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26 votes
Accepted

Was Paradise Lost the first major work of literature to give "sympathy for the devil"?

As asked, the question is difficult to answer. Several premises are open to question: What constitutes a "major work"? What is your definition of "sympathy" in this context? ...
verbose's user avatar
  • 29.2k
16 votes

What is an epic and why is there “only one epic in English Language so far”?

Since Milton is often discussed in the context of Renaissance literature, I'll quote the definition of "epic" from The Renaissance (edited by Marion Wynne-Davies, Bloomsbury Guides to ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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8 votes

Why aren't God's pronouns capitalized in Paradise Lost?

Reverential capitalization has never been a constant in English language works, and it's newer than you think. John Milton, born as the final touches were being made on the King James Version, may not ...
Laurel's user avatar
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8 votes
Accepted

Satan's motivation in Paradise Lost

Milton says a couple of times that Satan’s motives were envy (of Jesus, whom God nepotistically promoted above him) and pride: Th’infernal Serpent; he it was, whose guile Stird up with Envy and ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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7 votes
Accepted

Did Milton invoking the Muse imply that he didn't want to rely on the Bible?

TL;DR: No. It’s true that Milton was opposed to biblical literalism, and it’s also true that in Paradise Lost he used a scheme in which figures from Classical mythology, including the Muse, were ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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6 votes

In "Paradise Lost", how can a fleet of ships "hang in the clouds"?

Wordsworth thought that the phrase was a leap of pure imagination: Here is the full strength of the imagination involved in the word, hangs, and exerted upon the whole image: First, the Fleet, an ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
  • 58.2k
5 votes

Which traits of Milton's Lucifer from "Paradise Lost" did Neil Gaiman carry to "The Sandman"?

Neil Gaiman described his concept for Season of Mists, the Sandman story which introduces Lucifer as a major character, in these terms: The story was inspired loosely by something the Abbé Mugnier ...
gilles's user avatar
  • 51
5 votes

Source of Milton's idea that God tilted the Earth's axis after the fall of man

The notion is that in the Garden of Eden, the original pre-Lapsarian world, there were no seasons but an eternal springtime. Then at a later date, God introduced the seasons as part of a general ...
Stuart F's user avatar
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4 votes

What is an epic and why is there “only one epic in English Language so far”?

There are many epics in English besides Paradise Lost. Technically speaking, the "epic" is a narrative mode rather than a genre. What makes a narrative "epic" is a distinction ...
Roger Maioli's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Is John Milton's Lucifer a tragic hero?

In his introductory essay to the John Milton volume of 'Bloom's Critical Views' Harold Bloom called this question the most famous and vexing of critical problems concerning Paradise Lost, the Satanic ...
Kiteration's user avatar
3 votes

What are the "concurring signs" of which Satan speaks?

I think Francis Storr is correct when he says that Milton does not explain these “signs”: 831 By concurring signs. To judge by concurring signs. What these signs are is not intimated. Francis Storr, ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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3 votes
Accepted

What were the dimensions of the original Doré set for Paradise Lost?

Plate 41, as per the Met Museum website has the following dimensions Dimensions: sheet: 16 5/16 x 11 1/4 in. (41.5 x 28.5 cm) image: 9 5/8 x 7 7/8 in. (24.5 x 20 cm) The same image dimensions are ...
Spagirl's user avatar
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3 votes

Paradise Lost pagan gods

Related: Is John Milton's Lucifer a tragic hero? One interesting feature of Paradise Lost is that the demons are presented as multi-dimensional, complicated characters - likely even more so than ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

Did Satan feel genuine remorse for his actions and compassion for his subordinates?

Milton is using a couple of these attributes in senses that are now archaic. In “considerate Pride”, I think that it works best if we take “considerate” in the sense considerate, adj. 1. Marked by ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
  • 58.2k
1 vote

Satan's motivation in Paradise Lost

Here's the relevant transcript from the Yale Milton Course. I guess Satan suffered from a sense of unfairness/injustice from the meritocratic breakdown of the Son's exultation (or maybe from loss of ...
Tom Huntington's user avatar

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