5. 1- 17:
In these lines, the narrator is describing Adam awakening, to watch his love Eve. Milton references gentle gods and goddesses associated with nature, such as Aurora(5.6), the goddess of morning, and Flora(5.16-17), the goddess of flowers. It is interesting to note that Aurora has a reputation of sexual infidelity, this could perhaps be foreshadowing of Eve’s sin. Flora, on the other hand, is known of one of many fertility goddesses, which could be a sign of Eve’s eminent pregnancy. This is also the last untroubled moment shared between the couple. [Late submission]
5. 17 - 25:
In this section, Adam is beginning to wake Eve from her sleep. The speaker describes Eve as his newest delight and a gift from Heaven (ll. 18-9). The speaker must wake the beautiful Eve because of the amount of work to do. The speaker goes on to describe the way that the garden is in the morning, "How Nature paints her colors, how the Bee / Sits on the Bloom extracting liquid sweet" (5.24-5). The speaker sees the garden, knowing how much work that must be done, and still is in awe of the garden. The speaker draws a parallel between nature and Eve. Waking up Eve is hard work and so is tending to the garden, but both are worth it because the speaker sees beauty within both.
5. 28 - 93:
In this section, the Speaker describes the morning of Adam awakening to find Eve next to him, not yet awoken but apparently restless in her sleep. He leans over to admire and eventually wake her, reminding her of the work they have yet to do that day. Distraught, Eve begins to describe the dream of "offense and trouble" that she was having that previous night. She recalls hearing a voice, which she assumed to be Adam's, calling her to wake up, for "now is the pleasant time,/ The cool, the silent, save where silence yields/ To the night-warbling Bird". She then describes how she got up to try and find Adam by walking in the direction of his voice, and ended up finding the Tree of Knowledge, where an angel was admiring and speaking to it: "O fair Plant, said he, with fruit surcharg'd,/ Deigns none to ease thy load and taste thy sweet,/ Nor God, nor Man; is Knowledge so despis'd?"" In short, the angel asks the Tree why it does not allow anyone to taste its fruit, and is surprised at how having knowledge is seemingly frowned upon. The angel then plucks a fruit from a branch and bites into it, enjoying the sweetness.
The angel invites Eve to also partake in tasting the fruit, which will grant her godliness, removing her confinement to earth. He entices her with the wonder of being able to see what life is like in Heaven and the possibility that she may be able to live that way herself (an interesting way to put it, considering Eve knows of gods and heaven but not of what Death is and where it may lead - because in this case we know her destination is definitely not Heaven if she decides to partake). He held out to her the fruit he had bitten, and she took a bite herself. The pair suddenly flew up to the clouds and looked at the earth from above, at which point he disappeared and she sunk back down to the place where she had been sleeping, only to wake up as if it were all a dream.
5. 95 - 128:
In these lines Adam responds to Eve’s telling of her worrisome dreams. He explains to Eve “that in the Soule/ Are many lesser Faculties that serve/ Reason as chief” (5.100-2), one of these being Fansie. As Adam states, Fansie holds office over the external world, taking what each of our senses perceive and creating imagination out of them. Reason being chief, then processes this information and creates what we know to be our opinions and beliefs we have of the world around us.
Adam then says that Reason “retires/ Into her private Cell when Nature rests” (5.108-9), and this is when Fansie awakens and mimics Reason. However Fansie has a way of mis-processing past instances and words, altering them into evil thoughts or deeds as opposed to good.
After this explanation Adam interprets the dream suggesting that there are some ideas from this dream that seem to correspond with their discussion from the evening prior, however with multiple strange additions.
Adam then states that “Evil into the mind of God or Man/ May come and go, so unapprov'd, and leave/ No spot or blame behind”(5.117-9). I am unsure if this is referring to Satan placing evil thoughts into the mind, or the Fansie’s misinterpretations of the outside world. If not Satan, these thoughts of evil must be self-generated, therefore making Man self-deluded. These lines also seem problematic because God is supposed to be eternally good and just; moreover how is it possible that he have evil thoughts?
Finally, Adam foreshadows the fall of Man when he states, “Which gives me hope/ That what in sleep thou didst abhorr to dream,/ Waking thou never wilt consent to do” (5.119-21). As it is known that she does just what she has dreamt, this statement appears ironic.
5. 129 - 52:
In this section, lines 129-152, the speaker is explaining that Eve tells Adam about her dream of eating the tree's forbidden fruit. Eve is emotional about her dream: "But silently a gentle tear let fall/ From either eye, and wip'd them with her haire;/Two other precious drops that ready stood, Each in thir Chrystal sluce, hee ere they fell" (5.130-33). It's as if she feels she did something wrong, why else would she be sad about it? Adam tells Eve that it was only a dream and the two spend their days the same as before. Adam and eve also sing to praise God and they seem to be happy with where they are and what they have.
5. 153 - 208:
With eloquent and tuneful verse, Adam and Eve offer prayers to God at daybreak.
Since this passage offers a variety of protractible themes, (eg. Milton's cosmology and the elemental view of nature) I chose to investigate a select few that are either central to the plot or can be cross-referenced elsewhere in the poem.
The central issue is derived from the opening section (5.153-9) and involves the relationship between God and the first humans - particularly in the domain of knowledge. Adam and Eve's immediacy in pointing to God's "glorious works" (5.153) seems to gloss over a subtextual detachment from God in a rational, or even 'spiritual' sense - a personally surprising revelation because it contrasts with my own presupposition that the prelapsarian state involved a close affinity between the reason and will of humanity and God (cf. Augustine, Confessions, XIII.22 ì). Holding this point in focus will allow us to explore two separate avenues of analysis.
Using E.M.W. Tillyard's powerful study, The Elizabethan World Picture, as a reference, it appears Milton ensured his Adam and Eve knew the Angels' place in the Chain of Being as well as their own. Instead of asking God for a fuller revelation as Moses did (cf. Ex. 33:18), the humans seem contented enough to simply speak of God as an "invisible", "unspeakable" being (5.156-7). It is left to the Angels to honor and behold divinity in the sublime (5.160-1); the reader should hearken to their heavenly cries in Book III (3.372-415) for a diametrical viewpoint to Adam and Eve's. The couple's self-awareness in this matter is exhibited thusly: within a few breaths, features of the universe so rousingly touted as "glorious" are diminished to the status of God's "lowest works" (5.158) before being systematically measured from the heavenly Throne (5.163) down the Chain to the lowliest creeping things (5.201). (Inserting Aristotle's elements, Heraclitus' principle of perpetual change and Pythagoras' cosmic harmony deftly fuses a variety of classical accounts with the Biblical creation story - not to mention the myriad orbs and spheres involved!) Holding that the same created world may appear lowly to God and Angels but glorious to those beings with limited faculties, is this change in tone simply a matter of perspective? Of no little consequence, if this spatial and intellectual gulf between God and Man is so immense, than what is this "Divine resemblance" (4.364) so bemoaned by Satan and exhorted by the speaker (4.291-2)? A similitude of mere appearance, though suggested by certain texts, does insufficient justice to the reading of image as "Truth, Wisdom, [and] Sanctitude" (4.293) - unless these rational qualities are only intended for practical rather than speculative endeavours. Owing to this pragmatic intuition, Man and Woman can only interpret reality as ordered change, yet they choose to view this state for its positive possibilities: "let your ceaseless change / Vary to our great Maker still new praise (5.183-4). Though Adam and Eve do have some conception of God's higher attributes - mainly his temporal transcendence and creative powers - their general standpoint is one of conjecture: "thine this universal frame, / Thus wondrous fair; thyself how wondrous then!"" (154-55).
My second hypothesis is that Adam and Eve's outward turn is a deliberately written psychological reaction to their troubling introspection only a few 'minutes' prior in Paradise. Adam judges that because his partner succumbed to temptation in a dream, her "taste" (5.86) of the forbidden fruit left "no spot or blame behind" (5.119). Yet there remains a lingering problem. It is clear from Adam's less-than-fully-informed monologue that he intuits Reason cannot be trusted to guard the imagination from Fancy - at least this is the case in slumber (5.108-115). Satan has not yet caused a moral failing, but he deviously succeeds in breaking Adam and Eve's confidence in their personal interior experiences by disrupting the Soul's ideal chain of command (5.100-8). Therefore, sensual input of God's remains the sole conduit of admittedly partial truth - an external revelation notwithstanding. Their assurance that the "universal Lord" has dispersed any nocturnal evil (5.206-8)leads to a Firm peace (5.210), but this quietude's principal effect is to hastily propel the couple outward to work in the Garden, leaving no place for further contemplation. Arbeit macht frei?
5. 209 - 23:
After praying Adam and Eve feel again at ease, they go to do their everyday work of tending the gardens and taking care of the trees. The talk of the Elm and the Vine intertwining with the help of Adam and Eve just made me think of how God created the bond between Adam and Eve and brought them together. While they are occupied, God calls on Raphael, who is known for travelling in human form with Tobias and protecting him. [Late submission]
5. 224 - 45:
In lines 224-245, God is speaking to the archangel Raphael. God explains to Raphael that Satan has escaped and has gone to disrupt Adam and Eve and ultimately “ruin all mankind” (5.228). God tells Raphael to go talk to Adam wherever he finds him and to caution him on the danger that lies ahead from Satan. Raphael is also instructed to tell Adam that the danger does not come from violence, but from “deceit and lies” (5.243). Raphael’s duties are to ensure that both Adam and Eve know what to expect so they cannot say that they were not warned if Satan deceives them. This seems to be God’s way of protecting himself from confrontation because now if Adam and Eve break the rules, God is able to punish them without question.
5. 246 - 307:
In lines 246-307, the speaker is describing Raphael's flight from Heaven to the Garden of Eden. Raphael has just received his orders from God to warn Adam and Eve about Satan's deceit. The other Angels part to make a path for Raphael that leads to Heaven's Gate. Raphael then flies straight to the Garden of Eden, "From hence, no cloud, or, to obstruct his sight, / Star interpos'd" (5.258-59). Once he made it to the edges of Paradise, Raphael turns back into his regular form. The Angels watching Adam and Eve know that he is Raphael as soon as they see him, because he is dressed in gold and has six wings. He passes their tents and they all know that the message he carries is important. He finally reaches Adam and Eve at dinner time, and Eve has just finished preparing a meal.
5. 308 - 20:
Adam is the speaker, and he calls out to Eve to see who a marvelous sight. By this point we know the sight (visitor) is Raphael. He describes this figure as glorious, and says he must be coming from Heaven. Adam is wondering if he brings something from Heaven. Then Adam tells Eve to prepare for their guest, “bring forth and poure / Abundance”, bring everything which is fit for a Heavenly being. He seems to mean they can afford to give the visitor their own gifts (aka what Nature brings them is from Heaven therefore the Heavenly guests can surely receive their gifts). [Late submission]
5. 321 - 30:
Adam has just told Eve to harvest a bounty of fruits in order to entertain their Heavenly guest. This section is Eve’s response to this request. Before she complies to the command she affirms her partner that the food she will gather is God inspirited (or fertilized) and therefore “will serve” sufficiently (321). She goes on attempting to consolidate her affirmation by relying on the fact that the fruits are “ripe for use” in all seasons (333). She presumes that because they never have to be “frugal” in their storage or gathering but are instead blessed with a “superfluous” amount of sources for nourishment, that their standard of living is compatible with Heaven (334, 335). She ends her discourse by brazenly going as far as to say that when the Angel has tasted of their Earthly goodness he “shall confess that here on Earth/ God hath dispenst his bounties as in Heav’n” (329, 330).
As readers we can see the incongruence of Eve’s discourse; nothing on Earth could ever compare to the majesty of Heaven. The way in which Eve is relaying her thoughts however is not in an act of defiance or egotistical rebellion but rather innocent ignorance. It is almost as if amidst all of the praising and laboring in God’s creation that she has missed the concept that where the Creator resides must naturally be that much more beautiful and glorious.This being said is the inclusion of this section then a further jab at the intellect of women? [Late Submission]
5. 331 - 61:
It is the narrator speaking in lines 331-361. He's telling about how Eve is going to get fruit for Raphael. She wants to impress him by finding the best fruit, delicacies whose flavours won't clash. She gather fruits of all kinds, she crushes some of them to drink (the Grape in particular is mentioned here, I believe as a reference to wine, or at least as a reference to where the idea for wine came from). She makes creams to go with the fruit and spreads roses and other nice smelling plants around.
Meanwhile the Speaker says Adam, who he calls "our Primitive great Sire["] (350) greets Raphael who is described as being "god like["] (351) And even though Raphael is compared to Princes who are so rich that even their grooms are clad is so much gold that they dazzle the crowd "and sets them all agape["] (357), Adam is not awed, but he is still respectful, and reverent, and he bows to Raphael.
I feel like we see two very different reactions to Raphael's arrival. Eve goes off in a frantic tizzy to improve to meal that she has already made so that it will demonstrate all the riches that Eden has to offer. Adam, in contrast, approaches Raphael with a show of submissiveness and bows to him even though he is not awed by Raphael's greatness. It intrigues me that the Speaker calls Adam primitive and then goes on to make a comparison that shows that Adam is not in awe of Raphael even though it is clear that his descendants are dazzled by the retinue of Princes who are less than Raphael.
5. 361 - 70:
These lines occur just after Adam had meet Raphael. The two are starting to talk to one another here. I believe that it is Adam who is speaking in this passage and that he is greeting their guest.
A part of this passages was a description of what Raphael look like his "glorious shape" (5.362). The passage focuses on where he is coming from as well and recognizes Heaven to be a very good place.
Here Adam seemed to be telling him that the two of them (himself ad Eve) were happy and were honoured to have such a special guest. The passage mentions the many good things that they have access to aside from it just being the two of them there, and that because it is just them they have much that they can offer to Raphael. Even though it is just Adam and Eve they "sovran gifts possess" (5.366)
Adam seemed very accommodating in this passage to me to make sure he was kind and that Raphael feels welcomed. Adam appears to know that the guest is important and has some importance as an angel. This is seen especially in the last three lines of this passage where he offers him the "Garden choicest best" (5.368) and a comfortable place to sit and rest while they eat.
At this moment they still do not know why Raphael has come down to Eden from Heaven to see them.
5. 371 - 7:
In this passage the angel Raphael is addressing Adam. He confirms his angelical nature and accepts the invitation to Adam's home.
5. 377 - 87:
The speaker tells us that Adam and Eve take Raphael to their house, just as he had requested. The speaker describes the house as resembling the one that Pomona lives in: a Roman goddess who was supposed to be in charge of a garden and the maintainer of all sorts of fruit trees, which is similar to what Eve does. The speaker says that although the house is decorated in all kinds of flowers and sweet scents, Eve herself was not decorated at all. She was more lovely than a wood nymph (a female tree spirit or deity). When he refers to the three that fought on Mount Ida, he is talking about a mountain on Crete Island in Greece where 3 Goddesses (Juno, Venus, and Minerva) were judged for their beauty without the use of any covering or decoration. The speaker then says that Eve stood to entertain their guest, not needing a veil, as she was virtuous, and no shame caused her to blush. He says that Raphael greeted Eve with the same holy words that had been used to greet Marie, the second Eve.
5. 388 - 91:
In this brief passage, Raphael addresses Eve as the "Mother of Mankind" (5. 388) before they dine on the various fruits she has collected. She is then praised for her "fruitful womb" (5. 389) and is appreciated majorly for her ability to bear sons. Raphael's greeting of "Hail Mother of Mankind" (5. 388) seems to draw a parallel to the catholic Hail Mary prayer. This is an interesting connection as the prayer bequests Mary, who is free from sin and has never displeased God, to pray for the sinners, while Eve shall inevitably become the first of the sinners. Similarly, in the prayer Mary is also praised for her the fruit of her womb and in both cases the women are largely valued in their ability to bear children.
5. 391 - 7:
After Raphael hails Eve, the narrator describes the table of Adam and Eve, with the focus being on the ‘ample’ fruitfulness of the table (5.391-5), likely to enforce the earlier assertion that Eve would be as fertile in sons as the garden is in fruits. The narrator also notes that crops in the garden grow without regard to season (‘…Spring and Autumn here / Danc’d hand in hand’, 5.394-5). It is also noted that, while Adam and Eve speak with Raphael, they need not fear that the food will cool. I was confused as to whether this was a reference to the supernatural quality of the garden (just as its fruit can grow in any season), or whether it is referencing the vegetarian diet the garden sustains.
5. 397 - 403:
In this section, Adam is speaking and he is telling the angel, Raphael to eat the food they have prepared. It is almost as if Adam gives thanks for the food they are about to eat when he says, "These bounties which our Nourisher, from whom/ All perfect good unmeasur'd out, descends,/ To us for food and for delight hath caus'd/ The Earth to yield."" (5. 398-401) However, the title "Nourisher" seems to be connected to both the term according to food and the fact that they have been provided for by God, but also by the fact that God provides for them in other ways, by giving them bounties of happiness and delight as well. Since they have so much and are treated so well by God, and because they are not selfish, which would be immoral, Adam and Eve seem to take great pleasure in giving back to the angel, which represents Heaven. In these sections Eve seemed to have a lot to do with the preparation and collecting of the food, so I was also wondering if she could be considered almost a nourisher as well, however not on the same scale as God. She could also be connected to nourishing by being the mother figure for all of humanity, both nourishing her offspring and by continuing the human race. In comparison, Adam is still the one inviting the angel to eat and telling Eve what to do.
5. 404 - 33:
From 404-433 the speaker is describing the hierarchy of Earth, starting with humans, then animals, and then slowly moving down the line to the inanimate, "Corporeal to incorporeal" (413) as the poem says. The speaker goes on to say that there needs to be some type of food chain in the world and relates the chain to the elements as it lists which element feeds another as the cycle continues. They then compare the moon and the sun and state how the moon does not give or take from anything, "unpurg'd / Vapors not yet into her substance turn'd. / Nor doth the Moon no nourishment exhale" (419-421), while the sun both gives and takes from the world, "The Sun that light imparts to all, receives / From all his alimental recompense / In humid exhalations" (423-425). In the last bit of the passage the speaker describes the food in heaven and is comparing them with the new foods that God has created on earth.
5. 433 - 60:
The speaker is speaking in this section, and the section seems to deal with a meal that the recently exiled humanity is having. This section seems to deal with the fact that even in exile God still provides for us, as the newly exiled humans now need to eat. The casual mentioning of Eve's newly gained menstral cycle: "Mean while at Table Eve / Ministerd naked" (443-444) shows that punishment but just assumes that the reader is aware of the nature of Eve's punishment from eating the apple. Overall this section mentions a lot of what God provides for us despite the fall from his grace. The mention of Alchemy is something that suprises me as a science, and the writing of that section seems to make it sound as if angels can do as they please and that we have to do things throught great effort because of the exile from the Garden of Eden.
5. 461 - 7:
In lines 461-467, Adam is speaking to the Archangel Raphael. He first addresses the angel by paying him respect for being an “Inhabitant with God”. Adam acknowledges that it is a great honor to have an angel enter his “lowly roof”, to taste the fruits and food of man. He asserts that the food of earth is not the food of angels and commends Raphael for accepting it. He then speaks of “Heav’n’s high feasts” and asks the angel to compare the luxuries of Heaven and Earth. It is worth noting that in Eve’s dreams she is tempted with the luxuries of the Gods, which are portrayed as being infinitely greater than that of the mortals in this passage.
5. 468 - 505:
In lines 468-505, Raphael tells Adam that by virtue of being created by God, all things contain a unique kind of perfection. In the previous stanzas Adam humbly expresses that the food he and Eve offer to Raphael is insignificant compared to the food of Heaven, but Raphael asserts that "from the root / Springs lighter the green stalk, from thence the leaves / More aery, last the bright consummate flow'r / Spirits odorous breathes" (5.479-482). His analogy shows that they all come from the same "root" - God - and with each progressive growth the plant grows more beautiful, airy, and sweet smelling. That being said, though, Raphael tells Adam about the distinction between men, angels, and animals. What makes humans unique, and specifically distinct from animals, is their ability to reason. Angels, on the other hand, simply know things, thus eliminating the need to reason. Raphael says, "The soul / Reason receives, and reason is her being, / Discursive, or Intuitive; discourse / Is oftest yours, the latter most is ours" (5.486-489). Raphael goes even further in his equalizing speech by saying that the "time may come when men / With Angels may participate" (5.493-494), which insinuates that inhabitants of Earth have the potential to be on the same level with those of Heaven. He ends by encouraging Adam to be obedient and "retain / Unalterably firm his love entire" (5.501-502), explaining that if he does so, his spirit can dwell in Eden or in Heaven, whichever he chooses.
This is an interesting section as Raphael's warning to Adam would suggest that he has the ability to act of his own free will, and yet it is seemingly predetermined that Eve will fall to temptation. In earlier books, the speaker affirms that God, while all powerful, has the power of foreknowledge, but not the power to alter what he knows will happen (thus contradicting his omnipotence). Moreover, if God has the foreknowledge of Eve's rebellion, why would he send Raphael to speak to Adam instead of Eve? While it has been established that Eve is made to be obedient to Adam, this situation could easily cut out the 'middle man'.
5. 506 - 18:
Adam is speaking in this passage in response to Raphael's statement about obedience. He is shocked at the idea that they (Adam and Eve) could possibly disobey God. How could they? When he created them and gave them the joy of life and grace, ìWho formd us from the dust/and plac'd us here, Full to the utmost measure of what bliss/Human desires can seek or apprehend?î (5.516-518). Basically, Adam is saying how is it humanly possible to disobey God when there is no greater desire than obeying God.
This section shows many different aspects of the poem: God's grace; ignorance/innocence; and freewill. God's grace is demonstrated in how devoted Adam and Eve appear to be to him. Adam believes that there is nothing greater than God's grace and they will always be obedient for that privilege. As for the ignorance/innocence aspect of the poem, it seems inconceivable that Adam or Eve will ever disobey God and yet we all (the reader) know the results of the poem.
We see the ignorance/innocence in Adam in this section and how he cannot see any way in disagreeing with God. Is this ignorance? Or simply innocence? Personally, it's innocence because, like a child, they are unaware of the possible circumstances/outcomes of certain situations. They are still ìpureî and therefore innocent.
And finally, freewill will be further explained in the next section, however we shall see once again how God cannot be put to blame for their actions since he gave both Adam and Eve the power of freewill and therefore choose to fall to temptation.
5. 519 - 43:
Raphael, the visiting angel, is speaking here. Perhaps as an introduction to his words of warning on the topic of Satan's invasion of the Garden, Raphael expands upon his previous statements about the scales of life and of spirit in relation to God by explaining to Adam that God values the freedom of his subjects to love and obey him or not. He states that "That thou art happie, owe to God; / That thou continu'st such, owe to thy self, (5.520-21)" suggesting that God gives his creations the tools for success, but allows them to use those tools as they see fit rather than coddling them and robbing them of their free will.
This passage reminds me of God's statements in Book IV that he values his subjects having free will because their worship would mean nothing if they didn't choose it. I think Milton is trying so strongly to convey that the forces of heaven are in favour of free will because without these statements they would seem somewhat tyrannical when compared by the reader to the free-spirited Satan.
5. 544 - 60:
In this piece Adam is replying to Gabriel. The trend of complimentary titles is continued as Adam is called the "great Progenitor" (5.544) and Progenitor is defined as "A person or thing from which a person, animal, or plant is descended or originated." This points to Adams importance, the respect he is given, and also the hierarchy in which Adam is above Eve as he is the Progenitor, not her.
Adam is happy that he can indulge in this conversation and compares it to "Cherubic Song" (5.547) and "Aereal Music" (5.548); the conversation is greater than those two things. He explains that mankind will not stop loving and obeying God because his will is Just. Adam believes this so much that he somewhat doubts that some Angels have fallen and continue to disobey God.
I took the end two possible ways:
1) The sun has only gone through the sky half of the way so they have a lot of time to continue talking. This shows that Adam follows Gods decision to make Mankind rest in succession.
2) the sun has ended the day for Adam and is starting to rise in Heaven, this shows how far Adam is from heaven and God.
5. 563 - 99:
Raphael is talking to Adam in this passage, and he begins to tell the story of what happened in Heaven. He begins by questioning how he can relate to humans "th' invisible exploits / Of warring spirits", which, in The Aeneid, is explained by the various Gods making things happen on the Earth, either because they are angry, want these things to happen, or are merely making Fate come true. I found this comparison interesting because God in Paradise Lost is supposed to be letting people choose to love him, and Adam was just told he was given free will; yet he is being compared to Gods that hold Fate over the cosmos. Raphael goes on to say that these warring spirits ruin so many glorious things because of their battles, feeling no remorse, and he doesn't think Adam can understand that, considering his home in Eden. He then says that if Adam doesn't understand, he will draw comparisons between celestial bodies to earthly ones so that the following story might make more sense. Raphael's last line before beginning his story is wondering whether things on Earth are more similar than he thinks to things in Heaven, and that maybe Adam will understand without him having to dumb it down.
Raphael's story starts at a time when the world did not exist, and Chaos ruled, meaning God was not the ruler. As well, Heaven was where Earth is at this point, making the question of similarities between Heaven and Earth seem less far-fetched. This day there was a big celebration happening that brought all the celestial bodies together from every end of Heaven to return to their original places. This happens approximately every 36000 years. The groups parading in are distinguished by their rank, like in the military, and they stop before God and his Son on their thrones. Their seats on the thrones are described as being high up, and so bright at the top that you can't actually see them, blinding you. This reinforces the hierarchy, as you cannot see them, but they can see you.
5. 600 - 15:
In this passage, God is announcing to his Heavenly Host that he has begotten a Son. Traditional Christian belief, however, dictated that the Son and God are coeternal-that there was no beginning and will be no end to their relationship. God claims his Son as an equal part of him, and threatens that any who questions His authority and control will fall “into utter darkness (5.614).” God decrees that the angels must exhibit their fealty to the Son, and these lines seem to have strongly been influenced by Romans 14:11, “'As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.'”
5. 616 - 72:
In this section God's speech is concluding, after crowning his son the Messiah. The angels are rejoicing over God's decision. It says that they spent the day "In song and dance about the sacred Hill" (5.619). The angels ate and drank and were decorated beautifully (11.636-7), they celebrated until night came and were too tired to continue the cerebrations. The angels reaction to God's decision makes me believe that they love and respect God completely. It is also said that this reaction happens on an everyday basis (1.628). This gives the illusion that they angels don't necessarily respect God's decision, but rejoice anyhow. This creates the division of actually respecting God and false respect for God. It is unclear what side the angels are standing on, since they are constantly rejoicing. This makes me think that Satan could easily act as if he was respecting God's decision of choosing his son as Messiah, when we know that Satan is actually jealous of God's son (1l.662-5).
5. 673 - 93:
In this section, Raphael is telling the story to Adam of the relationships between God and the Messiah and Satan, before the earth and Man was ever created. Specifically, line 673 starts with Raphael quoting the words of Satan (at this point in history called Lucifer) as he speaks to Beelzebub after hearing the announcement of the Messiah as Lord of all the angels.
"Sleep'st thou, Companion dear, what sleep can close / Thy eye-lids?" (673-4), he asks Beelzebub: Satan is incredulous at how Beelzebub can sleep at a time like this, when normally the thoughts of the duo are so well-aligned. Satan seems to be imagining and anticipating all of the changes to the laws and Counsels in Heaven, but trails off to say that he had better not speak any more of it in a place where others could hear him. However he continues by ordering Beelzebub to assemble all those angels that follow him so that they may march to some other place - the "Quarters of the North" (689). Where this may be exactly, I am not sure, but apparently it is a reference to how the fallen angels have turned their backs on God and have so become icy and hard at heart. There, they will prepare something of "Fit entertainment" for the new Messiah, "Who speedily through all the Hierarchies / Intends to pass triumphant, and give Laws" (692-3). These last couple lines really highlight the malice behind Satan's motives and plans, as he seems to indicate by the use of the word "intends" that the Son will not actually succeed.
Also interesting to me, and relating back to the argument over whether Satan and Beelzebub are separate characters or just two components of the same character, is when Satan says to Beelzebub, "Assemble thou / Of all those Myriads which we lead the chief" (683-4). Typically, "we" refers to the self and at least one other person, while "chief" is a singular noun - and so Satan seems to be implying that his two parts (he and Beelzebub) come together as one to be the chief of their followers.
5. 694 - 718:
In these lines the narrator speaks of Satan’s first advances towards building an army to overthrow God in heaven. The narrator describes Satan calling upon the angels of heaven in attempt to sway these angel’s to join his rebellion. The narrator describes this by saying, “hee together calls, / Or several one by one, the Regent Powers, / Under him Regent” (5. 696-8). The last phrase of these lines that says, “the regent powers, under him regent” seems to give understanding to the reader of how powerful, and high status Satan was while in heaven. This is further emphasized by the juxtaposition of this passage to its position within the poem. Satan’s former authority, power, and greatness in heaven are juxtaposed with his present fallen state, in which he is universally rejected. The reader is learning of Satan’s previous greatness while also knowing his current state; giving a clear understanding of how much Satan has actually lost.
The narrator goes on to describe Satan as using ambiguous words, and jealousies that lack integrity while lobbying the angels, however goes on to say that they obeyed and followed him as his status and greatness in heaven surpassed many. The narrator describes Satan lost status by saying, “for great indeed / His name, and high was his degree in Heav’n; / His count'nance, as the Morning Starr that guides / The starrie flock” (5.706-9). Again, the past tense used in these lines seems to sting, as this is another reminder of the immensity of what Satan has lost.
These lines finish with the narrator stating that Satan had gained control of one third of heavens host. The narrator then goes on to say that God being all seeing and all knowing knew of Satan’s uprising. At the end of these lines the reader is left with the image of God smiling as he about to speak with his Son. This seems slightly sinister or out of place. It seems that God is almost happy about being betrayal by his followers.
5. 719 - 32:
God is speaking to his Son in this section. He explains to his Son how he is the heir and what responsibilities he will have. God explains that they have unlimited amount of very great power but God says that Satan is rising. God states that his thrown is equal to Satan's which shows that he understands how powerful Satan is compared to his son and himself. When looking at this line: "In our defense, lest unawares we lose" (5.731), I find it as interesting, one that I had to break down to fully understand.
lest: with the intention of preventing
unawares: without being aware of a situation.
So basically, what I understood is that God says that Satan can try to battle against us but with all that we employ, with the intention of preventing to lose, we will not fail. God then says that no matter what, this is a safe place, a high place, seen as unattainable. I understood that God assures his son that heaven is so high and safe that they have nothing to worry about.
5. 733 - 42:
In Lines 5.733-735, Raphael introduces God's "only Son" (5.718) as he is about to reply to his "Mighty Father" (5.735). "Th' Eternal eye" (5.711), having perceived Satan's rebellious plans, cautions his Son of the need to make ready Heaven's defenses in case the defiant Legions attempt an attack on their high throne. Yet the Son exhibits a "serene" (5.734), "calm aspect" (5.733) in the face of this divinely foreseen danger. God's laughter "at thir vain designs" (5.737), (along with the Son's coronation scene in 5.601-9), recalls the 2nd Psalm, where "he that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh" (Ps. 2:4) at the raging heathen who "imagine a vain thing" (Ps. 2:1), and "counsel together, against the Lord and against his anointed" (Ps. 2:2). The Son, perhaps relishing in his exalted role, insinuates that the Angels' jealousy has the effect of augmenting his own Glory, since the rebellion shows how much they have to be jealous of in the first place. It brings to this reader's mind an uneasiness that the Son is acting as a spoiled tyrant, stretching to put a positive spin on this unfortunate uprising while showing neither sympathy nor interest in the root causes or claims of his foes. This raises the following question: did God mean to deliberately provoke those Angels who may have already been prone to disloyalty by the manner in which he anointed him as their commander? In other words the Son's promotion may have been intentionally designed as wedge issue to test the entire Host's loyalty for the reason that purging anyone who is less than completely faithful in one great battle is better than letting the pride fester and potentially affect more heavenly beings over time than the 1/3 led by Satan currently. Overall, the Son clearly understands the situation as a test of his abilities to "subdue" (5.741) the challengers, but he appears securely confident in the "Regal Power / Giv'n (5.739-40) unto him.
5. 743 - 71:
I believe Raphael is speaking here, he is still telling Adam the story of Satan, after we hear the conversation from God to his Son. The speaker makes it seem like Satan has taken over such a vast space, using the words “Innumerable” (5.745) and “Stretcht into Longitude; which having pass’d /At length into the limits of the North” (5.745-755). Satan creates his own Palace and it sounds quite impressive “Rais’d on a Mount, with Pyramids and Towrs /From Diamond Quarries hew’n, and Rocks of Gold” (5. 758-759). The fact that his palace is covered in diamonds and gold reminded me of when Satan was at the bottom of the stairs to Heaven and there is a description of the gate “With Frontispice of Diamond and Gold” (3.506). This is first time that Satan’s archangel named is used: Lucifer. Satan next commands his followers to the Mount and he told them it was “About the great reception of thir King” (5.769) but in reality it is about the unjust act (in the eyes of Satan) God has just committed.
5. 772 - 802:
In lines 772-802, Satan is speaking to the other angels that have decided to follow him and go against God. Satan opens his speech with “Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Virtues, Powers” (5.772). This is important because in God’s speech on line 601, he uses the same words. By copying what God says, it shows Satan’s desire to be powerful and more like God. Satan is mad and jealous that God chose his son to be the next in power and says to the other angels, “Another now hath to himself ingross’t/ All Power” (5.775-776). He describes that there is not just one person to obey, “but double” (5.783), and he does not like the idea. Satan brings up the question that “better counsels might erect/ Our minds and teach us to cast off this Yoke?” (5.785-786). Satan ultimately wants to rebel against God, and is making his case to the other angels through the course of these lines.
5. 803 - 8:
In lines 803-8 the speaker is describing the angel's reactions to Satan's speech and insubordination. Among the angels, Abdiel stands up in anger. Abdiel is described as, "than whom none with more zeal ador'd / The Deity, and divine commands obey'd," (5.805-6). Abdiel is loyal to God and believes in Him wholeheartedly. He is furious that Satan would question God and gets ready to refute Satan's speech.
5. 809 - 48:
5. 849 - 52:
In this section the Angel Abdiel has just chastised Satan, providing no sympathy as he calls attention to the folly of his rebellion against God. In order to understand the meaning behind the Angel’s words it is helpful to note what he stood for. Abidel is described as having an “ardent desire of hallowing the name of God, together with an indignation against whatever tends to the violation or contempt of religion” (footnote pg. 135).
Taking this into consideration lines 849 to 852 then come as a seemingly natural response to the readership. Being that Abdiel is in the presence of a host of angels hyped on the idea of rebellion, “none seconded” (no one supported) his critique of Satan but rather deemed it as “out of season” and uncalled for at the time. Their beguiled mindsets judged him as being “singular and rash” and therefore disregarded his wisdom. They instead turned and “rejoic’d/ Th’ Apostate” feeding his egocentric character . Spurred on by this support Satan prepares his response to the unwavering Angel in a broth of arrogance.
5. 853 - 71:
In lines 853-871 it is Satan speaking to the angel Abdiel. In line 852 he is referred to as "th' Apostate" which is a person who renounces or rejects a religious belief. I believe that Satan's tone is scathing in response to Abdiel's chastising lecture. My interpretation of Satan's speech is that he is stating that the fallen angels are independent on God, they have their own power and don't rely on Him for it, and they are so great as to have no equals. Satan goes on to say that they intend to "begirt["] (868) (I understand this to mean besiege) and gain "th' Almighty Throne["] (868), that is, God's throne and consequently the Kingdom of Heaven. Satan wants Abdiel to deliver this message to God. The last line "And fly, ere evil intercept thy flight["] (871) feels like a threat and shows that Satan wants God to get his message with all possible haste. [Late]
5. 872 - 6:
The speaker in this passage is Raphael. An important part of this passage in general is that it is a short transition between Satan speaking and Adbiel answering in the following lines.
Raphael in this passage is described as having a tone of voice that is deep, calm, and listened by others. The fact that he is listened to is noted by the "applause" (5.873) of the angels. The "Hoarse murmur" (5.873) is produced by the deep sound that is noted (the applause, the voice). The applause is what produces the rumbling sounds similar to the sounds of the "waters deep" (5.872) which is the ocean. The way the ocean is described in this passage is more of the turbulent ocean, with waves and ripples, as opposed to an entirely calm one. However, the calm is there in the beginning and it is what becomes disrupted by the applause. The applause happens here in a ripple effect much like dropping a stone in water, there is a splash, a sound, and then a movement that progressively get larger and spreads further.
In line 5.874 I took the "infinite Host" to be two different things. One it could be God, as God is infinite and eternal, he has essentially unlimited powers and knowledge. However, it can be the angels as well, because there is an infinite number of angels. When Satan disrupts some of the angels to be bad like him it does not change the fact that God has an infinite amount because infinity cannot really be broken. It is an odd mathematical concept. However, that being said one can say that Satan also has an infinite amount of angels, even though they are of a smaller mass than those of God. God on the other hand may have less than before, but he still has twice that of what Satan has, if Satan were to take a third of the angels.
In line 5.875 I interpreted the "flaming Seraph" to be Satan. The flames and fire can be associated with bad, evil, and with a typical description of Hell. All of these negative qualities are characteristics that Satan embodies. As noted in an earlier book in the poem Satan has Hell inside of him, and is the embodiment of Hell.
The "foes" (5.876) that are mentioned I understood to be not only God, but also the Angels. They are Satan's foes and those that he is directly against. In this last line Raphael is finishing up what he is saying and Abdiel is getting ready to respond. Raphael is finishing up with his account of what had previously happened.
5. 877 - 95:
In this passage the angel Abdiel is speaking. He rejects Satan's cause, claiming "I see thy fall / determin'd" (5.878-9), correctly prophesising the failure of the rebel angels. Furthermore, he warns Satan of Godís wrath, claiming that "[the] Golden Sceptre which thou didst reject / is now an Iron Rod to bruise and break / thy disobedience" (5.886-8).
The inclusion of Abdiel acts as a tool for Milton to undermine the cause of Satan. By creating an angel who is able to realize Satan's goals are a "perfidious fraud" (5.880), God's righteousness is confirmed. After the initial schism in Heaven, none of the angels which sided with God defect to Satan's army. In contrast the sole defector of Satan's followers, Abdiel, creates doubt within the fall angels' argument. Including dissent within Satan's legions completely undermines his legitimacy as a rebel with a just cause. Therefore, one can assume that the rebellious angels are inherently evil and that God's cause is righteous.
5. 896 - 907:
The speaker informs us that the only person in the whole crowed who disagrees with Satan's speech is Abdiel, where nothing Satan says is able to affect him in any way and make him change his mind even in the slightest, and he remains unterrified of Satan. Throughout all of Satan's speech, Abdiel continues to love and remain loyal to God, and continues to have faith in God's plans. Not even the fact that he is the only one in a gigantic crowd of people who do agree with Satan is able to change his mind. The narrator explains that in order to leave the area, Abdiel has to take a long walk through the crowd, who outwardly and violently show their disgust towards him for not agreeing with Satan. But he never fears their violence, and reflects that all of these people are on their way to destruction.