CHAPTER II
PARADISE LOST

I. MILTON IN PARADISE LOST

PARADISE LOST is built round two great themes which are harmoniously balanced: the fall of the angels and the fall of man. The first books describe the state of the fallen angels; in contrast to this, after an interval in Heaven, the following books picture man before his fall, in Paradise; then comes the fall of the angels, and the creation of the world which compensates it; and finally, the fall of man and the history of the world which will make up for it. The dramatic interest in the first half is in Satan's efforts; in the second, in the human drama between Adam and Eve. The two parts are linked, Satan's efforts being the cause of the human drama. The scheme is simple, clear, and grand, and bears the imprint of Milton's mind.

From the psychological and philosophical point of view we have taken in this work, Paradise Lost is first of all, as we have seen in Part II, the working out of Milton's ideas; but it is also -- and this remains to be studied -- a sort of transposition of his private and political experience. Milton has drawn upon his own life to depict situations similar to those he had known. Hence the false position he frequently puts himself into; for analogy in the events has driven him to take from himself or from his friends the traits wanted for the picture of the fallen angels.

-213-

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Milton, Man and Thinker
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Preface v
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction xiii
  • Part I - The Man xix
  • Chapter I - The Elements of Milton's Character In Youth 1
  • Chapter II - The Man of Action and of Passion 21
  • Part II - The System 109
  • Chapter I - Ontology 113
  • Chapter II - Cosmology 134
  • Chapter III - Psychology and Ethics 149
  • Chapter IV - Religion 172
  • Chapter V - Politics 181
  • Chapter VI - Conclusion: a General View Of Milton's Philosophy 198
  • Part III - The Great Poems 201
  • Chapter I - Faith, Philosophy, and Poetry In Milton's Work 203
  • Chapter II - Paradise Lost 213
  • Chapter III - Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes 233
  • Part Iv The Sources 245
  • Chapter I - Hebraic Sources 251
  • Chapter II - The Christian Era 259
  • Chapter III - The Fathers 264
  • Chapter I - The Zohar and the Kabbalah 281
  • Chapter II - Robert Fludd (1574-1637) 301
  • Chapter III - The Mortalists, 1643-1655 310
  • Conclusion 323
  • Appendices 327
  • Index 353
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