Posted in Best Quotations, Literature, Poetry, Reading

Paradise Lost: Awake, Arise…

Yet again, a line from Satan to the other fallen angels:

paradise lost 7

Taken individually, it presents a motivating message: stand up, fight, don’t give up. But in the poem, the angels are already “for ever fall’n.” Is this simply a false assumption?

The following is a quaint quote describing the fallen angels, whose names are erased from the Books of Life:

paradise lost 6

Belial (“then whom a Spirit more lewd / Fell not from Heaven…”), considering the idea of another rebellion against Heaven, says that it would inevitably lead to another failure and their destruction, the “sad cure”:

paradise lost 5

The last one is an interesting passage, and as noted by Regina Schwartz (Remembering and Repeating 20) is reminiscent of Hamlet’s soliloquy.

Feel free to tell me what you think about these in the comments!

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Absolutely fantastic procrastinator. Creative, often irrational, hyperactive. Reader, writer, artist, photographer, film-maker, gamer.

24 thoughts on “Paradise Lost: Awake, Arise…

  1. I originally attributed the first statement just to Satan’s pride and unwillingness to give up. Or he could just have a ‘let’s do the best with what we have’ mindset. Or maybe a PMA.

    Also, at this rate, you’re going to be finished way before me, I only just finished the second book.

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    1. There is a tinge of pride acting up here, yes. The problem is, such a mindset, however positive, isn’t going to lead him far, as the rest of the story shows.
      Oh, I’m starting Book 6 already, I’m mesmerized by the text. I’ll probably post a review here once I finish it; feel free to leave a comment saying what you think once you finish reading=)

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    1. I do have a lot of text highlights in Book One, more than in the other books I’ve read so far. And about Satan as a character, I also felt that Milton gave him so much fervor and makes him out to be so heroic in his circle of friends. (And oh my God, these lines from Book Four:
      Gabriel, thou hadst in Heav’n th’ esteem of wise,
      And such I held thee; but this question askt
      Puts me in doubt.
      He’s surrounded by his enemies and he’s still trying to be sassy? I laughed out loud.)
      This somewhat reminds me of Master and Margarita by Bulgakov. The devil there is so richly described and the attention the author had given to the character is evident.
      However, in my view, the other characters may seem flat because they’re put in contrast to the emotion boiling up inside Satan, for obvious reasons. I see them as serene, peaceful, which may be less interesting to read about but not at all bad in real life.
      Sorry if this is a bit rambly, I just love the poem. I can’t explain why. I only ever had this reaction to a book once or twice before, I think.

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      1. I never found that books two and three grabbed me as much as the first, and the last book (I skipped a lot of it) wasn’t up to expectations. It sounds stupid, given that Milton was writing about what he considered incontrovertible truth, but I was sort of expecting Satan to come up with a better plan and have another confrontation with Michael and Gabriel, and win this time, or for the sentiments he felt for his followers to work on him so he grew a little less disdainful of everything and everyone else.

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      2. Well, Satan is the Arch-fiend, as Milton describes him=D No winning for him, and I see why you’d feel it wasn’t up to your expectations. It is great writing though, and I find myself not only enjoying the plot, but Milton’s language too. I guess the passages with less action still seem great to me because of the awesome metaphors=)

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      3. What fascinated me about the whole poem was this idea that Milton devout as he was, was struggling against his admiration for Satan. The poetry gushes when he’s writing about the fiend, and slows when the good guys take centre stage. He must have hated himself for it, but he was drawn to the evil despite his moral background..

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      4. I guess Milton must have suffered with this, you’re right. I myself have to admit that most of the quotes I’ve highlighted are from Satan. And I think the reason is pretty clear. All my humble opinion though. I’ve noticed whenever there is a devil/demon/other malevolent entity present in a work of literature, he/she is always a more complex character than the good guys. I think it’s because the darkness in them, the emotions, the thoughts are, obviously, closer to human than the feelings and thoughts of any perfect divine entity. And that’s why the reader (and the writer) connects with them more. And it is fascinating to read, for sure=)

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      5. I think you’re right. Also, we’re fascinated by evil much more than we are drawn to goodness. Like killings. There’s always someone to justify it, because they were defending something worthwhile, or the dead person had it coming etc etc. Pure goodness makes us suspicious. What’s in it for them? It’s ‘normal’ to be violent and aggressive and slightly unhinged to be altruistically ‘good.’

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      6. This fascination is also evident in the hype about anti-hero killers/serial killers in movies and TV shows, for example. It’s sad, but it’s human nature to be drawn to flawed people, not the purely good ones, to exalt those who we can relate to because we may have the same flaws, even if they’re not that prominent. However, I guess the world would be a better place if people trusted in goodness more.

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      7. Maybe not good and evil, more how to organize society so the big clashes don’t occur. Men in power tend to like creating conflict so they can look good when they win. Women, perhaps only because they have less experience in the exercise of great power, tend to be more conciliatory.

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      8. Hm, yes, you have a point. Although the values have been changing in recent years; there are desinitely more women now who are far from conciliatory (as now they have more opportunities to acquire great power). It’ll be interesting to see what the future brings.
        Peaceful society, though… impossible, it seems *sigh*

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