2. 1 - 10:
The speaker in lines 1-10 starts by describing the look of Satan's throne and how insanely valuable and exceptional it is but then goes on to describe the determination that Satan has to fight this war against God regardless of which side wins. The war also seems to be more of an obsession for Satan as the speaker states that Satan is "insatiate to pursue / Vain War with Heavín," (8-9). He knows he is not going to win but because he does not have anything left to loose, he is willing to try. My interpretation of this passage is that because Satan can only do things that God allows to be done, he is taking advantage of the opportunity and causing as much damage to be done to God's side as he can manage.
2. 11 - 42:
Lines 11-42 deal with the refusal of Satan to give up his ambition to claim heaven, and how the governance of hell is secure in his hands as no one else is willing to challenge Satan’s throne. As such Satan asserts he has earned the right to rule by the will of those around him, unlike God who has a position that is easily envied as it was not given to him, he simply claims it. The resulting idea of this difference in leadership being that the unity of hell is superior, as such they are stronger, and thus well suited to the task of taking heaven, but the debate must be opened as to how to best go about it “Whether of open Warr or covert guile” (41).
2. 43 - 50:
In lines 43-50, the poem’s speaker returns in order to further introduce the character of Moloch. Moloch is referred too as the “Scepter’d King”, and he is the “strongest and fiercest Spirit” that fights in the battle in heaven. He has become stronger through the despair that he has suffered in the loss of battle and also believes that the fallen angles forces are “Equal in strength” to that of Heavens. He does not care about the costs of war and “with that care lost went all his fear” of both God and Hell. Moloch becomes more dangerous as he fears nothing and will do anything. His lack of fear and despair make him vengeful, which leads to his belief that the fallen angels should proceed into another war against Heaven. On a grander scale, Moloch’s character and his innate lack of fear suggests that it is right to fear God.
2. 51 - 105:
The speaker from lines 51-105 is Moloch, who is telling the other fallen angels that the best course of action is to launch another attack against Heaven. The basis of Moloch's argument in this section of the poem is that the fallen angels are victims, and that their situation can't possibly become any worse than it already is. In lines 63-64, Moloch evokes the image of "Turning... tortures into horrid arms against the torturer." So, instead of being disheartened from former defeats, he would have the fallen angels use it to fuel their vengeance. From line 74 to line 77, the fallen angels are being urged to remember their former glory so that they are more motivated to reclaim what they have lost (a bit like Thorin speaking to his dwarf kinsmen in The Hobbit). When Moloch says "Th' ascent is easy then" in line 81, I was reminded of the notion in Book I that angels - even those who have fallen - are meant to ascend instead of descend. Lines 85-89 reiterate Moloch's argument that there is nothing to lose by going to battle: "What can be worse than to dwell here, driv'n out from bliss, condemn'd in his abhorred deep to utter woe; where pain of unextinguishable fire must exercise us without hope of end."" The final line of Moloch's speech is "Which if not Victory is yet Revenge,"" which encapsulates the entirety of what he has said thus far.
Although Moloch's speech is a passionate and convincing call to arms, the overarching theme of Godís ways being justified stands. As the basis of Molochís argument is that vengeance should be had against God, he cannot be truly justified, as to seek revenge is immoral. Moreover, Moloch seems entirely unconcerned with the wellbeing of those around him, caring only about revenge, regardless of the cost.
2. 106 – 18:
The Speaker continues the poem by describing the scene after Moloch's speech. Moloch finishes his speech with the flame of revenge still burning within him. It is clear that Moloch thirsts for sweet revenge and for another dangerous battle and encourages all to agree. It is then when Belial, another Fallen Angel, stands to make his opinions known. The remainder of the section focuses on the description of Belial.
In lines 109-118, the Speaker describes Belial as a more "graceful and humane" Fallen Angel where he appears to have a strong and dignified personality, when in reality he is immoral and shallow, "But all was false and hollow". Belial is then described as being a smooth talker where he could persuade others strictly through conversation, "his Tongue Dropt Manna [Possibly Mana, the energy/life force of living things which would be appealing to most], and could make the worse appear the better reason". While Belial's words are pleasing to the ear, he is an Angel of little action and therefore uses his skills for his own benefits. The speaker continues to describe Belial as lazy Angel where he would use his vocal skills to get out of doing work where it be an inconvenience to him. The section ends with Belial about to start his persuasive speech.
2. 119 - 225:
In this section, silver-tongued Belial is refuting Moloch's assertion that war with heaven can have no consequence given the immortality of the combatants and the fact that they're already in hell. He does this by cautioning the assembly that open combat with God is pointless given his omnipotence and that things could get much worse despite their current circumstances. He describes the horror of being destroyed utterly and no longer being able to think or feel and cautions that even hell itself could be made worse by God if they incur his wrath again. He describes how they could be bound to stones and tormented forever if they go to war again and comforts his fellows with the knowledge that their current situation could improve as Godís mood brightens and they become acclimatized to their hellish surroundings.
This section of the poem reminds me of The Matrix, specifically the debates about whether itís better to be free in a horrible world or a slave in a comfortable one. Moloch is essentially saying that itís too late to go back to their old home so they might as well get used to their new, rougher world.
2. 229 - 83:
Mammon’s argument in these lines is a rejection of striving to regain their place in heaven. They’ve learned they cannot beat God in open war, therefore they can’t depose him. If he were to show them mercy and allow them back into heaven it would be intolerable for them to find themselves again subjected by him. Therefore they can’t agree to a return to heaven under those conditions, which Mammon characterizes with the oxymoronic phrase “splendid vassalage”. They ought therefore to “seek / Our own good from ourselves” (252-3). He carries on to argue that God can thrive even in darkness so they should also be able to (263-70), suggests they may adjust (dare I say ‘evolve’?) to hell in time (274-8), and concludes by advocating that the rebel angels do nothing (278-83).
2. 284 - 309:
The speaker returns to transition between Mammon and Lucifers speeches. The speaker explains that Mammon was advocating for peace and it hard a positive reception. The speaker explains that the rebel angels feared another plain worse than hell and they also feared Michael. Michael is an archangel that had led Heavens armies against the devil and is known as one of Heavens feircest angels. The angels also believed, because of Mammon, that hell could grow to resemble heaven because they had rich mineral resources and knowledge of art and other skills.
The speaker goes on to describe Satan rising from his seat, the language used paints Satan as someone who is great. "Atlantean shoulders" (306) refers to the the Atlas shoulders that, according to mythology, supported the whole world. Satan has a commanding role that is so great that the other fallen ones are compelled to pay attention and be silent.
2. 310 - 378:
The speaker in this passage is Satan, and begins by calling them by their former names, only to remind them that they have fallen far from Heaven and are now ëPrinces of Hellí. He emphasizes the pain they would have felt in losing their status, and reminds them that not only have they been removed from Heavenís beautiful world to Hellís hot, fiery lands, they are still subject to Godís desires and wills. They are not just merely removed from Heaven and allowed to do as they please; they still answer to God. Godís rule extends far past Heaven, all the way down into Hell, as his kingdom is not merely ëeverything the light touchesí: it is all the bad areas too.
Satan then goes on to explain they have two options: peace or war. He states that peace will get them nothing in the end, but those at war at least have the satisfaction in inflicting the pain they are so familiar with onto their foes. Satan explains that they do not have to attack the high, impenetrable walls of Heaven, nor try to lure God down into Hell to fight him: there is the middle ground of Earth, inhabited by Godís creation, man. Although man does not have even the power of the fallen angels, they have God on their side, as they are much more liked by God than Satan and his legions. Satan explores the possibly that man could be Godís weakness and is the best way to take advantage of him. By studying man, Satan suggests that they can decide whether to drive man out of Earth, like he and his legions were driven out of Heaven, or to bring them over to Satanís side in opposing God, their creator. This he thinks will cause the most pain to God, and will give them their best advantage in a fight against him.
2. 378 - 89:
This section follows a speech given by Beelzebub, encouraging the fallen angels to interfere with the newest creation of God, Earth (310-78). The speaker tells us that this plan was in fact concocted by Satan himself, as he is the only thing capable of such a foul deed (381-2). The armies of Hell enthusiastically approve this course of action, “and joy sparkl'd in all thir eyes; with full assent.” (387-8) Beelzebub then continues to motivate the troops. Later on in Book 2, Satan volunteers to scout out the new land. By offering Beelzebub the plan to share with Hell, Satan himself can now play the role of hero.
2. 390 - 416:
In this section of Book II, the speaker is bringing attention that the debate is coming to an end. They must choose someone to go out of Hell and reclaim Heaven for them. It is specified that the creature must be perfect for the job because it is a dangerous job. A creature is described, one with "indefatigable wings" (408) or wings that can never tire. This creature has the strength that will help them to pass through the gates of Hell. The speaker draws a lot of attention to the importance that the one going is to be chosen perfect for this role. The speaker even says "for on whom we send, / The weight of all and our last hope relies" (415-16). This job will define a new fate for the inhabitants of Hell (393). There is a parallel here to God sending his son to earth to be the only hope for people to get into Heaven, but in this instance the chosen one is the only hope for the fallen angels to get into Heaven.
2. 417 - 29:
Just after Satan makes his proposition to all of the "counsel", the speaker begins by describing in lines 417 to 420 Satan's expression as he sits down. It is one of suspense, or doubt, as he waits for anyone present to either support or oppose his idea, and further, if anyone will undertake the task he has put forth (going up onto Earth to be among men). However, not a word is spoken as everyone considers the inherent danger in such a journey, especially of one to be undertaken alone. Finally, Satan decides to speak again.
It is surprising to me that after the expression of so much enthusiasm for the ideas of either going to war or remaining peaceful (by the opposing sides), the proposition made by Satan which occupies a sort of 'middle ground' (that is, a sort of passive-aggressive and sneaky attempt at revenge on God) was received so poorly. Surely, those brave souls willing to march into battle and take God and heaven on full-force would not be afraid to slip among Men to try and do Satan's work. This doesn't seem to be the case, however.
2. 430 - 66:
In lines 430-66, Satan speaks out to all the fallen angels, referring to the lack of response to Beëlzebub’s request for a volunteer. In this speech Satan states that he understands why no one has stepped up to the task, as he too finds it dangerous and seemingly impossible. He then says that it would be wrong to consider himself “reigning king” of the fallen angels if something of this danger or difficulty could deter him. Satan then adds that to refuse this act would be to refuse the honour he would gain from it. Finally he attempts to comfort his legions by volunteering himself for that task as he states, “I abroad/ Through all the Coasts of dark destruction seek/ Deliverance for us all” (463-5).
This section exposes Satan’s understanding and comforting nature. As Satan says, “with reason hath deep silence and demur/ Seiz’d us” (430-1) he shows a sense of understanding. He sympathizes with his legions while also comforting them. He displays all qualities of a good leader by volunteering himself for the attack upon “Man”; however, he does so because of the glory it will bring him. As these statements seem confused and contradictory, it shows the complexity of Satan’s character and proves him relatable to human in many ways.
2. 466 - 505:
The speaker (here in the form of the Muse) informs us that Satan moves quickly after his speech to prevent anyone else from ‘volunteering’ to take on the task of escaping hell because he fears that such a one could gain political points by seeming to be willing to do so without actually having to hazard the voyage. But Satan need not have worried, we’re told, because the fallen angels fear him even more than they the voyage: the “Dreaded not more th’ adventure than his voice / Forbidding” them from attempting it (474-5). We are told they “Extol him equal to the highest in Heav’n” (480) which is certainly heresy.
In lines 482-85 the speaker says that even “Spirits damn’d / [do not] Lose all thir virtue” (482-3) and that we are being told that “lest bad men should boast” (483) of their own good works on earth. Here we are being invited to draw a distinction between good people and good deeds—i.e. doing good does not make you good (keep Milton’s Calvinistic puritanism in mind)—and we are reminded that good works is not the road to heaven.
In the final few lines of this passage the speaker offers what seems to be a meta-comment on the sate of England’s political affairs during Milton’s life time. In ll. 496-505 the speaker says that of all rational beings, including the fallen angels, only humanity is incapable of getting along; furthermore, humanity has plenty to worry about without adding to its problems through disunity.
2. 506 - 520:
In this passage, the rivalry between God and Satan is shown when the speaker mentions Satan as the ìantagonist of heavínî (509). Satanís followers, the Stygian Counsel who joined the infernal peers, see Satan as a ìGod-like imitated Stateî. This shows how Satan is represented to these peers as someone they look up to and follow. In lines 306-320, Satan is leaving for a journey and the goodbye is intense. Our sight and hearing senses are attentive because of the strong imagery that is described. The imagery is very bright and makes us imagine fire which symbolizes hell. Not only is it bright to our eyes, but the sounds of the goodbye from Satanís peers is extremely loud: "trumpets regal sound the great result" (515). The loud peers represent their devotion and support towards Satan and his journey.
2. 521 - 569:
The first section of this passage (521-527) draws us into the psychological state of the fallen angels as they contemplate existence in Hell while their "Great chief," Satan, is on a mission to the rumoured new World inhabited by "some new Race call'd Man" (348). That their thoughts are so "restless" (526) without Satan's presence among them suggests his sheer force of character as their sole rallying point.
The reader is then offered an overview of the hell-bound angels' various responses to Satan's departure, ranging from "Typhonian rage" (539) to the distractions of sport (530) to the communicative power of music (552-54). Whereas in Book I, the comparison between Satan's Legions and Pharoah's chariots conveys a serious act of aggression (I: 304-313), this passage in Book II reduces the analogy to mere Olympian sport (530). This effective downgrading of the "host of Hell" (519) takes into account the speaker's evaluation of their motivation as a "false, presumptuous hope" (522). Alongside the Legions' futile military endeavours are their diminished mental capabilities, indicated by their wrangling with the central philosophical quandaries "of Providence, Foreknowledge, Will, and Fate" (559) - existential problems which the fallen angels cannot resolve (561).
Overall, while this passage may seem like a literary lull in the action, it is perhaps meant to illustrate the vanity of humanity's own diverse pursuits and furthermore spark a moment of recognition and identification in the reader whether he or she is a person of sport or song. As in the Puritan Christian worldview, we are likewise fallen creatures who cannot attain personal satisfaction, perfection, or truth - especially while estranged from our natural leader. For the fallen angels, that leader is Satan; for "favor'd" (350) Man, it is God Almighty.
2. 570 - 628:
In lines 520-628 of book 2, another group goes to find a better climate for them to live where four very dark and dismal rivers empty into a lake: Styx, Acheron, Cocytus and Phlegeton. Then off to the side is a smaller stream: Lethe. It goes on to say that the group is horrified at what they see, giving essentially a description of the underworld and all the trapped souls found there, “a universe of death” (625) and “perverse, all monstrous, all prodigious things, Abominable, inutterable” (625). It made a reference to Fables and how this place comes nowhere close to anything you could imagine.
2. 629 - 80:
In lines 629-680, the speaker tells of Satan's actions as he attempts to explore the new world the fallen angels have been discussing previously. As Satan approaches the Gates of Hell and scopes out the surrounding area, he realizes that there are actually nine gates and "three folds were Brass, Three Iron, three of Adamantine Rock" (645-646). Before he gets to the gates, he notices a woman shaped figure to the waist, but below was a serpent. Also, around her waist were "Hell Hounds never ceasing bark'd" (654). She is known as Sin. Next came the Night-Hag "with the smell of infant blood to dance with Lapland Witches" (664-665). Satan then sees a dark figure "black it stood as night" (670). This figure is known as death. The figure approached Satan and he "trembled" (676) as the figure was unknown to him. The lines end with Satan about to speak to the dark figure.
2. 681 - 87:
In lines 681-87 Satan is confronting a grisly creature that is blocking the gates of hell. Satan does not know what the creature is and is not afraid of it. Satan says, "retire, or taste thy folly, and learn by proof," (686). He is going through that gate with or without the creatureís permission and if it refuses to let him pass he will force his way through. Satan calls the monster "hell-born" and warns that it is no match for a spirit created in heaven.
2. 688 - 703:
In lines 688-703, the creature Satan confronts asks him if he is the “Traitor Angel” that broke the peace in Heaven which had never been broken before. In line 692, I believe this is referring to Revelation 12:4 (and his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth). He is basically asking if Satan is the one that was outcast and sent to Hell to spend the rest of his days in misery. This creature shares that he is the reigning King of Hell. He says “back to thy punishment, false fugitive”, and is not allowing Satan to enter through the gates of Hell.
2: 704 - 26:
The “grisly terror” that is Death has just made his threat to Satan. In so doing the speaker explains that he “grew tenfold More dreadful and deform”. Whether this is a literal increase in size or a figurative growth due to the severity of his threat is not clear. Nevertheless it is important to note that Satan is not in the least bit perturbed. The speaker compares his bold defiance to that of a burning comet. In John Swan’s Speculum Mundi when comets are used in comparisons like this they “then signifieth warres and destruction of cities.” This suggests that Satan intends to stand his ground against Death even at the cost of war. However the speaker does not stop with only the comet reference. Instead he goes on to say that the comet spans “the length of Ophiucus” which is one of the biggest but not the largest of northern constellations. So why Ophiucus? In greek myth this constellation represents the god of medicine Asclepius, who not only restored people’s health but he had also learned to bring people back from the dead. This reference is not only another example of apostasy (Jesus is the giver and reviver of life ie. Lazarus) but it is also a suggestion as to why Satan has no need to fear Death.
As it suggests in line 721, in essence these two foes had met their match. As they prepare to face off the speaker draws our attention to the accuracy of this essence. Both Satan and Death: were unable to retreat, possessed fatal powers that could be delivered in a single blow, and both were convinced in and of themselves that they would be victorious. In an intense frowning match the two foes are described as two storm clouds rolling in over the Caspian Sea (known for its extreme and sporadic storms). Hell itself even prepares for the ‘clash of the Titans’ if you will, as it “Grew darker at thir frown”. Right before the fatal fight the “Snaky Sorceress” intervenes with a “hideous outcry” that stops the foes.
2. 736 – 45:
Satan is speaking to the Snakie Sorceress who has just interrupted his attack. The fact that she managed to halt him suggests that he is confused as to her purpose and doesn't know what to make of her. Even in his surprise he's still posturing. What intrigued me most about this passage was the line 743 the first image that came to mind was of the Holy Trinity, The Father, The Son, The Holy Spirit. I wonder if this was intentional, or just me trying to find meaning where there isn't any?
2. 746 - 814:
The speaker in this section of the poem is identified as the ìPortress of Hell Gateî (746) who I took to be the character of sin as in line 760 it states ìand calleíd me sinî. This is the conversation that Satan has with Sin as he is trying to get past and through the gates that are keeping him in hell. I found it interesting to have the character of Sin as the guard to the gate because sins are bad and bad is often simplistically associated with evil and misdoing. Satan is a very evil character and in Christianity is known for doing what he should not and the evil that he represents. Sin has been sent to guard the gates and is the one with the power to open.
This section of them poem also talks a lot about birth. Sin appears to be the mother of death who is also her enemy. This is clearly seen in line 803-804 ìBefore mine eyes in opposition sits, Grim Death my son and foeî. Sin takes care of her child despite the fact that he is not good as when he was conceived, even from before he was born was described to be a problem and a ìburdenî (767). Furthermore in relation to this is the idea of pregnancy and sex. Sin loved evil and from this relationship came death.
The last point I noticed was that death has the ability to take away the like of Sin. They are so close in proximity, yet he does not let her die. This reminded me of how in a relationship when someone is personally connected to somebody else the want for them to be around, even if for personal benefit or motive, is a strong influence in their actions. It would not be satisfactory for Death to take the life of Sin.
This passage seemed to point out a lot of characters from the bible and Christianity that are well known and who are believed to be powerful in their own ways. The passage also seemed to connect to a lot of classics and myths, which although I do not know as much about, related to the events in the passage.
2. 817 - 44:
In this passage Satan is addressing Sin after she had explained their history. He illustrates his journey, his cause against Heaven, and his need to pass through the gates of Hell. After his explanation, Satan promises Sin that he'll bring her and Death to a place where they may live in peace.
The theme of justice is prominent in the passage. Satan invokes the injustices of Heaven to persuade Sin to let him through the gates. He contends that it is unjust for God to create "a race of upstart Creatures" (834), lesser beings, to occupy the fallen angels' position in Heaven.
An aspect of the passage I found rather vague was the specifics of Satan's promise to Sin. He offers to take Sin and Death to "the place" (840) but fails to specify whether the location is Heaven, Hell, or Earth. I believe the ambiguity is purposeful, hinting at Satan's deceitful and fraudulent nature. Sin may assume that he is referring to Heaven, but Satan knows that abominations such as Sin and Death would never be granted a life in Heaven. His deceit strengthens his argument at the cost of damning others to an existence on Earth or Hell.
2. 845 - 49:
The speaker comes in to say that Satan stops telling the guardian of the gates and their son Death about why he wants to leave Hell, as both the guardian and Death start looking as though they approve of what he plans to do in Heaven. Death smiles enthusiastically after hearing that Satan will bring him back more food to eat, where he probably won't have to rely on eating his mother's bowels anymore for his meals. Death's mother is just as happy as Death is, and starts to reply to what Satan has just said.
2. 850 - 70:
In lines 850-70 of Book II, Sin explains that she is forbidden to unlock the gates of Hell by God and Death was to kill whomever tried to pass through them. However, she questions her loyalty to God as he cast her into the depths of Hell where she lives "in perpetual agony and pain" (2. 861). Sin announces that she should instead follow Satan, her father and author, who will bring her out of Hell to reign alongside him in the "new world of light and bliss" (2. 868). Sin's new loyalty to Satan mirrors that of the fallen angels because they all decide to follow and obey him because of his promises for a better life.
2. 871 - 929:
In this passage, the narrator describes the opening of Hell’s gates by Sin and Satan’s first view of Erebus or Chaos, the primordial turmoil from which the world was formed. The first section, which involves Sin unlocking the gates, resonates with a sense of irreversible doom: her key is described as the ‘sad instrument of all our woe’ (2.872), since she is allowing the archfiend out of his new domain, and ‘to shut [the gates of hell]/ Excel’d her power’ (2.883-4)—so Sin was brought to existence by Satan, and then in turn unleashed her father, and, as is implied in the lines following (2.885-7), any other ‘winged host’ from Hell. This sense of irrevocability is increased by further reference to the Styx river (2.875) ; in Greek mythology, any vows or decisions made on this river could not be broken or undone. Satan then steps through and observes Erebus, a space completely without any sort of boundaries, where the four classical elements war continuously—the narrator’s reference to ‘hot, cold, moist, and dry’ (2.898) refers to fire, water, earth, and air as they were understood by the theory of the four humours. This space is observed by Chaos and Chance, and the noise is comparable to Bellona, goddess of war, and so even Satan balks at venturing into it. This is perhaps another indication that Satin is and will remain completely inferior to God; he is ‘warie’ before the chaos, which can be ordained and brought into creation by the ‘Almighty Maker’
2. 930 - 67:
In this section the speaker is Satan and he is struggling to make his way through Chaos. The name Chaos tells the reader what the area is like, as it is every extreme all at once. Satan has trouble moving through the terrain because it is made up of so many extremes, that it is impossible to simply walk on it, and instead on lines 941-942 says, "Treading the crude consistence, half on foot, half flying; behoves him now both oar and sail." Satan is forced to crawl at some points to try to make it through Chaos, which is interesting considering how hard he was trying to maintain his dignity and honor by completing this mission. When the terrain and climate are strong enough to manipulate Satan, it could be viewed as a portrayal of the limits to his power, however it does not make him turn back or stop. He hears voices and moves towards them, and on lines 958-963 he says, "Which way the nearest coast of darkness lies bordering on light; when straight behold the Throne Of Chaos, and his dark pavilion spread wide on the wasteful Deep; with him Enthroníd sat sable-vested Night, eldest of things." The members of Night's court are named things like Confusion and Discord, fittingly named for habitants of Chaos. When Satan is before them, they cease speaking and all is silent while he takes in the sight. This reminds me of Hell's court in Book One, when the spirits all quieted down so Satan could speak, however, this time I read it with Satan being bestowed this gift of a right to speak, instead of having earned it by being in charge and respected.
2. 968 - 88:
In this passage Satan confronts Chaos and Night to ask them for their help in leading Satan out of the abyss and into either heaven or earth. Satan then proceeds to offer them a deal that if they assist him, then they can reclaim earth "To her original darkness" (984). This would be a win-win for Satan because he is getting help out of this place as well as getting revenge on God by letting Chaos and his companions take over the land that God has just created.
2. 988 - 1009:
This section of Book 2 deals with Ancient Night deciding to let Satan pass his watch en route to the mortal plain to enact the plan of getting to God via humans. Ancient Night seems keen to have Satan pass by as he states "Havoc and spoil and ruin are my gain" (1009). Ancient Night seems to provide another perspective as to the reactions to God's creation of other realms, each of newly created plains have a purpose, and alter the previous status quo in which Ancient Night held some power. Heaven's favoritism for the mortal world has scorned Ancient Night, as with the creation of Hell below and Earth above he has seen his place in existence radically altered and not for the better. This section helps to credit the idea that God may not be absolutely right in His ruling, as there is discontentment among other beings over His actions.
2. 1010 - 55:
In lines 1010-55, the speaker returns to describe Satan’s long and gruelling journey to Earth. His venture is compared to the ancient Greek stories of Jason and the Argonauts passing through the rocks of Bosporus, and Ulysses’ encounter with the whirlpool Charybdis . As Sin and Death follow in Satan’s track, the speaker informs us that this is “the will of Heav’n”. Given that heaven intends for Sin and Death to follow Satan to Earth alludes to the larger theme of the felix culpa or the fortunate fall. This suggests that it is apart of God’s plan to have sin and death in the world. As Satan, Sin and Death make there way towards Earth they build “a Bridge of wondrous length From Hell”. This is so that the perverse spirits of Hell may pass between both worlds with ease in order to tempt and punish mortals. Though, they will not punish mortals “whom God and good Angels guard by special grace” for these individuals represent the elect. As Satan’s journey continues, chaos helps ease Satan’s journey to the human world. The narrator makes a biblical reference while referring to “th’ Empyreal Heav’n”, describing battlements dressed in “living sapphire”. This refers back to the book of Revelations where St. John describes the foundation of a wall in heaven also made by sapphire. The speaker finishes book two by further describing Satan’s decent as one that is rife with “mischievous revenge”.