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Paradise Lost Book 1  Man’s First Disobedience  Evocation of Heavenly Muse  Marking out specific epic trait, things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme  Conventions of epic, Homer, Virgil, Dante, Ariosto…  Iliad, Odyssey (traditional epics) vs Aeneid, Divine Comedy, Orlando Furioso (literary epics)  Formal, long, elevated styles, mythic traits of hero, embodies traits of nation…. Traditional epics – from oral tradition (not invention of writer), literary epics – work of poet written in imitation of traditional style  Art epic – Virgilian model  Protagonist traditionally hero of great significance, brave and wise, grand and vast setting, noble and fantastic action, supernatural entities, elevated styles matching lofty proportions of characters and action  Conventions – invocation of muse’s aid during opening argument, posing epic question… beginning narrative in medias res (in the middle of things), intro of character rosters, giving formal speeches revealing personal traits, use of epic similes, learned survey of knowledge  “Of Man’s first disobedience”  of – result, about, ambiguity of first line – origins and result of disobedience  “of” constantly repeated, intentional  first and of origins  cutting line at “and the Fruit,” pause then “Of that forbidden tree”  fruit of the tree, fruit of the disobedience  pointing to things before disobedience and what comes after  us as being the fruit of dissent, fruit as sweet and bounty, positive connotation  origin of evil in world  sweet fruit from sin -> Areopagitica, dialectics, cleaving… opposites needed to compare  fruit’s mortal taste -> brings death and woe until greater Man restores  epic “all of time”  beginning and end of time; whole story given  elaboration of unfolding that interests in epic  abiding to and changing literary traditions  1-5  6-26  question of heavenly muse… who inspired shepherd who first taught chosen seed -> Moses, calling same Christian muse to inspire him Sinai -> Aonian Mount, no middle flight, soaring above… going above predecessors (Aonian not good enough (Greek myth) -> going above classical traditions, not pagan but Xtian epic)  things unattempted yet  Spirit that prefers before all temples the upright heart and pure -> evoking Protestant Muse; criticizing church for not doing its job, no need for mediation between person and God  Dove nesting on water -> holy spirit from Genesis creating everything, making abyss pregnant… asking Muse/holy spirit to inspire him… breath moving across water  Taking on huge, greater-than-man subject so need Muse to support  4 invocations of Muse across Paradise Lost 1, 3. 7. 9  to help him assert eternal providence and justify ways of God to men  theodyssey -> divine providence and justice about why evil exists in world, justifying God in context  going beyond biblical sources, expanding on Genesis text, giving psychological and emotional context of Adam and Eve, why serpent is in garden…  need muse because he is fallen figure… but still tension between humility and hubris  27-  sin that came before man’s disobedience -> Satan  Satan’s ambition and Milton’s ambition  50-  hell description, disorienting and uncomfortable, looking with Satan  abstract burning, burning like divorce tracts… not so visible despite description  burning of ambition  past tense -> present tense at 56, focalizing through Satan’s eyes  views through Angel’s kenn -> range of sight/knowledge… identification with Satan’s pov  visible darkness… paradoxical statement, f
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