Friday, April 23, 2010

Paradise Lost - Book I

For the sake of my mind, I am skipping anything entitled Introduction or The Argument. Too much reading!

I, admittedly, have been having trouble figuring out how to break this up. I took notes as I wrote, so needless to say - there's a lot. How do you make a manageable post about book that contains 800 lines of poem, without it becoming overload? Break it up into manageable chunks, that's how. Here goes nothing:

Lines 1 - 127

So far each sentence seems to be about 15 lines long. Written in old English. I can do this.

The first stanza (lines 1 – 26) and there are already a lot of references to the bible- people, symbols, passages from scripture.  This stanza, it seems, is just a set up to the actual story being ready to be told – like a “Dear readers, allow me to take you on this journey to explain God to man”. 

The lines “and with mighty wings outspread/Dove-like satst brooding on the vast Abyss/And mad’st it pregnant: What in me is dark/Illumin, what is low raise and support;” strike me. The visual image, The Holy Spirit creating, is very…hard to describe. That's that biblical symbolism I was talking about too..."Dove-like"? Yeah, Holy Spirit. Then that Holy Spirit, well guess what, it made the Abyss pregnant with life (God had sex with... existence? what an image...). I particularly like the last two lines. 

The next stanza (lines 26-83), begins by stating that the speaker will first tell of made Adam and Eve (our “Gran Parents”)  “transgress his [the Creator] Will”. Simply: the Devil, who was cast out of heaven along with his followers due to Pride. I admit, I had trouble with the next few lines because of how they were written – “To set himself in Glory above his Peers,/He trusted to have equal’d the most High” – does this mean he felt he was equal to God, and therefore above the other Angels? 

Vainly, Lucifer raised war in heaven. The next lines alluded to Fall of the Rebel Angels – remind me to check that out at some point. Basically, God throws Lucifer out into “bottomless perdition” to chill in chains and fire for defy God. 

Now though, Lucifer becomes more angry – because he knows of “lost happiness and lasting pain”. Then its basically a description of hell for a few lines. It sounds sucky and its so “unlike the place from whence they fell!” The last few lines of the stanza show Satan standing there, shocked, with his second in command, basically cursing heaven “And thence in Heav’n call’d Satan, with bold words/Breaking the horrid silence thus began”.  An ominous way to end a stanza, no doubt.

It seems to be that the first story arc we are going to get is going to the story of Satan.

Stanza 3 (lines 84-125), well. I can't say I particularly liked this stanza, it was kind of...uninteresting. I had to read this stanza several times just to get the gist of what it is talking about. It’s Satan talking to Beelzebub. Knowing this made so much more sense, but still not nearly as interesting as the previous stanzas. I believe that it is Satan talking about how much their appearances have changed getting everyone together again and trying to take down daddy dearest again – because he still thinks he was right. He admits to underestimating the power of God. He states that even though they lost, he still has his free will, his hatred, his anger - that is would be shameful to bow down to the power of God now, but they can fight him forever. 

So there is Satan, chilling with his second in command, at the Lake of Fire, looking around, going "Well shoot. Now that we know what we are up against, we can do it. We can take Heaven back." Stanza 4 (125-127) lets up know of the pain Satan is in as he spewed his monologue about trying again. He's upset, in pain, reeling from the events that had just occurred. He's in shock and denial. 

Next time: Beelzebub's reply to Satan, and the ensuing conversation as the gentlemen come up with a plan of action (Lines 128 to 241)

Please feel free to comment with your own opinions!

No comments:

Post a Comment