Paradise Lost- John Milton
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ENG110Y1Y (Summer)- Narrative May 18th, 2011
Lecture #2 (nothing covered in Lecture 1 will be on tests/exams/assignments)
Paradise Lost – John Milton
Epic Conventions used:
1. Invocation of the Muse
−Why does Milton do this?
−He delays it; plays with conventions
2. Familiar Story
−follows the story of Adam and Eve; we will already know the ending of Paradise Lost before we
−Why read it if you already know the ending?
−We want to know everything that happens beforehand; parts have likely been added/changed
−it's about the journey itself, rather than the outcome; how the story is told
3. Media res (middle)
−the story starts in the middle
−why not the beginning?
−In order to put focus on Satan's defeat, the battle of the angels
−we aren't privy to what was happening in heaven
−starts off with flashbacks to provide back story
−conflict in heaven: Satan stands up to God, God sends him to hell
6. Dramatic Irony
−We know what's going on, but do the characters know?
−We know things that the characters do not (mainly Satan)
−(This is linked with #2: Familiar Story)
Enjambment: Sentences don't end on one line but continue to the next line.
Holy Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit
−in Paradise Lost, only the first two are present
Main Theme: Milton wants to display God's unknown agenda (Book 1, line 26). Vindication of God's
ways and affirms Jesus' place in the Old Testament.
−Inordinate pride: Satan's fall
−Revenge: Satan's revenge for being sent to Hell by trying to subvert God's plan to create Man
−Vanity: Eve's vanity- succumbs to the serpent because she wants to be more independent from
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