41 Matching Annotations
  1. Sep 2018
    1. how we can understand disobedience against God as patience and heroic martyrdom

  2. Aug 2018
    1. Thir government, and thir great Senate choose [ 225 ] Through the twelve Tribes, to rule by Laws ordaind:

      This may be linked to English Parliamentary government.

    2. Or from Heav'n claming second Sovrantie; [ 35 ] And from Rebellion shall derive his name,

      You can also link this to Charles I and the English Civil War.

    1. Lay Seige, encampt; by Batterie, Scale, and Mine, Assaulting; others from the Wall defend With Dart and Jav'lin, Stones and sulfurous Fire; On each hand slaughter and gigantic deeds

      This is not the heroic warfare of God's armies fighting the fallen Angels.

    2. These two are Brethren, Adam, and to come Out of thy loyns; th' unjust the just hath slain

      Cain and Abel.

    3. Hard to belief may seem; yet this will Prayer, Or one short sigh of humane breath, up-borne Ev'n to the Seat of God.

      Previously Adam talked to God, but now he and Eve pray in the hope he is listening.

    1. In Sextile, Square, and Trine, and Opposite, Of noxious efficacie, and when to joyne [ 660 ] In Synod unbenigne, and taught the fixt Thir influence malignant when to showre, Which of them rising with the Sun, or falling, Should prove tempestuous: To the Winds they set Thir corners, when with bluster to confound [ 665 ] Sea, Aire, and Shoar, the Thunder when to rowle With terror through the dark Aereal Hall. Some say he bid his Angels turne ascanse The Poles of Earth twice ten degrees and more From the Suns Axle; they with labour push'd [ 670 ] Oblique the Centric Globe

      A Renaissance man, Milton incorporates the mathematics, astronomy, geography and science of his time into his poetry.

    2. Th' Infernal Empire, that so neer Heav'ns dore Triumphal with triumphal act have met,

      Is this an indirect criticism of colonialism by Milton?

    3. Was shee thy God, that her thou didst obey

      Is this a dig at the role of the Virgin Mary in Catholicism from Milton a Protestant?

    4. My voice thou oft hast heard, and hast not fear'd, But still rejoyc't,

      So the voice of God is also the same voice of the Son.

    5. Anger, and obstinacie, and hate, and guile.

      They experience these negative emotions even before the entry of Sin to the World.

    1. The Woodbine round this Arbour, or direct The clasping Ivie where to climb, while I In yonder Spring of Roses intermixt With Myrtle, find what to redress till Noon:

      Milton's vision of Eden is very much in the image of an English garden of his time.

    2. For onely in destroying I find ease To my relentless thoughts; and him destroyd, [ 130 ] Or won to what may work his utter loss, For whom all this was made, all this will soon Follow, as to him linkt in weal or woe, In wo then: that destruction wide may range: To mee shall be the glorie sole among [ 135 ] The infernal Powers, in one day to have marr'd What he Almightie styl'd, six Nights and Days Continu'd making, and who knows how long Before had bin contriving, though perhaps Not longer then since I in one Night freed

      Satan seems to have become fixated on revenge against God, rather than defeating him. Perhaps the reality of his situation had begun to sink in.

    1. All higher knowledge in her presence falls Degraded, Wisdom in discourse with her Looses discount'nanc't, and like folly shewes; Authority and Reason on her waite

      If I read this right Adam is saying that Eve is not as intelligent as him. Why one wonders would God create less than a perfect partner for him?

    2. The easiest way, nor with perplexing thoughts To interrupt the sweet of Life, from which God hath bid dwell farr off all anxious cares, [ 185 ] And not molest us, unless we our selves Seek them with wandring thoughts, and notions vain. But apt the Mind or Fancy is to roave Uncheckt, and of her roaving is no end; Till warn'd, or by experience taught, she learne,

      Raphael is warning Adam not to quest for knowledge and to accept the world as it is known. This was written in the time of the Renaissance, with the the beginning of science and exploration by Europeans..

    3. From Man or Angel the great Architect Did wisely to conceal, and not divulge His secrets to be scann'd by them who ought Rather admire;

      More hidden knowledge and a mild warning not to be too inquisitive.

    1. Thir Snakie foulds, and added wings


    2. Adverse to life: then founded, then conglob'd Like things to like, the rest to several place [ 240 ] Disparted, and between spun out the Air, And Earth self ballanc't on her Center hung.

      This expands on the Genesis creation by acknowledging other planets in our solar system.

    3. sends his Son with Glory and attendance of Angels to perform the work of Creation

      This is certainly not in Genesis, which credits God himself with the creation and not his son.

    1. Thir devilish glut, chaind Thunderbolts and Hail Of Iron Globes, which on the Victor Host [ 590 ] Level'd, with such impetuous furie smote, That whom they hit, none on thir feet might stand, Though standing else as Rocks, but down they fell By thousands, Angel on Arch-Angel rowl'd;

      It is interesting that Milton considers gunpowder and cannons to be the work of the Devil. These had been a standard feature of medieval warfare for at least a couple of hundred years before his time, so were not a new or secret invention.

    2. Should combat, and thir jarring Sphears confound.

      It would be difficult for Raphael to explain war to Adam, because it is not something he would ever have encountered before.

    3. They ended parle, and both addresst for fight Unspeakable; for who, though with the tongue Of Angels, can relate, or to what things Liken on Earth conspicuous, that may lift Human imagination to such highth [ 300 ] Of Godlike Power: for likest Gods they seemd, Stood they or mov'd, in stature, motion, arms Fit to decide the Empire of great Heav'n.

      An individual conflict between champions/the leaders of each army. This harks back to Greek times.

    4. None of retreat, no unbecoming deed That argu'd fear; each on himself reli'd, As onely in his arm the moment lay Of victorie; deeds of eternal fame [

      This is a heroic vision of warfare, that certainly wasn't practiced in the English Civil War and religious wars of Milton's time, if it ever was.

    5. By Thousands and by Millions rang'd for fight; Equal in number to that Godless crew Rebellious

      Why send the same size army as your enemy when you enjoy a two to one advantage? Send a larger force and get the war over more quickly. I don't understand what Milton's point is here.

    1. Late falln himself from Heav'n, is plotting now [ 240 ] The fall of others from like state of bliss; By violence, no, for that shall be withstood, But by deceit and lies; this let him know, Lest wilfully transgressing he pretend Surprisal, unadmonisht, unforewarnd.

      Omniscient God is sending Raphael to warn Adam about the danger of his fall by eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge. He does so with the fore-knowledge of the failure of this mission. Does it serve any purpose other than for him to be able to say 'I told you so, I warned you what would happen'?

    2. To wed her Elm; she spous'd about him twines

      In this Eve's relationship to Adam is presented as that of a Vine entwined around an Elm Tree. That is as parasitic and dependent upon him.

    1. Yielded with coy submission, modest pride, [ 310 ]

      The key word here is submission. This is illustrative of Eve's relationship with Adam.

    2. Whence true autority in men; though both [ 295 ] Not equal, as thir sex not equal seemd; For contemplation hee and valour formd, For softness shee and sweet attractive Grace, Hee for God only, shee for God in him:

      Milton followed the classic line of his time about the inferiority of women to men. Thus the relationship between Adam and Eve was not that of equals, she was deemed inferior and subordinate to him and he was viewed as closer to God.

    3. can

      You can take the Devil out of Hell, but can't take Hell out the Devil. He is now fully committed on the path of evil.

    1. He ask'd, but all the Heav'nly Quire stood mute, And silence was in Heav'n: on mans behalf Patron or Intercessor none appeerd,

      Compare the court of an Absolute Monarch, where there is no discussion to a Parliamentary Monarchy.

    2. I formd them free, and free they must remain, Till they enthrall themselves: I else must change [ 125 ] Thir nature, and revoke the high Decree Unchangeable

      This is indicative of the political and philosophical debates going on in England about the nature of individual liberty, as illustrated by Thomas Hobbe's Leviathan.

    1. I've never quite understood the threat posed to God by Satan and his followers. For all his might Satan is a lesser warrior (hero) than Michael, and not forgetting there are other Archangels.

    2. Then to dwell here, driv'n out from bliss, condemn'd In this abhorred deep to utter woe; Where pain of unextinguishable fire

      Satan's and his followers continued suffering the tortures of a vengeful God could be considered an act of immense heroism.

    3. Vain Warr with Heav'n, and by success untaught His proud imaginations thus displaid.

      This is a valid criticism of ruling elites at the time of Milton, and remains valid today.

    1. Was this a Puritan thing?

    2. Mate

      What does this mean? Nowadays this word is used colloquially to mean a good friend.

    3. This reminds me of the saying one person's terrorist is another's freedom fighter. Satan and his fallen angels can be perceived as insurgents against God's 'tyranny', putting a whole new spin on the battle between good and evil.

    4. To wage by force or guile eternal WarrIrreconcileable, to our grand Foe,

      This reference to eternal war fails to see the final Battle of Armageddon and the eventual victory of good or evil.

    5. The change in spelling interests me, as with most current English pronunciation here and their would effectively rhyme. But Milton's with Milton's use of thir they wouldn't.

    6. In some Northern English or Scottish dialects the word ken is used as a verb to know or noun for knowledge.