Milton’s “Paradise Lost”

Question 1. Free will.

How does Milton describe free will throughout PL? Be sure to quote specific passages.

In the Book 3, God tells Son about the free will: that he creates people and all the spirits free since he wants his creation to serve because of love for him, not of necessity of doing it, and nobody, who fell can accuse God in ones’ fate.  Also in the poem Milton pointed out the role and connection of the Reason and the free will. In the Book 5, Raphael explains to Adam, “God made thee perfect, not immutable; / And good he made thee; but to persevere / He left it in thy power – ordained thy will / By nature free, not over-ruled by fate / Inextricable, or strict necessity” (Milton 524-528). In the end of their conversation, angel warns him that passion can damp the Reason. In the Book 9, Adam speaks to Eve that danger is inside of every man, and people are free obeying Reason. In the Book 12, Michael, forecasting the future to Adam, explains that true Freedom is closely connected with the Reason, and can not exist without it. Passions and desires enslave people.

Question 2. Characteristics of angels.

What are some of the properties or characteristics of the angels (including the fallen ones)?

One of his characteristics is a changeable size. In the First Book, Satan is described as giant as well as his followers, but during the time of the council many of them become smaller. Also they can change their image; they can be wounded but not killed, the way it was in the battle between angels. Besides they are able to fly easily and very quickly due to their wings. In the Book 6, Raphael told to Adam, that being from ethereal substance, “. . . as they please / They limb themselves, and color, shape, or size /Assume, as likes them best” (Milton 351-353). Moreover, all angels are beautiful – the sign of their creation by God – and all of them thing very nicely, even fallen, as we see it in the Book 2. They are spirits; nevertheless, they need to eat and can eat people’s food as Raphael does visiting Adam. In addition, all of them, as we can understand from Raphael’s story about war in the Heaven, are warriors with high degree of alert.

Question 3. Satan’s vow.

What is Satan’s vow and how does he plan to execute it?

First time Satan says about his vow in the First Book, when he tells to Beelsebub that their task for the future will be to do evil and to resist the God’s Will. Essentially his vow can be viewed in the Book 4, when he commits himself by this words, “All good to me is lost / Evil, be thou my Good: by thee at least / Divided empire with Heaven’s King I hold, / By thee, and more than half perhaps will reign” (Milton 109-112). In the Book 9, searching for the Snake he tells about his intentions about people – he wants they cast in one’s lot with him, bring disaster upon people and, therefore, destroy the new world created by God. His intensions how to execute his plan can be seen in the Book 4, where after he have heard that humans are not allowed to eat the fruits from the Tree of Knowledge, he decides to inspire people to eat this fruit, for they receive knowledge, which in turn would lead them to death.

Question 4. Uriel.

What is the lesson that readers can learn from Uriel at the end of Book Three?

In the end of Book Three, Uriel was beguiled by Satan. He changed his image and Uriel showed him the way to Earth and Eden. It can be seen that Hypocrisy is the evil that nobody can recognize – neither people, nor angels. “And oft, though Wisdom wake, Suspicion sleeps /At Wisdom’s gate, and to Simplicity / Resigns her charge, while Goodness thinks no ill / Where no ill seems” (Milton Book 3: 686-689). That is to say, the Evil is smart, and often hade a beautiful image and every human being should be careful to avoid the danger of the evil.