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Paradise Lost by John Milton - Barron's Booknotes
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BOOK IV

We find another change of scene and new characters in Book IV: the action takes place in Paradise. We meet not only Adam and Eve but the good angels who remained faithful to God and now guard Paradise. The action, which occupies an evening and night, moves dramatically from scenes in which Adam unwittingly tells Satan what he wants to know to a confrontation between Satan and his former companions; it also includes Adam and Eve's pleasure in their sexual union.



LINES 1-130. SATAN'S REMORSE

The opening lines are a cry of regret: if only Adam and Eve had been warned now of what is about to happen! For Satan is on earth, looking at the Garden of Eden, of which Paradise is a part. Satan brings Hell with him wherever he goes-which you will easily understand in modern psychological terms as a continual state of tension and dissatisfaction: Satan is always full of revenge, remorse, and envy.

As he looks up at the sun, whose brilliance reminds him of his former glory in Heaven, he regrets his disobedience, for after all God's service is not hard. But ambition would always bring about his ruin because he would freely make the same choice. So nothing is left but Hell, for to repent would mean submitting to God. Not only would his pride prevent that, it also wouldn't last very long. The only hope is to divide possession of man with God, "more than half perhaps will reign."

Unknown to him, Uriel has been watching the little cherub who spoke so courteously to him. As the "cherub's" face contorts with anguish, Uriel realizes who he is.

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Paradise Lost by John Milton - Barron's Booknotes
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