As a child, Satan was the meaning of “evil”, as taught by the church and family. Yet, despite this being sort of true, it’s really weird and interesting to look at Satan through Milton’s perspective. Yes, he chose to accept his downfall and not regret his actions against God, yet there are actions that he makes that as human beings can be understood. It’s scary to think that someone who grew up in the church can empathize, even if it’s slightly, with the Devil. But the more you look at his character, the more you can understand why he did what he did. I am considering telling my parents how Milton perceives Satan, and am curious as to how angrily they will react xD.
Since I was the person in charge of presenting on Book VI, I thought it would only be right if I decided to blog about this Book and insight to it.
Book VI: Lines 700-703
For thee I have ordained it, and thus far
Have suffered, that the glory may be thine
Of ending this great war, since none but thou
Can end it.
I will always find the dual-relationship between the Father and Son so interesting, as it presents such conundrum in the purpose of having the Son be made. I focused on this issue in my paper and basically, if the Son hadn’t been made, there would be no need for humanity to exist, since Satan would not have had the motivation to fulfill his jealousy-driven mission right? And on top of that, how the Father saves the glory for the Son to end the war, when in reality he’s basically doing it himself, but as another being…just such a weird concept to grasp. It’s a real mind-you know what. Well, there are many questions I have that I will probably never have the answer to, but it’s nice to know that I can have fellow classmates to comment on what their opinions are about the topic.
There’s something I’ve been thinking about…like always. So God is the one who sends out the punishment of condemning Adam and Eve to death, however, he also sends “himself” (the son) in a way. It’s weird to consider, because he acts as a judge, but also a savior, while being a single, yet separate entity. If God were to sentence the human race to death, and do nothing else, he would probably be seen as an evil King, not capable of mercy? In ways it can be a reflection of many leaders of power in the early European centuries. However, he doesn’t just condemn the human race to death, but offers them a chance of hope, or redemption; salvation through “The son”. Because of this, could it be considered an escape route to make humanity not see him as simply a God without mercy, but rather a God of second chances? Either way, he chose to offer humanity a second chance, which is enough for me.
Tuesday’s class had me thinking about my ENG 391 course on disability and disease. One of the texts we read was on a comic-book writer who’s family carried the lyme disease gene (essentially, you lose all functions of your motor skills, and your body, along with brain is slowly deteriorated). Some of the main talking points consisted of the decision that needed to made when considering that he could transfer the gene to his offspring. The same can be seen when Adam and Eve fall out of grace with God. They receive the “death” gene, and are also faced with the same problem that the character who carries the lyme disease has: they have a choice to create children. It’s interesting to see that after being doomed to death, they still choose to create life, that like them, will be doomed to the same fate.
So, I wanted to focus on the moment where Eve is tempted by Satan (disguised as a snake), and point out that they are technically only a few days old. Although they are only a few days old, they are still very intelligent beings. With that being said, they are the first of their “kind” to be alive, and they have no history to look back at and reflect on. Even if Eve and Adam’s actions doomed mankind to experience death, can they really be blamed for what happened? And yes, I do realize that the argument can be brought up that Adam knows about angels that chose to be faithful to God (Rafael, etc.) Just something to think about.
So I had completely forgot that Tuesday was supposed to be a “special” class, and before that I was thinking we were going to have a guest speaker or something. But it was cool to have everyone read aloud, I think poems are understood better when they are read aloud. I surprisingly didn’t mess up like I thought I would, but it was a little tricky to read with the lack of punctuation sometimes. It was sort of funny that you could either get a very long line, or a very short sentence (not that I didn’t want to read long sentences or anything.) I am kind of sad I wasn’t able to go to the real Paradise Lost reading in the library. I kept thinking about how Dr. Campbell said some drunk guy came into the reading and how he was very energetic and actually reading very well. I wonder if anything like that happened this year?
So, immediately after my post last night, I again thought of my classmates comment on Eve and how she eavesdropped. I agree with Amita, I don’t believe it was a sin that Eve secretly heard Adam and Raphael’s conversation, because it’s true, how could she know she wasn’t supposed to hear? But anyways, I digress. I must have been in a weird mindset, but I thought about the word “eavesdrop”. Eve and drop. I thought, “there’s no way”. Immediately, I looked to Google to look for the origin of the word. Ultimately, I was disappointed, but relieved to find out that the word doesn’t come from the actions of Eve. I have no idea why I thought the origin of the word would point to the fall of mankind, but it was worth a shot lol. The word eavesdrop derives from the following: “Eavesdrop started off literally: first it referred to the water that fell from the eaves of a house, then it came to mean the ground where that water fell. Eventually, eavesdropper described someone who stood within the eavesdrop of a house to overhear a conversation inside”. So, to conclude my blog, I was wrong to think that the word eavesdrop derived from Milton’s Eve secretly listening to Adam and Raphael’s conversation. But hey, it was worth a shot right?
I thought it was very interesting when (sorry I forget your name), but one of our classmates brought up the very interesting point that, perhaps-and a very strong perhaps- Eve had been eavesdropping on the conversation that took place between Raphael and Adam in Book 8. Although it is never revealed if she actually did or not, the possibility of her eavesdropping would essentially mean that because of her actions, downfall was inevitable. It would also mean she was motivated to separate from Adam, possibly to prove a point. I wonder if Milton purposely kept that information hidden from his audience…
Urania is a character (Muse) that I have been thinking about, and the similarity of Muses to the Holy Spirit. Was Milton a believer of a trinity, or does his relationship between the Father and the Son cancel out his belief in a Holy Spirit? Urania and how she is a “source of inspiration” makes me think that Milton is using Urania as a replacement for the Holy Ghost in PL.
Here’s a couple of images from Book VI of PL:
A closer look at the Chariot The Son uses:
Here’s one image of the actual fighting:
Again, it’s important to remember that there is a lot of symbolism, and actions that pertain to themes like choice, time, and forgiveness in particular. I would say that choice is a huge theme that I will go into on Tuesday.