only  been granted to him by God so there’s   no comparison there but he is the adversary  he is Satan Satan means adversary in Hebrew  

He will set him up so but he sees this and he sees  what how unlike the place from whence they fell   there the companions of his follow overwhelmed  with floods and whirlwinds of tempestuous fire   he soon discerns and weltering by his side one  next to himself in power and next in crime long  

After known in Palestine and named Beelzebub  Milton’s going to name here in book one a whole   series of gods recognized in the ancient world in  in the Old Testament they’ll talk about Baal he’ll   talk about Malik right these will be gods that  are recognized in ancient and worshiped as Gods  

Um Milton is following the the church fathers in  understanding these Gods as demons in disguise they have deceived men to uh lead them to think  that these are gods and they will follow the God’s   bidding to appease the gods and that will include  the Greek and Roman gods for that matter Zeus and  

And so forth but those are not the ones mentioned  in scripture the ones mentioned in scripture are   the Canaanite Gods like Malik Malik who who  demanded child sacrifice to appease him put   the baby on the scalding hands of the of the  idol like they they heat a metal uh Idol with  

His hands out until he’s burning hot and then you  put your your newborn baby on that and it fries up   that’s Malik worship part of the uh worship of  that horrid God which even the Israelites did in gehenna the valley of hanom you know gehenna where’s that  

What that word yahanna have  you heard that word before that’s what Jesus describes  Hellas he uses the word gehenna it’s where the city garbage dump  was located outside Jerusalem   and there’s a fire burning in that in  the garbage dump to burn the garbage  

But they also that’s where they set the uh  this metal statue of Malik and burnt their own   babies at one point that’s how horrible so Jesus  describes the garbage dump where the fires are   always burning the trash is always going up in a  horrid smell with the idolatry that happened there  

As well that’s what hell is like where your  babies are sacrificed to a god who’s a demon he describes that as hell some biblical Scholars  say well Jesus was not talking about what we call   hell he was just talking about the garbage dump  what happened in the garbage dump malach worship  

He’s identifying a feature of human cultures   that have gone demonic that  they sacrificed their babies he says that’s like that hell  is like that where the where   your future because if you think about  your your future it’s in your offspring

Human beings are going to die if you want a future  you will have children you’ll be fruitful and   multiply and fill and subdue the Earth you’ll  teach your children to love the Lord your God   I don’t think you can burn them  up if you are going to do that  

Anyway um Beelzebub Lord of the Flies one of  the demons worship there but here presented   as a fallen angel and they will get into a  conversation here I’m going to we’ll look at   some of the speeches that Satan presents  here because they’re just terrific here  

And this is Lucifer or one who Lucifer  means the light bearer Pharaoh is to bear   and luche is light in in Latin and he’s going  to look at Beelzebub and say man you look bad  

You know last time I saw you looked really good  and now boy you uh you’ve fallen on Hard Times   of course he doesn’t realize how bad he looks  but never mind if thou BST but oh how Fallen   how changed from him who in the hoppy Realms of  light clothed with Transcendent brightness to  

Outshine myriads though bright if he whom Mutual  League United thoughts and councils equal hope   and hazard in the Glorious Enterprise joined with  me once now misery hath joined an equal ruin into   what pit thou seeest from what height fall and  so much the stronger proved he with his Thunder  

And till then who knew the force of those  dire arms so what is he what is he saying   he’s saying you were with me in the  beginning when we rebelled against God and uh we’ve been catastrophically  defeated but how could we have known

Because he was God and you weren’t maybe  because he was Almighty and you weren’t Maybe   you know how did we know that we’re going to  get beaten down against the almighty God who   created us until we fought against him well I  think that’s pretty so what you will find here  

Among Satan’s speeches the reason I mentioned this  is not to just point out the irony and humor there   but the sense in which Satan’s logic uh always  flatters himself and always distorts reality   Satan is the father of Lies he always lies  and part of his lies he believes his own lies  

He lives in unreality that’s  what happens when you lie and when you live in unreality by lying  you can’t see your way to the truth   which is why you need revelation you can’t reason your way up to God although  reason has a a functional capacity to help you to  

Do that it’s it reasoning is also perverted by the  Fall people cannot come to the conclusion that God   exists on their own they can dimly apprehend it  or him and they do do that in the sense that they  

Recognize that there are gods and that there’s a  divine order of things and there is a hierarchy   and a principle and there’s good and evil and so  forth that you can see that but you can’t see who  

The good one actually is that needs to be revealed  to you the Holy Spirit needs to convert you you need to repent but you need to be brought  to repentance Satan does not have the mind of   Christ he does not have God’s way of looking  at things he’s lost that when he rebelled

But here’s the grand speech who knew the  force of those dire arms yet not for those   nor what the potent Victor and he speaks  of God as if he were a big Cosmic bully  

All he had was Force he had thunder and lightning  and so forth okay he’s just got so he has no moral   legitimacy at all he just has power whereas  the it’s the other way around Satan has no  

Moral legitimacy all he sought to do was to seek  for and grasp power and he didn’t care about the   means and he didn’t care about the consequences  he didn’t care about his fellow angels in fact he   didn’t care about anyone but himself but he’s  going to accuse God of all those things the  

Romantics take Satan’s at his word and think that  he is morally Superior to God why because God wins so they’re going to stick with the loser anyway  but he says not what the potent Victor in his   rage can an else inflict do I repent or  change though changed in outward luster  

So I’m I’m changing the outside but inside there’s  a lot of light here it doesn’t I know it doesn’t   look that way but I’ve got I’m I’ve got my mojo  eye of everything that I always had and even more  

So now because I’ve learned from experience that’s  what effectively he’s gonna say but what does he   have that won’t I won’t repent or change though  changing outward luster that fixed mind and high   disdain from sense of injured Merit that with the  mightiest raised me to contend so it’s God’s fault  

That I rebelled against him because he made me so  glorious that I wanted to be even more glorious and to the fierce contention brought along  innumerable force of spirits armed that Durst   dislike his Reign and me preferring his  utmost power with adverse power opposed  

In dubious battle on the plains of Heaven and  shook his throne all this is a Lie by the way   there was a battle in heaven but it was one-third  of the Angels the battle was never dubious it was  

Never in doubt you can’t win against the almighty  the definition of the almighty you can’t win   since he’s also omniscient he will  know what’s going on before you even   can see what you you like how can  you beat defeat God it’s it’s absurd

Satan drinks his own Kool-Aid and shook his  throne what we’re going to find in book six   when the account is told that he doesn’t even get  anywhere close to the throne let alone shaking it   but here’s the grand speech what though the field  be lost all is not lost the unconquerable will  

And study of Revenge Immortal hate and courage  never to submit our yield and what is else not   to be overcome That Glory never shall his wrath  or might extort from me to Bow and sue for Grace  

With supplant knee and deify his power who from  the terror of this arm so late doubted his Empire   that we’re low indeed that were an  ignominy and shame beneath this downfall   since by Fate the strength of gods in  this Imperial substance cannot fail  

Sense through experience of this great event in  arms not worse in foresight much Advanced we may   with more successful hope resolve to wage by force  Argyle Eternal War irreconcilable to our grand foe   who now triumphs and then the excess of Joy Soul  reigning holds the tyranny of heaven so again lies  

Upon lies upon lies he refers to this to to the  Fate in reference to his creation he no longer   acknowledges himself as a creature of God he says  that it’s fate that overruled these things now  

Fate I mentioned to you uh when I taught the Graco  Roman epics the fates were also gods that the   um the gods of um uh the uh the sky  Gods Zeus and others had no power over  

And I said that this is one of the you know if you  want to see Jupiter or Zeus as the great Gods he’s   called the father of gods and man and you want to  compare him to the Eternal god of the Christian  

Faith there is no comparison because he doesn’t  even have any control over the future the fates   do that and the fates are blind they just they’re  three of them they cut the cord human life is as  

Measured a certain way and and Zeus can’t change  what’s faded it’s his job to do what is faded here Satan is appealing to the faiths  which uh Orthodox understanding of God   will utterly contradict God is remember  Milton’s own phrase he’s going to assert  

Eternal Providence God sees all things he  provides for all things past present and future Satan is suggesting he’s not God at all and he  calls the God who is a gracious and just King   he’s calling him a tyrant so it’s lie built  upon lie and the only reason that he does  

Uh hold to this narrative is simply because he  wants to be the god that’s it so therefore it’s   unjust it’s unjust that I’m not God that’s his  argument and if if I’m supposed to be God then   of course he’s an illegitimate ruler he’s  a tyrant we wish we shall see by the fruits  

Who is the just God and who is the false and who  is the Tyrant it’s clear from to Milton by the   way he’s not trying to persuade us he’s trying  to to tell what Christian theology already tells right this is not Milton’s understanding of  God it’s the Christian understanding of God

Satan is a tyrant he’s the prince  of this world all the tyrants and   princes of this world uh follow his path when  they seek power and oppress their opponents when they ignore Justice when  they ignore compassion and mercy   when they reject Grace when they  take human life when they sacrifice

The innocent they’re acting in Satan’s with  Satan’s counsel so spake the apostate Angel if   you’re wondering what Milton thinks about him the  apostate Angel though in pain vaunting aloud but   rocked with deep despair and him thus answered  soon his bold computer I’ll skip over that

Because I want to come to Satan’s speech here  this is uh so Beelzebub answers asks a question   and the arch fiend replies to him  in this speech here is important   for identifying Milton’s notion of heroism and  how utterly incomprehensible it is to Satan  

Here’s the speech Fallen cherub to be weak is  miserable doing or suffering but of this be   sure to do ought good it should be a u g h t to do  ought good never will be our task to do any good  

Never will be our task but ever to do ill our  soul Delight why as being contrary to his high   will whom we resist if then his Providence out of  our evil seek to bring forth good our labor must  

Be to pervert that end and out of good still to  find means of evil which oftimes may succeed so as   perhaps shall grieve him if I fail not and disturb  his inmost counsels from their destined aimed

Let me just stop there for a sec so here is  the one of the great highlights of that will   demonstrate Milton’s notion of heroism is how mil  Milton Satan disparages his notion of Satan or of   heroism which is he regards weakness as purely  miserable being a creature means being weak

You’re dependent you’re not utterly self-reliant   he can’t tolerate that he cannot tolerate being  a creature he cannot tolerate being dependent he   cannot tolerate the fact that he is not God and  so he rejects it he will not admit it even to  

Be weak is miserable doing or suffering now  if we flip forward 10 books of this we will   get his notion of heroism presented to us his  being militants which is Christ who became weak who suffered naked defenseless at the cross in  the hands of his enemies betrayed by his friends  

And did not accounted to be a misery but  rather accounted it the way in which the   power of God would be displayed because  he was after he was crucified and died   he rose from the dead because death  could not hold one who was sinless

Right but he sees that weakness as there’s  no power in that there’s no strength in that   there’s no goodness in that at all he sounds like  Achilles the wrath of Achilles he could not be   less than any man he’s like he is the model  of pagan heroism is Satan when he speaks so  

When the romantics said that Satan is Milton’s  hero they clearly don’t understand the gospel   they simply don’t they haven’t understood  the nature of Christian heroism but here   it’s articulated in its antithesis to be  weak as miserable doing her suffering not so but from Satan’s vantage point  this is deplorable disgusting  

Everything wrong with this but here he sounds  like again the world’s an ocean of heroism as   I said indomitable what do we admire about the  great athletes they go down and they get back up  

You can beat them down but they’re going to  get back up and they’re going to win in the end   who doesn’t admire that I admire that I people  who are show the perseverance and character to   get up when they’re knocked down very important  in life for sure but is that alone going to  

Like an indomitable spirit is that going to  save you and bring you to Eternal happiness   not so you will end up in the Underworld  you’ll end up dead just like everybody else you haven’t taken a truthful account of who  you are in relation to God but he sees the  

Problem here and now he mentions his Providence  he knows about God’s Providence well what what   is he like well he’s going to bring good out of  evil that’s the problem here and if he tries to   do that that will world will will fix him  we’ll make him okay so he says all that

And so then he and and he noticed that God  has pulled back the thunder and lightning   which drove them down to Hell to begin with and  he says okay we’ve got a little a little pause  

Here now we have a chance let’s go back Adam and  there’s a little Council in the Underworld that   goes on between Satan and the other Devils about  what they should do next Malik wants to run at  

Him again let’s go after them like a second time  let’s charge and the rest of them I don’t think   we want to do that like like the the full frontal  assault that didn’t work very well the first time  

And I think we’re going to fail again he doesn’t  care we’re going to go back at him uh Mammon wants   to dig down into under the Lake of Fire to see if  there’s some like gold or other stuff like that or  

You want like wealth maybe there’s stuff dug you  know under here which we can make us rich rich   the underworld in the pagans  conception was presided over   by Pluto who was regarded as the richest of  all the gods because he inherits everything right

God of death gets everything all the riches that  you can’t take with them who gets those ultimately um but a council comes forth which they eventually  fall upon as better which is they’re going to try   and pervert what God is doing so not by violence  but rather through guile through deceit through  

Lies through trickery That’s the Way Forward God  created by his word we will deceive by our words   we will mimic God’s path in following  a better path so not Direct Hit we will   come about it in a roundabout way and that’s  how we’ll do it and Satan likes this Council  

And decides to follow it and the council is one  that he himself proposed and put a subordinate   up to here but he he goes across he’s compared  when he moves in across the lake of fire to uh   uh Titanium or earthborn that Ward on Jupiter  briarius or Typhon so ancient serpents

Whom The Den by ancient Tarsus  held or that Sea Beast Leviathan   so you can refer to Pagan uh precedent  you can refer to biblical precedent   either of those will do and what he oh  this is an epic simile so I talked about  

Epic diction we have a long extended simile  now what does Milton do in his epic similes   he tends to do what he tends to compare his  figures here with all sorts of uh precedents   that are like this and compiles them together to  create a new image so here he’s being compared to  

Uh a invoke as huge as whom the as whom here is  the simile a simile is a comparison using like or   as so he’s being compared to the great beasts of  that men are mentioned in the classical world uh  

In mythology or in biblical epics in this case  Leviathan mentioned in job right the Sea Beast uh and he goes onwards and onwards and onwards and and he’s allowed to move and this is the  important thing about Providence what happens here

He had he would never have been able to  leave the Lake of Fire had not risen or   heaved his head but that the will and high  permission of all ruling Heaven left him at   large to his own dark design so God let Satan  off the floor of the Lake of Fire how come  

Does he not know what’s about to  happen what is about to happen   well he’s about to go up and pervert  mankind that’s going to be his intention   does God not foresee this he does foresee it  and he lets him go he lets him choose to go  

Down this course now this is Milton presenting  Christian theology God sees what is about to   he sees the fall foresees the fall I’ll deal  with this when we come to book three next class God sees what’s going to happen and he  allows it to happen is he responsible for it  

Well we’ll see Milton’s response or Milton’s God’s  response to this he’s going to say in response   to that that he’s not responsible for the actions  of those that even oppose him they have free will   to do these things until they enslave themselves  

And in this case he’s going to bring out good  out of evil Milton Satan has just said this   he’s going to bring good out of evil itself that’s  his path but he left him to his own dark designs  

That was reiterated that with reiterated crimes  he may Heap on himself damnation while he sought   evil to others and enraged might see how all those  malicer but to bring forth infinite goodness grace   and mercy shown on man by him seduced but himself  trouble confusion so Milton’s already given away  

The whole story which is that God is going to  allow him to succeed in perverting mankind but   God is going to show mankind Grace and it’s  he’s going to fail even though he succeeds right so Milton’s audience knows the gospel  they’ve heard the Christian story he’s not  

Introducing anything new to them remember he’s  writing in the 17th century he’s writing in   English to Englishmen they’ve heard these  things before Milton is not uh creating a   story that has not been told he is expressing  the truths of Christian theology in the story

Fourth with upright he rears from the  pool his mighty stature on each hand   the Flames driven backwards up he goes  and downwards and then another speech is this the region this the soil  The Climb so then the Lost archangel  

This the seat that we must change for heaven  this mournful Gloom for that Celestial light   be it so since he who now is Sovereign  can dispose and bid what shall be right   farthest from him is best whom reason hath  equaled Force hath made Supreme above his equals  

Farewell happy Fields where Joy forever dwells  hail Horrors hail infernal world and thou   profoundest hell receive thy new possessor one who  brings a mind not to be changed by place or time   and the famous words here the mind is its own  place and in itself can make a heaven of hell  

A hell of Heaven what matter where if  I be still the same and what I should   be all but less than he whom Thunder hath  made greater here at last we shall be free   the almighty hath not built here for his Envy will  not drive us hence here we may Reign secure and  

In my choice to Reign is worth ambition though in  hell better to reign in health and serve in heaven   but wherefore let we then our Faithful Friends  the associates think of Partners of our lost   lie thus astonished on the ability so Satan is  Satan is giving these Grand speeches meanwhile  

As his his friends and comrades are lying face  down in the water and you say oh yeah oh but   why have we left them there oh yeah okay up you go  doesn’t care anyway but note these phrases here he  

Claims that the mind is its own place there’s  an internal world which God is Not Conquered   and as long as I my mind is on conquered I can  think that I’m in heaven even though I’m in hell  

And I can declare that what is Heaven Is Hell  because I have the capacity to imagine it   Satan is the Great wielder  of the human imagination we can call good evil and evil good that’s  what he’s asserting here have you not heard  

That before in Scripture woe to those who  call evil good and good evil this is Satan   he also says that it’s better to  reign in Hell than serve in heaven   again articulating what I said about weakness  there he would rather be Reign Over the worst  

Possible place and he will make play he will make  Earth by the way the worst possible place he can   rather than serve in the courts of the Almighty  which would be far greater if he would just humble  

Himself but not so so here’s the mind of the  satanic one it’s the mind of the of the man of   this world as well and it’s it’s juxtaposed but  note here the mind is its own place and the idea  

Of an internal geography it’s going to be very  important because we’re going to lose Paradise   in this account of Paradise Lost it’s a physical  place they’re going to be cast out of paradise   but the consolation that they will find is that  there is a paradise within happier far it’s  

Better than what than the place the physical  location that you were thrown out there is a   paradise within a spirit filled consolation and  knowledge of the presence of God which you will  

You have now is a foretaste but will one day see  uh when you see God you will see him face to face   that’s the paradise within even  though you’re no longer in Paradise but this idea of an inter the mind being its  own place and me being able to imagine and  

Conceptualize and if I think it so it  is so I can imagine that I’m God even   though I’m Satan in hell I can if I just  think I’m God then I’m going to be God he self-identifies as God think of the way in which this is used  today self-identification Satan is the  

First to self-identifier by the way  that follows this this wretched path   of saying he is something which is  exactly the opposite of what he is clear lies so he speaks and Beelzebub answers they  all decide uh that they should pervert mankind  

Two minutes and then the question  is who’s going to go do this   and they ask around and there’s silence no one  wants to do it and then Satan has been waiting   for this moment and says I’ll do it and they’re  all like Yay cheers of course we intended on doing  

It to begin with but he sets up a council in which  he’s going to be nominated as the one who will do   this and then he goes up and does it now I didn’t  get to book two I’ll do that next time I’m going  

To do it around if you want to do the reading in  advance from around 5 50 Book 2 550 on to 700 or   thereabouts and we’ll see that he winds his way  up from Hell through chaos and comes to the gates  

Of hell and there he meets two figures I’ll talk  about them next time and once he gets Beyond them   having created a sort of a a covenant with them  he will then go uh and will come to book three  

Which is as I say we go from hell to heaven and  Milton will invoke The Muse again and then we’ll   look at what Milton says about heaven and  the characters that we see there we’ll see   God the Father speaking to God the son about  what Satan is doing and planning to do yes

Absolutely and preface to Paradise loss which I  mentioned last time this this book is profoundly   influential on countless people it this is the I  for me this is the greatest work in the English   language I know what’s interesting about that  is he is just using the account from Genesis  

As as the base of the story the sort of the  kernel of the story it’s it’s scripture but   he fuses it with the great epic tradition  and does it with the terrific Language by   the way remember I or I don’t know if  I remember I don’t even if I told you  

He doesn’t write this he dictates it  because when he he writes this he’s blind he dictates it to one of his daughters and  she writes it down he’s he’s doing it from   memory it’s in his head the words in fact  he I’ll come to that next time when we look  

At the the invocation of the muse uh how  this comes about he will talk more about   that specifically but yes I do think that it was  influential on Lewis and as I say countless others anyway I’ll see you next time

#John #Milton #Paradise #Lost #Book