John Milton – 02

We come to the second lecture on Paradise  Lost Book one. We will begin with   Milton s grand style. We will see the features  of Milton s grand style and then discuss lines   195 to 798. Of course, with reference to certain  selected passages dealing with Satan s size,  

Heaven and Hell, Catalogue of Warriors,  Ecological strain, Building of pandemonium,   Preparation for the debate in the second book.  And then we will pay attention to specific poetic   devices, particularly Epic similes. Matthew Arnold uses the expression   grand style with reference to the use of  blank verse in Milton s Paradise Lost.  

He appreciated Milton for this achievement in  English poetry. But this achievement fell into   a controversy called Miltonic controversy, when  F R Lewis and T S Eliot attacked Milton s use   of language. However, we have spirited defense  of Miltonic style by C S Lewis, William Empson,  

Christopher Ricks and Stanley Fish. It  s a whole debate we have this book by   Christopher Ricks called Milton s Grand  Style to understand all kinds of debates   that have gone into this Miltonic controversy. According to Christopher Ricks,   there are certain features. One: rhythm or music  contributing the sound effects in the poem.  

The second one is syntax, sentence construction  following decorum demanding some long sentence   constructions, inversions according to Latin  style. This is different from the common language   that we use. The next one is metaphor, all  kinds of comparisons, extended comparisons,  

Embedded comparisons, lots of with lots of  allusions we have in Milton. That s a great source   of difficulty for us, and similarly, word play  or pun with words, play with words in different   ways. Milton may use words in different forms  with or archaic meanings or etymological sources  

Or he may play with different  words in different ways.   So, these contribute to Milton s grand  style. We have discussed his grand style   in the beginning so that as we discuss  the passages, we can pay attention to  

These features, rhythm, syntax, metaphor and word  play. And finally, when it comes to poetic devices   and epic similes, we can further reinforce  our understanding of grand style later.   Let s look at Satan’s size; Satan s body was a  monstrous size. How does Milton present the huge  

Body of Satan to us? Prone on the flood, extended long and large,   Lay floating many a rood, in bulk as huge As whom the fables are name of monstrous size,  

Titaniun, or Earth – born that war d on Jove, Briareos or Typhon. whom the den   By ancient Tarsus held or that sea-beast Leviathan, which God of all his works   Created hugest that swim th ocean-stream: Him haply slumb ring on the Norway foam  

The pilot of some small night- found d skiff, Deeming some island, oft, as seamen tell,   With fixed anchor in his scaly rind, Moors by his side under the lee, while night   Invests the sea, and wished morn delays. The body of Satan was so gigantic, so titanic  

Something like a titan, warring with  Jove. And the sea beast Leviathan is   also brought in such a huge beast, is so huge  that it it could be like an island for a sailor   to anchor his ship. Such is the shape of Satan. Very crucial passage for us to understand  

What is heaven and hell. Farewell happy fields   Where joy forever dwell: Hail horrors, hail Infernal world, and thou profoundest Hell   Receive thy new Possessor: One who brings A mind not to be chang d by Place or Time.  

The mind is its own place and in it self Can make a heav n of Hell, a Hell of Heav n.   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 least We shall be free; th Almighty hath not built   Here for his envy, will not drive us hence: Here we may reign secure, and in my choice  

This is a height of arrogance from Satan. To reign is worth ambition though in Hell:   Better to reign in Hell, than serve in heav n. What is hell? The mind is its own place and  

In itself can make a heaven or  hell, a hell or of heaven.   He may be pushed down from paradise that is  heaven to hell but his mind doesn t change.   He will remain with that ambition to fight  with God to equal or to become superior to God  

And his chief philosophy is better to reign  in hell than serve in heaven. He doesn t   want to be a servant; he wants to be a master.  Master for, master for all things of the world,  

Supreme Being of the world. How can, how can  there be so many Gods with equal power?   Satan does not think about that. Satan I do not  care for God; I want to be better than, more than   God. This is a typical individualistic Protestant  philosophy, which has found excellent expression  

Through Milton s character called Satan. That s  why many critics have found that Milton is able   to express his own independent spirit and mind  through Satan much more than anything else.   Satan has a shield which is compared  to the moon in terms of size.  

His scarce had ceas d when the superior fiend   Was moving toward the shore; from the  burning lake his ponderous shield,   Ethereal timber, massy, large and round, Behind him cast; the broad circumference  

Hung on his shoulders like the moon, whose orb Through optic glass the Tuscan artist views   At ev ning from the top of Fesole, Or in Valdarno, to descry new lands,  

Rivers or mountains in her spotty globe. His spear – to equal which the tallest pine   Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the mast Of some great ammiral, were but a wand.   Very interestingly Milton brings in the Tuscan  optic glass, the Tuscan artist that is Galileo.  

It seems that Milton had a chance to visit  Italy and at that time he also had the chance   to meet Galileo. Through that uptick, that is  telescope, Galileo used to see the sky, moon,   planets from that place called Fesole or Valdarno.  And this through this by seeing this here, Milton  

Compares the shield that Satan has to the size  of the moon, hung on his shoulders like the moon   and also, he has a spear which our poet  compares to a tall pine, the tallest pine,  

And also it s like a magic wand. We have a simile here in the form of locust.   As when the potent rod Of   Amram s soAmram s son, in Egypt s evil day, Wav d round the coast up called a pitchy cloud  

Of locusts warping on the eastern wind, That ov r the realm of impious Pharaoh hung   Like night, and darken d all the land of Nile: So numberless were those bad Angels seen  

Hovering on wing under the cope of Hell, Twixt upper, nether, and surrounding fires;   In this case, we have locusts, all these angels  were coming together like locusts in the sky,   like a cloud, in the night and  this is referred to in the form of  

Amram s son that is Moses. When Moses came  to Egypt and he wanted to cross Egypt to   Israel, he was given this kind of situation. We have a list of warriors. I have brought them   together in one slide without much description  these are the names, the warriors. He tells,  

Milton tells or request the muse, Say muse their  names then who first who last. The rhetorical   inputs are there: first, next, behind and  all that; Moloch, Chemos, Baalim, Ashtaroth,   Astoreth, Thammuz, Dagon, Osiris,  Isis, Orus, Belial. These are the  

Warriors. They have all negative qualities Gods  and Gods with different kinds of sins from human   sacrifice to lust, so many kinds of ills or  evils that is Gods do, these warriors do.   And these warriors are ready to fight with God and  all of them are ready, they are in place; Satan  

Views or looks at them and then takes  pride. His pride, Satan’s pride:   Distands with pride and,  hard ning in his strength,   Glories: for never, since created man, Met such embodied force as nam d with these,  

Could merit more than that small infantry. That is actual passage we have to look at,   but then how is that infantry great? We have  further connections through all historical   forces or armies described in other epics. So,  we, this kind of description to understand better,  

We need to refer to an annotated edition. All  kinds of battles that were fought in the past or   described in the past in various epics, Milton has  brought in here to show, Satan was ready to fight  

With God. We have to remember, again and again we  have to remember that, Satan is not exactly the   hero but there is a question about that. The, this  whole epic is presented from the vantage point of  

The defeated. God defeated Satan. So, we have a  perspective of this war from the defeated Satan.   We have strength and weakness  analysis in in Satan here.   But he who reigns Monarch in heav n till then as one secure  

Sat on his throne, upheld by world repute. Consent or custom, and his regal state   Put forth   full, but still his strength conceal d; Which tempted our attempt and wrought our fall.  

Henceforth is might we know and know our own, So as not either to provoke or dread   New or provok d or better part remains To work, in closed design, by fraud or guile  

What force effected not: that he no less At length from us may find who overcomes   By force had to overcome but half his foe. It appears that Satan could, could not have   revolted against God if he really understood, if  he had really understood the real strength of God.  

It was appearing like that he could overcome  God but he understood the real power of God   only when God used his power to push Satan and  all other devils down into hell. So now he has to  

Think about different ways, he knows the power of  God so he has to defeat God in different ways.   One of the aspects of this war  and army and all that is about   having lot of wealth, a lot of resources.  We have Mammon also here in this hell  

And there is something to do with  ecology; something very interesting in the   lines highlighted for you in the last  three lines here. Mammon is considered   to be the God of wealth or riches. Or cast a rampart. Mammon led them on,  

Mammon, the least erected Spirit that fell From heav n for ev n in heav   n his looks and thoughts Were always downward bent, admiring more   The riches of heaven’s pavement, trod n gold, Than aught divine or holy else enjoy d  

In vision beatific; by him first Men also and by his suggestion taught,   Ransack d the centre, and with the impious hands Rifl d the bowels of their mother Earth   For treasures better hid. Mammon, the God of riches,  

He was in heaven along with the Satan and  others but he was not happy with the celestial   riches. He was happy with the golden riches or  material riches which were found in below heaven.   So, his eyes were always down, when he came here.  Then along with others he ransacked the center of  

The earth. He rifled the bowels of the earth. He  explored and received or gathered more of wealth   from the Mother Earth. And this is the, this is  this has lot of meaning in the context of the  

Ecological damage that we are doing today. We are  exploring the earth for more and more wealth, for   ourselves forgetting the health of Mother Earth. We have this pandemonium. Pandemonium   is a word which Milton coined  and gave to English vocabulary;  

Demon from demon, where pandemonium is a place  where demons live. All demons live, that is hell.   Mulciber is the man who built this pandemonium.  Mulciber in Greek mythologies Hephaestus and in   Latin or Roman mythology is Vulcan. So here he is presented to us;  

Men call him Mulciber; and how he fell From heav n they fabl d thrown by angry Jove   Sheer o er the crystal battlements: from morn   To noon he fell, from noon to dewy eve. A summer’s day, and with the setting sun  

Dropt from the zenith, like a falling star, Of Lemnos, th Aegean isle. Thus they relate,   Erring: for he with his rebellious rout For Fell long before; nor aught avail d him now   To have built in heav n high  tow rs; nor did he scape  

By all his engines, but was headlong sent With his industrious crew to build in Hell.   At pandemonium, the high capital Of Satan and his peers.   The capital, a straw-built  capital like that we have here in  

Pandemonium, that is, hell. In this hall the  devils will assemble to discuss their strategy.   We have a simile. Which, this is a common simile  used in other epics, bees coming together swarming   together: As bees   In spring-time, when the  sun with the Taurus rides,  

Pour Pour forth their populous  youth about the hive   In clusters; they among fresh dews and flowers Fly to and fro, or on the smoothed plank,   The suburb of their straw-built citadel New rubb d with balm, expatiate and confer  

Their state-affairs: So thick the aery crowds Swarm d were strait n d   till, the signal giv n, – Behold a wonder! – they but now who seem d   In bigness to surpass Earth s Giant sons   Now less than the smallest  dwarfs, in narrow room  

Throng numberless, like the Pygmean race Beyond the Indian mount or faery elves,   And it continues. Bees, like bees all of them  have come together and they are reduced in size,   the devils are reduced in size in smallest dwarfs.  And once they are called, once they are given the  

Instruction, they all move from the lake, burning  lake. They, first they move from the lake to the   nearby dry land and then the Pandemonium is built  there and then they enter this Pandemonium for   discussion. It s a wonderful site of their huge  size, size becoming small and small. And also,  

They become numberless. We don t know how many  angels, I mean devils are there. Huge numbers.   These are the closing lines of Book one. Thus incorporeal Spirits to smallest forms   Reduc d their shapes immense,  and were at at large,  

Though without numbers still, amidst the hall Of that infernal court. But far within,   And in their own dimensions like themselves. The great Seraphic lords and cherubim   In close recess and secret conclave sat, A thousand demi-gods on golden seats,  

Frequent and full. After a short silence then, And summons read, the great consult began.   The great consult began. What is that consult  is given to us in Book Two, the consultation   regarding how to fight with God. So, the,  these spirits, angels who turned into devils,  

Incorporeal spirits, spirits without  body, from huge size to small size,   in some from some numbers to numberless and they  have all come to this court, the assembly hall,   infernal, because this is hellish. And there is a  tautological expression in this and in their own  

Dimensions like themselves, there is no other  comparison. They are compared with themselves   and in their own dimensions like themselves.  What is this? We have no idea, this small size;   frequent and full alliteration the different  kinds of words that he uses, conclave,  

Secret place of meeting and consultation. As we saw in the previous lecture some thematic   contrast, all of them apply here, specifically  with reference to the lines 195 to 798. We can   see the comparison or the contrast between huge  size and small size, heaven on the one hand hell  

On the other hand, pride on the one hand humility  on the other, fraud and also force, appearance   and reality, particularly when it comes to the  real strength of, the real power of God, which   Satan and other devils understood after the fight,  after the impious civil war, not before that.  

Their own strengths and weaknesses they understand  and then they think about their own way of coping   with what to do next. There is a spirit up in  heaven and there is a material down in hell  

And we have this crowded or isolated people. All  of them are now crowded, frequent and full in this   infernal court. And one, on the one hand we  have corporeal huge size body and on the other   hand we have incorporeal spirits without  much body or without occupying space.  

So, this kind of thematic contrast we have  especially with reference to this good and evil,   design, the sign of design, the sign of design of  good and evil in hell in Pandemonium we have with   reference to Mulciber, Mammon and many other  devils, list of warriors we have in this.  

We have already looked at the some of the poetic  devices. So, we can quickly look at them; epic   similes we have in leviathan, shieldless moon,  locusts, bees. We have alliteration, just some   examples we have here: Heaved his head, stench and  smoke, sole, hail, horrors hail. Chiasmus we have;  

Greatest example of Chiasmus we can have in terms  of defining hell and heaven: The mind can make   its own hell or heaven, a heaven or hell, a hell  of heaven. We have transferred epithet in terms   of happy fields, his ponderous shield, shield,  ponderous thinking, it is Satan who thinks. So,  

It is attributed to the shield. We have these  epigrammatic sentences better to reign in hell   than serve in heaven, who overcomes by  force hath overcome but half his foe.   So, this using force to win an enemy is only half  the victory but this full victory probably Satan  

Implies through winning God by fraud. We have  the image of ransacking and rifling the earth,   Mother Earth for gold and other resources.  We have the simile in like that Pygmean race   and some other similes also we have. And then  lastly, we have this tautology and in their own  

Dimensions like themselves. There is no additional  meaning we have, it is circumlocution.   The poetic devices in terms of sound effects and  all that we have; it is unrhymed words but we have   noted some occasional rhymes; we have tend and  defend in 183 and 187; repair and despair in 188,  

191 nearby. And then we have pledge and edge in  274 and 276. And similarly, some kind of partial   rhyme we can see in anon, discern,  down in 325 to 327 lines.   We have the wide variety of caesuras and  enjambments the mind is its own place,  

And in itself Can make a heav n of  Hell, a Hell of heav n. The whole   poem uses iambic pentameter in unrhymed  form that s why it is called blank verse.   Here we have a different passage for us  to understand this iambic pentameter:  

With dread of death to fight or foul retreat, Nor wanting power to mitigate and swage   With solemn touches, troubled  thoughts, and chase   Anguish and doubt and fear and sorrow and pain From mortal to immortal minds.  

This and addition of and, polysyndeton you can  see, and this dread of death you can see in terms   of alliteration or flight or foul you can see,  it s a beautiful passage. And Matthew Arnold  

Says take any passage from Paradise Lost from  the poetry of Milton you can see grand style.   We have a number of conventions  for an epic poem. Here are some:   invocation to the muse, statement  of the theme, supernatural element,   heroic characters, descent to hell,  in medias res, list of warriors,  

Epic similes. We have seen all of them in our  first lecture and also in this second lecture.   We will pay attention to some specific epic  similes. Whale, that is, leviathan that is used   to refer to the size of Satan. Similarly, we saw  this shield size, the size of the shield used  

By Satan, the broad circumferences Hung on his  shoulders like the moon and further connected with   Galileo and other things. Locusts, numerous angels  that is, the devils actually, the innumerable   angels that is fallen angels groveling in the  lake of, of fire compared to a cloud of locusts.  

We also have bees the diminished shape of the  devils is presented to us in the shape of bees.   As bees In springtime, when the sun with Taurus rides.   Pour forth that populous youth above the hire In clusters  

That s why we have this frequent  and full crowded place.   In sum, we can see Milton s Paradise Lost as an  epic poem on the grand theme of the fall of man.   Book one of Paradise Lost describes  the background for the entire story.  

It introduces Satan, it introduces theme, it  introduces the preparation of Satan to fight   with God for taking revenge on him by fraud or  force. Most importantly this particular book   presents the mind of the fallen angels in hell and  their building of Pandemonium and their palace.  

Milton displays his astute scholarship in  language, literature, the Bible, philosophy,   different forms of government, etc.,  throughout the poem. Satan’s speeches,   as we have seen, may be examples of the freedom  of speech that Milton argued for in his life.  

There are any number of readings, critical  readings possible. There are many references you   can see on your own, these are some suggestive. We  can attempt religious reading or secular reading,   political reading or didactic reading that  is moral reading, psychological reading   or sociological reading even archaeological  and geographical mapping is possible to do;  

So much of information we have in Paradise Lost. We can also think of scientific approach to   the poem because it is a poem in the  context of growing, advancing science.   We have ecological interpretation, we hinted at  it in the context of Mammon and his attempt to  

Ransack the whole earth. We have feminist  readings of this poem, why do we have Eve   being treated in the way in which Milton  has? It is in the Bible of course.   Milton follows the Bible but then he also includes  his own perspectives on the Biblical theme.  

We have a quotation from William Blake who  admired Milton like nobody else did. Blake said,   The reason Milton wrote it in  fetters when he wrote of Angels   and God, and at liberty when of  Devils and Hell, is because he  

Was a true poet and of the devil’s  party without knowing it.   When we read Shakespeare s Macbeth, we don  t feel bad about Macbeth for killing Duncan.   We sympathize with him and the same case happens  here when we find Satan fighting against God  

Tempting human beings to eat the fruit,  forbidden fruit, and making them lose   paradise. He does all evil things but  then Milton by his poetic language,   by his imaginative effort or endeavor,  enables us to sympathize with Satan himself.  

Finally, we have a summary here. We began this  lecture with Milton s grand style focusing on   sound effects, rhythm and music, syntax, metaphor  and word play. We have seen some examples   of all these characteristics in this poem.  We have discussed some selected passages  

From line number 195 to 798 focusing on Satan  s size, heaven and hell, catalogue of warriors,   ecological strain, building of Pandemonium  and preparation for the debate.   Our analysis of this rhyme, rhythm,  poetic devices, epic similes, all tell us  

About the greatness of Milton s poetry  written in grand style, Miltonic grand style.   We have some references which will help you  further to understand this poem much more.   These are the references. Allusion as a Mode of  Thinking in Paradise Lost is very interesting  

To see. How Milton deliberate, deliberately  suppressed the name of Prometheus, Milton Milton   s Satan is like Prometheus. Prometheus brought  fire from heaven to the earth for human beings and   similarly Satan enabled human beings to eat that  fruit, forbidden fruit and get that knowledge,  

Wisdom or knowledge of the difference between good  and evil or innocence and experience. So that kind   of understanding you can have better from in  a study of Allusion as a Mode of Thinking in   Paradise Lost and many you have; multiple sources,  just a few we have mentioned. Thank you.

#John #Milton