In this article, we will discuss the Chapter-wise summary of Paradise Lost by John Milton.
Read this article to know about Paradise Lost Book 12 Summary by John Milton.
“AS one who in his journey bates at Noone,
Though bent on speed, so heer the Archangel paus’d
Betwixt the world destroy’d and world restor’d,
If Adam aught perhaps might interpose;
Then with transition sweet new Speech resumes.”
Continuation of Adam’s visions, book 12 of Paradise Lost by Milton throws light on the lives of blessed people like Abraham and Jesus who fight the evil forces Nimrod and Israelites to earn God’s favours and blessings. The last book in the Paradise Lost series highlights the fact that the virtue and good always win over the evil and sin.
Critical Analysis of Paradise Lost Book 12
Beginning with Adam’s vision about the evil King Nimrod who tries to reach Heaven by building the Tower of Babel, the poem brings forth the issue of good versus evil. The twelfth book informs the readers that since the fall of Adam and Eve from Eden, both good and evil forces are in conflict with each other.
Good tries to serve God in a better way by helping humanity while evil tries to dissuade humankind from the right path. Adam also sees the pious Abraham in his vision guiding his people toward the path of righteousness. In his last vision, Michael tells Adam about Jesus Christ, also known as the Messiah, who will be resurrected by God to defeat the forces of evil.
Jesus will first be taken alive by God to Heaven after bearing the persecution of Israelites and then God will send him again on Earth to defeat Sin and Death; thus, ultimately destroying Satan and his dark forces forever.
Adam feels delighted to hear about the brave feats of Jesus and believes that there exists hope for humankind despite their disobedience and betrayal. The poem reaches its final conclusion with the departure of Adam and Eve from Eden. They both take each other’s hands and set out from Heaven to begin a new life in an unknown world.
“O goodness infinite, goodness immense!
That all this good of evil shall produce,
And evil turn to good; more wonderful
Then that which by creation first brought forth
Light out of darkness! full of doubt I stand,
Whether I should repent me now of sin
By mee done and occasiond, or rejoyce
Much more, that much more good thereof shall spring,
To God more glory, more good will to Men
The poet has employed the literary device called allusions to make his final book worth- reading and worth-remembering. Allusion, in literature, refers to the technique of using the names of important events, personalities or situations in a literary fiction to add to the significance of the subject matter. Milton has alluded to the lives and deeds of Abraham, Noah, Jesus and Nimrod in the poem to present before his readers the conflict and struggle between virtue and vice.
“O Prophet of glad tidings, finisher
Of utmost hope! now clear I understand
What oft my steddiest thoughts have searcht in vain,
Why our great expectation should be call’d
The seed of Woman: Virgin Mother, Haile,
High in the love of Heav’n, yet from my Loynes
Thou shalt proceed, and from thy Womb the Son
Of God most High; So God with man unites.”
Diction and Language
Milton has used stylized diction and flowery language in Paradise Lost to enhance the importance of the grave issues like Man’s Fall from Eden, Satan’s rebellion and the hardships faced by Man on Earth after his Fall.
Milton’s Paradise Lost falls in the category of most popular and acclaimed poem in the literary history owing to its portrayal of the history of humankind in an artistic and accurate manner.
“The World was all before them, where to choose
Thir place of rest, and Providence thir guide:
They hand in hand with wandring steps and slow,
Through Eden took thir solitarie way.”
Read this article to know about Paradise Lost Book 11 Summary by John Milton.
A Brief Overview
“THus they in lowliest plight repentant stood
Praying, for from the Mercie-seat above
Prevenient Grace descending had remov’d
The stonie from thir hearts, & made new flesh
Regenerate grow instead,”
The eleventh book in Paradise Lost series by John Milton depicts the final departure of Adam and Eve from Heaven. Dealing with the terrible visions shown to Adam by the angel Michael, the poem informs its readers about the negative outcome of disobeying God’s orders and plans.
The book opens with the repentance of Adam and Eve who are forgiven by God but are not allowed to stay in Eden anymore as it is the place for pious and innocent. Ordering the angel Michael to take Adam and Eve out of Heaven, God soothes their ailing hearts by telling them of the glorious paradise reserved for those who lead a life of obedience and servitude on Earth. Michael reaches to Heaven to summon Adam and Eve out of it.
He puts Eve to sleep and takes Adam to the highest point in Eden to show him the visions of his future life on Earth. In the first vision, Adam sees his sons Cain and Abel fighting each other where Cain murders Abel. This vision deeply hurt Adam and he realizes his grave sin of disobeying God’s will. In the second vision, Adam sees the people of Earth making love to others and producing a number of offspring in the process.
The vision of love and birth makes Adam happy and he praises God for his blessings. In his third and last vision, Adam sees Noah fighting his enemies and remaining triumphant by surviving the drastic flood. This vision satisfies Adam’s grieving heart by strengthening his belief that the virtuous and righteous will always be helped by God on Earth until the day they meet Him again.
“O Sons, like one of us Man is become
To know both Good and Evil, since his taste
Of that defended Fruit; but let him boast
His knowledge of Good lost, and Evil got,
Happier, had suffic’d him to have known
Good by itself, and Evil not at all.
He sorrows now, repents, and prayes contrite,
My motions in him, longer then they move,
His heart I know, how variable and vain
Self-left. Least therefore his now bolder hand
Reach also of the Tree of Life, and eat,
And live for ever, dream at least to live
For ever, to remove him I decree,
And send him from the Garden forth to Till
The Ground whence he was taken, fitter soile.”
The poem revolves around the theme of Man’s harsh and troublesome life after leaving Eden due to his disobedience and sin. Milton tells his readers that the life of human beings on Earth is based on making love, giving birth and dying painfully. However, the believers should not worry as they will always remain in God’s favour and His blessings.
The Concept of Visions
Milton has introduced the new technique of visions or prophecies in this book when Michael shows Adam the glimpses of his future life on Earth. This literary technique is a step ahead of foreshadowing in which the characters foresee years ahead of their life as Adam sees in his visions. On the contrary, foreshadowing device only tells about the approaching future of the characters.
“Adam, now ope thine eyes, and first behold
Th’ effects which thy original crime hath wrought
In some to spring from thee, who never touch’d
Th’ excepted Tree, nor with the Snake conspir’d,
Nor sinn’d thy sin, yet from that sin derive
Corruption to bring forth more violent deeds.”
Revolving around the vivid visions, book 11 holds an eminent place in literature as it highlights the bitter penalties faced by humankind for disobeying God by following its selfish desires and the evil temptations of Satan.
“Over the Earth a Cloud, will therein set
His triple-colour’d Bow, whereon to look
And call to mind his Cov’nant: Day and Night,
Seed time and Harvest, Heat and hoary Frost
Shall hold thir course, till fire purge all things new,
Both Heav’n and Earth, wherein the just shall dwell.”
Read this article to know about Paradise Lost Book 10 Summary by John Milton.
A Brief Introduction
“Meanwhile the hainous and despightfull act
Of Satan done in Paradise, and how
Hee in the Serpent had perverted Eve,
Her Husband shee, to taste the fatall fruit,
Was known in Heav’n; for what can scape the Eye
Of God All-seeing, or deceive his Heart
Book 10 of Milton’s Paradise Lost highlights the aftermath of Man’s disobedience by eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. Based on the disastrous effects of rebelling God Almighty, the poem represents the resolution of the sudden climax of Man’s Fall from Heaven.
Critical Appraisal of Paradise Lost Book 10
The tenth book of Paradise Lost shows God on the forefront where he immediately gives an order to His angels to throw Adam and Eve out of Heaven after knowing about their sin of eating the fruit of the Forbidden Tree.
Exempting angels from their folly of letting Satan enter the paradise, God asks His Son to go to Earth to carry out the punishment given to the human beings. Son reaches to Adam and Eve and asks them if they have disobeyed God. Hearing their confession, the Son says that now human beings will stay on Earth forever till the day of Judgement.
All men will have to work hard to earn their livelihood while all women of Earth will have to bear the pain of giving birth to their children. They will lead a difficult life on Earth full of temptations and evils until God allows them to return to Him after suffering a tragic death. Saying this bitter sermon, the Son goes back to Heaven leaving Adam and Eve alone on Earth.
Meanwhile, Satan, pleased on his glorious triumph, reaches back to Hell where he comes across Sin and Death who congratulate him on his victory and promise to travel to Earth to dissuade mankind from the righteous path.
The book ends with Adam and Eve where they stop blaming each other for their fault and begin to contemplate on their new life ahead. This book vividly highlights the bitter consequences human beings face in life by disobeying their Lord and following the worldly desires.
“Unwarie, and too desirous, as before,
So now of what thou knowst not, who desir’st
The punishment all on thy self; alas,
Beare thine own first, ill able to sustaine
His full wrauth whose thou feelst as yet lest part,
And my displeasure bearst so ill. If Prayers
Could alter high Decrees, I to that place
Would speed before thee, and be louder heard,
That on my head all might be visited,”
The poem revolves around the theme of Man’s fall from Eden and the harsh life he leads after suffering from God’s wrath. The book demonstrates that the happiness and contentment of humans lie in God’s service only and those who incur God’s anger by disobeying him bear the brunt of their follies and sins.
“Thy sorrow I will greatly multiplie
By thy Conception; Children thou shalt bring
In sorrow forth, and to thy Husbands will
Thine shall submit, hee over thee shall rule.
On Adam last thus judgement he pronounc’d.
Because thou hast heark’nd to the voice of thy Wife,
And eaten of the Tree concerning which
I charg’d thee, saying: Thou shalt not eate thereof,
Curs’d is the ground for thy sake,”
Like earlier books, the tenth book in Paradise Lost series also relies on the foreshadowing device to forewarn the readers about the evil designs laid by Satan. The conversation of Satan with his offspring Sin and Death foreshadows the vicious schemes made by the dark forces of Hell to tempt human beings. This conversation reveals that Sin and Death will continue to perish the goodness and virtue by poisoning them with their venom.
The poem by John Milton throws light on the irrefutable fact of life that humankind can prosper and flourish only by remaining obedient and loyal to God because the path of Satan is the direct way leading to the burning hellfire.
“So spake our Father penitent, nor Eve
Felt less remorse: they forthwith to the place
Repairing where he judg’d them prostrate fell
Before him reverent, and both confess’d
Humbly thir faults, and pardon beg’d, with tears
Watering the ground, and with thir sighs the Air
Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign
Of sorrow unfeign’d, and humiliation meek.”
Read this article to know about Paradise Lost Book 9 Summary by John Milton.
Introducing the Poem
“NO more of talk where God or Angel Guest
With Man, as with his Friend, familiar us’d
To sit indulgent, and with him partake
Rural repast, permitting him the while
Venial discourse unblam’d: I now must change
Those Notes to Tragic; foul distrust, and breach
Disloyal on the part of Man, revolt,
Book 9 of Paradise Lost by Milton deals with the most significant issue of impending fall of man from Heaven due to his disobedience to God. The poem narrates the entire incident of Adam and Eve falling into the evil temptation of Satan by eating the fruit of Forbidden Tree to bring the wrath of God upon them losing Heaven and all its pleasures.
Critical Summary of Paradise Lost Book 9
Beginning with Milton’s invocation to Urania to guide him in his arduous task of narrating an important incident accurately, the poet believes that the fall of man is a greater historic event than Homer’s and Virgil’s historical accounts.
Taking his readers back to Satan from the conversation of Adam and Raphael, Milton writes about Satan’s attempt to disguise himself as a serpent to tempt Eve. Finding her alone in the garden of Eden, Satan, disguised as a talking serpent, reaches out to Eve and tells her about the benefits of eating the fruit of Forbidden Tree.
On hearing that the fruit makes an individual more beautiful and powerful opening new avenue of knowledge for him, Eve eats the fruit eagerly after showing little reluctance. She then rushes to Adam to inform him of the benefits of the fruit.
At first, Adam expresses his concern about disobeying God but soon he gives in to Eve’s desire and eats the fruit. The book reaches its conclusion when both Adam and Eve open their eyes in a completely different world after eating the fruit of the Forbidden Tree.
Seeing each other’s naked bodies, they soon realise their fatal mistake of disobeying God Almighty and feel repentant on their grave sin. The fall of humans from heavenly Earth reveals that God is omnipotent and omniscient and disobeying Him never brings good results for humankind because His word is always final.
“Forth reaching to the Fruit, she pluck’d, she eat:
Earth felt the wound, and Nature from her seat
Sighing through all her Works gave signs of woe,
That all was lost.”
The theme of Man’s disobedience and his fall from Heaven is evident in the poem. The fall of human beings is the most significant incidence occurring in the history of the world that completely revolutionised the life of mankind forever. Despite forgiving humanity for his sin, God throws human beings out from Heaven to lead a life full of trials and tribulations until they meet their God once again on the Judgement Day.
“O Eve, in evil hour thou didst give eare
To that false Worm, of whomsoever taught
To counterfet Man’s voice, true in our Fall,
False in our promis’d Rising; since our Eyes
Op’nd we find indeed, and find we know
Both Good and Evil, Good lost, and Evil got,
Bad Fruit of Knowledge, if this be to know,
Which leaves us naked thus, of Honour void,
Of Innocence, of Faith, of Puritie,”
Mood and Tone
The mood of this book is more sombre and serious as compared to the other books owing to its depiction of the greatest tragedy faced by humankind. The grave mood and tone of the poem enhance its tragedy and sadness manifold.
Milton’s Paradise Lost Book 9 holds the most significant place among its readers as it informs them of the gravest tragedy and downfall faced by humankind due to its greed and foolishness.
“Thus they in mutual accusation spent
The fruitless hours, but neither self-condemning,
And of thir vain contest appeer’d no end.”