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ENL 3230
British Literature 1616-1780

Class 10

    Sep 28: Post #5 Due - Group B

Reading Assignment for 9/19-9/28

    NAEL volume B, Paradise Lost pp. 1830-2055
    Book One: (The Invocation; Satan and Hell)
      ll 1-374; 523-798

    Book Two: (The Council in Hell)

      ll 1-505

    Book Four: (Satan enters Paradise; Adam and Eve)

      ll 1-775

    Book Five: (Eve's Dream>

      ll 1-135

    Book Nine: (The Fall)

      lines 1-1189

    Book Ten: (The Beginning of the Redemption)

      ll 706-1104

    Book Twelve: (The Fate of Adam and Eve)
      ll 466-649

Also read the headnotes to each book for a statement of the "argument." There is an excellent website you can use to supplement your readings in the Norton, called Paradise Lost from New Arts Library.

Post #5 Due - Group B

    Class Objectives:

  • To Discuss the fall in Book 9
  • To Examine the beginning of their redemption in Book 10
  • To analyze the fate of Adam and Eve in Book 12

    We have a lot to discuss this week, but as mentioned in class on Tuesday, I would like for you to strive beyond plot summary in your posts and try to analyze some of the complex themes and representations in the poem.

    Notes and Discussion Questions:


    Book Nine begins with the poet's announcement of the upcoming fall. Why does Milton include this? What does this suggest about the voice of the poet? What does this suggest about the tragic scope of this epic?

    He also includes another invocation at this point. What effect does this have?

    In this important book, Milton makes many arguments. Eve will argue with Adam for her right to garden separately, and Adam will argue with Eve. Satan in the form of the snake will argue with Eve about the virtues of knowledge, and then Eve will argue with herself. One argument leads to another until after the Fall utter discord breaks out. Examine the allegorical significance of these arguments and results.

    Why does Eve ultimately decide to eat the fruit? (This question is different, perhaps, then why does Eve eat the fruit.) Why does Adam follow her example? What consequences do they consider?

    Compare the impulses described in line 1015 and on with the earlier description of pure love.

    Why do Adam and Eve know shame at this point? What is the allegorical significance? Describe their communication after the Fall and compare it to earlier.


    Note Adam's recriminations in book ten. How does he feel toward Eve? What is Eve's response?

    Why does Adam refuse to commit suicide?

    How do they bring about their reconciliation with God?


    In book twelve, examine Adam's amazement at Michael's report: "That all this good of evil shall produce, / And evil turn to good" (470-1). This is a central paradox of the epic. How do you understand it? What does it mean?

    What is the allegorical significance of the ending of the epic: "The world was all before them"?

    Consider the question, does Milton achieve his grand aim: To justify the ways of God to men?

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