ENGLISH 45A Lecture 30: Milton Paradise Lost Book 1
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Department
English
Course Code
ENGLISH 45A
Professor
Steven Justice

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English 45A– Lecture 30– Paradise Lost Book 1 Prologue Summary ● Adam and Eve’s eating of the forbidden fruit was humankind’s first act of disobedience toward God, which cost us paradise ● Milton’s speaker invokes the muse (a mystical source of poetic inspiration) to sing about these subjects– this is a different muse from the traditional muses who inspired classical poets because he says that his muse inspired Moses to receive the Ten Commandments ● His muse appears to be the Holy Spirit ● He thinks his poem will be greater than Classical poetry because his source of inspiration is holier ● He asks the Holy Spirit to fill him with knowledge to write his poems ● Milton’s speaker wants to show man that the fall of humankind into sin and death was part of God’s justified greater plan Prologue Analysis ● The prologue takes on the same sober tone as the Book of Genesis ● It begins with the story of the world’s creation which is also a religious theme ● Milton acknowledges his awareness of Homer, Virgil, and later poets, and wants to be part of their tradition while also wanting to be beyond them ● Although this seems like a boastful goal, he also appears to be humble ○ He is dependent on God’s grace ● His poem is mixed with ambition and self-effacement ● Milton twists the meanings of traditional devils and gods ● Milton chronicles the tragic journey of all men, and tells the story of the battle between God and Satan Satan and Hell Summary ● Milton explains that Adam and Eve’s disobedience was due to the serpent’s deception, or Satan ● The poem follows Satan and hi
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