ENGLISH 45A Lecture 34: Milton Paradise Lost Books 5-6

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University of California - Berkeley
Steven Justice

English 45A– Lecture 34– Paradise Lost Books 5-6 Summary Book 5 ● Eve tells Adam about her disturbing dream in which a voice told her to go to the Tree of Knowledge ○ In the dream, an angel ate a fruit from the tree and told her that if she tried it, she could be like the gods ● Adam is worried but tells her she can make the decision not to follow the dream and comforts her ● God tells Archangel Raphael to warn Adam about the danger in store ○ Raphael visits Adam and even, eats with them, and explains to them the difference between heavenly food and earthly food ○ When Eve leaves the group, Raphael tells Adam that man is the highest being on Earth because of the ability to reason, and tells Adam to always choose obedience ○ Raphael tells Adam the story of Satan’s fall in order to explain the power of reason Analysis Book 5 ● Eve’s dream foreshadows her temptation and downfall, as does God’s decision to send Raphael to warn Adam ● Since the readers already know the story of Adam and Eve’s fall, Raphael’s visit only heightens the gravity and tragedy of their sin ● The emphasis on their free will makes their sin more meaningful ● Spiritual beings are beyond human comprehension so it’s difficult for Raphael to explain to Adam and Eve ○ There’s also a problem in how Milton is explaining these divine mysteries as a mortal ○ Milton presents his epic as a divinely inspired Christian document that he’s presuming to
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